Summer is finally here and it is time to invite friends to kuier around the braai. But before you light your charcoal, check out the rules and regulations that might apply to you.
The following rules are relevant if you live in a rental property:
Am I allowed to grill on the Balcony?
As a tenant you are generally allowed to grill on the balcony, terrace or in the garden.
There is no law prohibiting it. However, landlords can explicitly allow, restrict or prohibit grilling in your rental agreement.
They can also specify if you are allowed to use charcoal.
When am I not allowed to grill?
- When it is stipulated in your rental agreement that you are not allowed to grill on your balcony or in the garden.
- When the smoke from your fire or grill goes into the apartment or home of your neighbours. When this happens you are committing an administrative offence, and you can be fined for it.
These rules are governed by the German Tenants’ Association (DMB). Anyone who disregards these rules risks being warned or even given notice.
It can also result in the termination of your rental contract.
What can I do?
- First of all, read your rental contract and make sure you know what the stipulations are.
- You should always be considerate towards your neighbours,
- Electric grills makes less smoke than a charcoal grill
- If possible, work with aluminium trays.
- Adhere to the applicable quiet periods (Ruhezeiten)
A case that went to court was in 2002 in the district of Essen. The tenant disregarded the rules and ignored warnings and had to move out as a result. (LG Essen, judgment of 07.02.2002, Az .: 10 S 438/01).
Another in Düsseldorf – “A barbecue party with a total of seven guests was organized in the garden of an apartment building. As a result, smoke penetrated through the windows of the neighbouring apartment. Their residents saw themselves on the one hand disturbed by the smoke, on the other hand by the additional noise level. The tenant, who was responsible for the grilling, was consequently fined (OLG Düsseldorf, judgment of 26.05.1995, ref .: 5 Ss (OWi) 149/95 – (OWi) 79/95 I).”
What else do I need to know?
If you are allowed to grill at your home, the smells and noise from a grill party should be tolerated by your neighbours to some extent. Take notice of the quiet periods and make sure to keep noise levels acceptable. These rules are governed by the local municipality
Wood and charcoal
Hard wood that produces a lot of embers with little smoke is the best to grill with. This includes:
- Beech (Buche) and Birch(Birke) wood are suitable for meat and fish dishes. It gives food a smokey flavour.
- Oakwood (Eiche) can also be used, it burns hotter and does not flavour the meat
- Maple wood (Ahornholz ) is suitable for vegetables and fish
- Wild Cherry wood (Wildkirsche) is particularly suitable for pork, veal, poultry and fish
Do not use soft wood like Spruce(Fichte), Fir (Tanne), yew (Eibe), larch (Lärchen) or pine(Kiefer) as these have a high resin content and can make the food bitter. Also avoid using oily wood such as Cedar (Zeder), eucalyptus or Thuja as they can cause health problems
Never use wood that has been treated for example telephone poles or railway sleepers.
Boeries, Biltong and Braai spices
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