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Old 08.04.2011, 11:02
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Smoking Barbecues on Balconies - What are the rules in CH

With all the wonderful weather recently, I have lit the barbecue on my balcony, of course having spoken in advance to my neighbours upstairs to ask if it is okay, always a day in advance.

What I am not sure of is if I am breaking a rule I was not aware of? Is there an unwritten etiquette or hard and fast rules on the matter.
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Old 08.04.2011, 11:06
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Re: Smoking Barbecues on Balconies - What are the rules in CH

No "rules in CH" that you need to worry about, just make sure you're not breaking a house rule.

If your neighbours are OK with it, you should be fine. It may be a good idea to make them complicit in your lawlessness by inviting them round for the first barbecue.
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Old 08.04.2011, 11:10
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Re: Smoking Barbecues on Balconies - What are the rules in CH

Best if you could point an electric fan to the grill to blow off the smoke away from your neighbor above you.
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Old 08.04.2011, 11:13
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Re: Smoking Barbecues on Balconies - What are the rules in CH

General feeling is that if your balcony is under another - then you should use a girl's (gas) BBQ.

If you don't the neighbours may get tetchy, but worst of all you might have sooty stains on the ceiling which might prove challenging to remove.
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Old 08.04.2011, 11:18
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Re: Smoking Barbecues on Balconies - What are the rules in CH

Just backing up what Ittigen has already said - check your contract.

Mine clearly states no grilling on the balcony. I checked with the hauswart and even a gas BBQ is a big no-no.
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Old 08.04.2011, 11:21
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Re: Smoking Barbecues on Balconies - What are the rules in CH

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General feeling is that if your balcony is under another - then you should use a girl's (gas) BBQ.
With a lid.
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Old 08.04.2011, 11:26
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Re: Smoking Barbecues on Balconies - What are the rules in CH

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There is no law against grilling on your balcony.

But there are usually house rules explicitly forbidding grilling on the balcony.

You should have received an extra sheet of paper (Usually with blue printing) with your rental contract, giving you all the rules.

Your neighbours might agree this time, but you will probably find their patience will wear very thin and very quickly. After a verbal and a written warning from the agency, you can be thrown out of your apartment.
I asked the land lord on moving in and there were no rules, which struck my wife and I as strange at the time, but that been said we have a very decent blend of local Swiss and expats all living in harmony.

The only reasion I thought to post the discussion, was the other day there was a bit of wind and every time I took the lift of, a cloud of smoke billowed down the street and other folk had their windows open and I felt I was really crossing a line.

That being said the meat was perfectly cooked, nothing burnt. Honestly!
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Old 08.04.2011, 11:43
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Re: Smoking Barbecues on Balconies - What are the rules in CH

Hi,

According to the Mieterverband (tenants association), from a legal standpoint grilling on the balcony cannot be forbidden via the house rules:

http://www.mieterverband.ch/fileadmi...terhof2010.pdf

However there is a requirement to have consideration for your neighbours - i.e. "Rucksichtpflicht" - so if the neighbours complain about smoke from your BBQ you have to do something about it.

When we lived in Basel we were on the top floor with a large balcony so I used to BBQ with briquettes - though the only major smoke was when lighting the BBQ; once the charcoal is hot enough to cook there will be little smoke. Since we came to ZH we have neighbours above and I keep the charcoal grill in the cellar - instead we got a gas "City Grill" which while not as good as charcoal is a reasonable compromise. The other thing is the other apartments in the complex we live in are quite closely situated and I prefer not to upset the natives.

We hope to eventually find a house with a garden and I will go back to charcoal then (steak on a gas grill is not the same....).

If you want to use charcoal, I would chat with your neighbours to see if a compromise can be reached - e.g. perhaps save the grilling for when they are out or so. [Edit: Just re-read your first post - if your neighbours are cool about it then should be fine].

Cheers,
Nick
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Last edited by nickatbasel; 08.04.2011 at 11:55. Reason: Added bit about chatting to your neighbours
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Old 08.04.2011, 11:47
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Re: Smoking Barbecues on Balconies - What are the rules in CH

I've got a gas grill and a wood/charcoal fired smoker on my small balcony near the kitchen, but I do live on the top floor, and face the woods where there is a public grilling area, and have never had a problem in the 21 years I've lived here.

Tom
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Old 08.04.2011, 11:51
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Re: Smoking Barbecues on Balconies - What are the rules in CH

Glad to see that the majority are in favour of using the charcoal over the gas grills, its like swimming with a rain coat.

I will stick to the courage of my convictions and continue to light up on the balcony until such time as the firebrigade bust down the door or I burn the place down, in which case I have house insurance.
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Old 08.04.2011, 11:54
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Re: Smoking Barbecues on Balconies - What are the rules in CH

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There is no law against grilling on your balcony.

But there are usually house rules explicitly forbidding grilling on the balcony.

You should have received an extra sheet of paper (Usually with blue printing) with your rental contract, giving you all the rules.

Your neighbours might agree this time, but you will probably find their patience will wear very thin and very quickly. After a verbal and a written warning from the agency, you can be thrown out of your apartment.
God, I bet you're fun at a BBQ.
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Old 08.04.2011, 11:57
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Re: Smoking Barbecues on Balconies - What are the rules in CH

if you must smoke a barbecue on the balcony don't throw the butts onto the street else you'll end up with a full mailbox.
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Old 08.04.2011, 12:08
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Re: Smoking Barbecues on Balconies - What are the rules in CH

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The only reasion I thought to post the discussion, was the other day there was a bit of wind and every time I took the lift of, a cloud of smoke billowed down the street and other folk had their windows open and I felt I was really crossing a line.
Maybe lay off the beans next time?
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Old 08.04.2011, 12:10
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Re: Smoking Barbecues on Balconies - What are the rules in CH

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God, I bet you're fun at a BBQ.
Yes I am quite good fun at a barbecue. And thanks for avoiding the groan button!

If someone asks for advice I give it. If they don't ask I shut up. If I can't give good advice I shut up. Just about all my answers are based on personal experience, backed up, when reasonable, by quotations or Internet links.

I thought, mistakenly, a major activity here is to help newcomers settle in. If the OP had stated in his first post he had discussed it with the landlord, I would not have answered. In fact I am now going to delete my post as it is now irrelevant.
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Old 08.04.2011, 12:50
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Re: Smoking Barbecues on Balconies - What are the rules in CH

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Glad to see that the majority are in favour of using the charcoal over the gas grills, its like swimming with a rain coat.
Well, it's like swimming in a raincoat and an outboard engine... gas has it's upside which is that you can barbecue in record time and do not need to wait for the grill at all.

We only got one because our last landlord told us to - explicitely. But once we had it, we loved to use it on pretty many nice weekday evenings as it is so much faster and more convenient than charcoal.

Not the real deal, but still far better than a frying pan.
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Old 08.04.2011, 13:05
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Re: Smoking Barbecues on Balconies - What are the rules in CH

Charcoal is best no doubt, BUT

Living in an appartment with other people you have to think about the smoke and gaz is much better in that case.

We have a neighbour on the ground floor who do BBQ everyday from this time of the year until late fall. Everyday meat on the BBQ.

I love the smell! So I have no problem to have the smell coming up to us (not like a cigarette smell, that's an other story)

We had some trouble with the guy for a few times because he decided to use is charcoal instead of his super mega hightech gas one. Surely it was for the taste....

The problem was that our whole appartment smelled like smoke, burn and I was choking my lungs out in deep asthma attack because each time he didn't say anything and just did it. Every neighbours around had to close their windows at 33 degrees outside, kids were going in the houses, etc. It was terrible. We told him, he didn't care and told us so. We asked him to put his charcoal at the edge of the backyard where the smoke wouldn't bother anybody instead to put the charcoal right under balconies...

He told us off.

We called the Landlord and since, he is not allowed to use his charcoal. It could have been so much simpler.... But he thought he had more rights to burn his meat on a charcoal than to people to breath fresh air.

So my advice, keep your charcoal for a picnic out in places where you can use it and invest in a good gaz one. You won't have any trouble with your neighbours.

Have a good BBQ fest this summer!
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Old 08.04.2011, 13:36
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Re: Smoking Barbecues on Balconies - What are the rules in CH

For ease, I reluctantly changed to a gas grill a few years ago - much easier/quicker for spur of the moment grilling.
Mine, like a lot, use lava rock. The secret is to never change them (the stones). After time, where all the previous meats' fats and juices have dripped onto them and soaked in, means that everytime you fire the grill up, the gas flame will produce suffient smoke from the heated stones to give a semi-authentic chargrilled flavour (much better than the artificial one that MickeyD's use from time-to-time, to try to imitate BK).

Fortunately, living in the countryside I can still have a wood fire and do some proper smokey grilling. Often in the autumn to coincide with Halloween and Guy Fawkes (convenient for damp leaves disposal, which can really piss off the neighbours).
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Old 08.04.2011, 14:32
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Re: Smoking Barbecues on Balconies - What are the rules in CH

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if you must smoke a barbecue on the balcony don't throw the butts onto the street else you'll end up with a full mailbox.
Good point, I would only get my butt's out once the sun has gone down.

I would have though that nudity and a barbecue would be pushing the neighbours pateience.
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Old 08.04.2011, 14:59
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Re: Smoking Barbecues on Balconies - What are the rules in CH

I'd go with what Nil said.

Personally, if the smoke was pouring into my apartment I would put up with a neighbour having a charcoal BBQ on their balcony once or twice, and then I'd be unhappy.

Whatever others on here think, I would not wait until the neighbours complain (even if they have been happy up to now) to see if your continued charcoal BBQs are acceptable to them but I would put the onus on you to go and ask them periodically.

Good neighbourly relationships can be wrecked easily, especially if you start out on the wrong foot.

Last edited by Tom1234; 08.04.2011 at 16:34. Reason: I cannot write engleesh properly
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Old 08.04.2011, 16:31
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Re: Smoking Barbecues on Balconies - What are the rules in CH

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every neighbours around had to close their windows at 33 degrees outside, kids were going in the houses, etc. It was terrible. We told him, he didn't care and told us so. We asked him to put his charcoal at the edge of the backyard where the smoke wouldn't bother anybody instead to put the charcoal right under balconies...

He told us *censored* off.
OMGWTFBBQ!! a
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