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Can I have a barbecue on my balcony in Switzerland?

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Can I have a barbecue on my balcony in Switzerland?
What are the rules about having a BBQ on your balcony? Photo by Sina Khansari on Unsplash

What does Swiss law say about grilling on your balcony? Are you allowed to do it - and under what circumstances can your landlord stop you?


With the risk of the coronavirus still ever-present and the stifling heat on the rise, a balcony barbecue is an attractive option right now. 

But is it allowed? The short answer is yes, but you’ll need to check your lease and remember to be a good neighbour. 

Swiss law does not prevent grilling on balconies, but it does prevent producing “excessive emissions” which annoy your neighbours. 



What exactly is ‘excessive’? The law has been drawn purposefully vague on the matter - which basically means it is up to your tenancy agreement and whether or not your neighbour considers it to be ‘excessive’. 

The use of electric, gas or charcoal grills are permitted for most tenants in Switzerland, although some lease agreements restrict charcoal barbecues. 

Before buying a grill, make sure to check your lease agreement. 

Photo: Pexels

If you're going to grill on your balcony, don't go over the top. Photo: Pexels

No restriction on grilling can be put in place without the tenant’s express consent. However you may have signed your tenancy agreement without checking to see the grill rules. 

Some Swiss tenancy arrangements have relatively strict rules - from banning flushing or standing up to pee after 10pm or on weekends - so be sure to check out your lease before you sign anything. 

READ: Ten strange Swiss laws

If you’ve signed a lease which prohibits the use of charcoal grills, you will only be allowed to grill with gas or electric barbecues. 

If there is no such restriction, then your landlord cannot stop you from doing so with any type of grill. 

According to, any restriction in a tenancy agreement needs to be proportionate and not interfere in the lives of either tenants or their neighbours. 

Chatting with your neighbours beforehand and trying not to grill after 10pm - not to mention inviting your neighbour around for a sausage - are ways to cut through any potential tension. 

Put simply, this means that grilling will be permitted as long as you make sure you don’t smoke out your neighbours. 


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