Your own four walls, your own balcony: Here you can do whatever you want, right? It’s not that easy.
Find out below what you can and cannot do on your balcony in Germany – from smoking to naked sunbathing.
- House rules and law: The barriers to freedom of action
- Naked on the balcony: is that allowed?
- Tightening the cat net on the balcony: What do you have to consider here?
- Smoking on the balcony: the need to be considerate
- Install satellite dish: Generally allowed
- Fairy lights and decoration: Only if used in accordance with the contract
- Laundry drying on the balcony
House rules and law: The barriers to freedom of action
You can do whatever you want in your own four walls. However, they must not violate statutory provisions or the house rules. You will not commit a crime in most activities. However, some procedures are classified as administrative offenses: You can expect a fine here, the amount of which increases with repeated action.
Naked on the balcony: is that allowed?
If you are sunbathing on your balcony, there is nothing wrong with that per se. Excessive sunbathing can, however, be a nuisance to neighbors and other tenants, especially smaller children. If the neighbors complain, you should hid request. Otherwise you face a fine of between five and 1,000 euros.
On the other hand, you also have rights here: you have to live with the eyes of onlookers, but you are not allowed to film neighbors and passers-by while sunbathing naked. To avoid disputes, you should provide the balcony with a privacy screen. Then naked sunbathing is allowed, as long as the house rules do not prohibit this. By the way: it is relatively unlikely that the landlord will be able to terminate you for sunbathing in the nude.
Tightening the cat net on the balcony: What do you have to consider here?
Many cats have a thirst for freedom and therefore want to get fresh air very often. This is not always possible with apartments in the city. That is why many tenants install cat nets on the balcony to prevent the cat from falling.
For tenants, every change to the rented property requires the consent of the landlord. This applies even more if there is a corresponding regulation in the rental agreement.
The landlord may only refuse consent to attach the cat net if there are compelling reasons. This can be a visual impairment of the rented property, for example. A “feeling of being disturbed” by the co-owners and neighbors is sufficient for this. If the tenant attacks the structure of the rented property, the landlord may refuse to give his consent.
Smoking on the balcony: the need to be considerate
You are generally allowed to smoke on your balcony . However, your neighbors have a right to maintain their health. If you disturb your neighbors, for example because cigarette smoke is constantly drawn into the adjoining room, the neighbors can defend themselves against the immissions.
The German courts may oblige you to only smoke on the balcony at certain times. In practice, you are then often only allowed to smoke on the balcony for 12 hours a day. The time windows are determined by the court.
Install satellite dish: Generally allowed
As a tenant, you have the right to watch TV. The landlord may not forbid you to install a satellite dish. However: You must not damage the building structure by drilling holes. For this you need a permit from the landlord. Many rental agreements contain provisions for installing satellite dishes. Most clauses contain permission subject to approval.
In this way, the landlord would like to secure the right to influence the location, type of attachment and size of the satellite dish. In many situations the landlord cannot refuse permission to install a satellite dish. If the house has neither a broadband cable connection nor a parabolic antenna, you can install the satellite dish at your own expense.
▶ However: Choose an optically inconspicuous and technically suitable location for installation. Foreign tenants may have the right to have a satellite dish installed, especially if this is the only way to receive foreign television broadcasts.
Fairy lights and decoration: Only if used in accordance with the contract
If you want to attach decorations such as fairy lights on the balcony, you can do so as a tenant. However: You must not disturb the neighbors with unnecessary exposure to light. In addition, the landlord may forbid you to attach decorations if you damage the structure of the rented property. In the case of decorations that do not leave any traces, however, they are generally allowed.
Laundry drying on the balcony
Some rental contracts or house rules set out clear rules: Drying laundry on the balcony is strictly prohibited. From a legal point of view, however, such regulations are unlawful, the landlord may not refer to them. This also applies if the tenement house has a laundry room.
▶ However: regulations that prohibit the drying of larger items of laundry on the balcony are permissible. Tenants are allowed to dry underwear and socks on the balcony, but not bedding. If you would like to install a drying device on the balcony and you damage the structure of the rented property, the landlord may prohibit this. However, the landlord must generally allow mobile clothes dryers and clothes horse. By the way: if a neighbor feels disturbed by provocative items such as lingerie.