Are there any laws for having a garden barbecue in France?

Sarah Bright-Thomas of Bright Avocats answers a reader query in the August edition of Connexion .

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Are there any rules governing barbecues in France that we should know about? H.L.

Generally speaking, there are no rules against having the occasional barbecue in your garden, though this can be subject to local bylaws – so, to be sure, you should check with your mairie.

In some areas, barbecuing is limited to certain days or times, and in some parts of France they are banned during dry periods to avoid risk of fires, especially if you live near to woods.

Do also be aware that if the barbecue is installed against a separating wall with your neighbour, their permission is needed if it is a party (shared) wall.

If you live in a shared-ownership building, such as flats, you should consult the copropriété regulations – or check with your syndic – as there may be a ban on barbecuing on your terrace or balcony, or in communal areas such as gardens.

If it is allowed, however, avoid doing it too often if it may risk bothering your neighbours with fumes and smells. This could be seen as grounds for a “nuisance” complaint, which can potentially lead to prosecution and fines.

More on Everyday Life in France: what to do if your neighbours are burning garden waste

Also, take care with flying cinders or smoke that could damage the façade. Avoiding neighbour “nuisance” applies equally if you live in a detached home, especially if your barbecue is situated near to a neighbour’s boundary.

Tel: 05 61 57 90 86

If you have a legal query, send it to We select questions for answer every edition.

So you've got the go-ahead to barbecue, now onto food. Try these classic French recipes:

French Ratatouille


Scrambled eggs with cantal and green asparagus

And to drink: the new canned rosé breaking French drinking taboos

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