Barbeque in a condominium: here are the rules and regulations to respect


Emma Potter

With the arrival of spring, barbeques and grills on the terrace or in the garden become almost inevitable moments of conviviality. However, while enjoying the pleasure of outdoor cooking, it is essential to ensure that the use of the barbecue is not unwelcome or harmful to other residents.

Fumes and odors can easily invade nearby homes, causing discomfort and possible tension.

What are the regulations to follow to avoid unpleasant condominium disputes? How can the right to tranquility and healthiness of common areas be respected?

Let's discover together the rules and practical advice to best manage these situations.

Smoke and emissions: what the law says

The owner of a real estate unit in a condominium who uses the barbecue causing smoke emissions has the duty to respect the tolerability limits established by the art. 844 of the Civil Code.

Article no. 844

The owner of a property cannot prevent the introduction of smoke or heat, fumes, noises, shaking and similar propagations deriving from the neighbor's property, if they do not exceed normal tolerability, also taking into account the condition of the places.
In applying this rule, the judicial authority must reconcile the needs of production with the reasons for ownership. It can take into account the priority of a certain use.

If the smoking exceeds this limit, the neighbor can request its cessation, as established by the Court of Nocera Inferiore on 17 July 2000.

Smoke and odor emissions must be such as to do not cause significant disturbance, making the quality of life of neighbors unsustainable. It is not necessary for the smoke to cause concrete damage, as it is sufficient that it is capable of causing disturbance.

In the judicial context, the judge can base his conviction on various types of evidence, including witnesses describing the effects of the emissions. Furthermore, legal action can be taken by both the condominium owner and the tenant.

If the emissions are unbearable and frequent, the judge can oblige the owner of the barbecue to take adequate measures to reduce the emissions and, in some cases, to compensate the non-pecuniary damages suffered by the neighbors.

The condominium regulations

Before organizing a barbecue, it is essential to consult the condominium regulations. This document may contain clauses that explicitly prohibit the use of barbecues or limit the cooking of food in private spaces.

Contractual restrictions are legitimate if clearly formulated and accepted by all condominium owners. These rules may impose more stringent limits than art. 844 of the Civil Code, therefore making it irrelevant whether smoke emissions are tolerable.

In the presence of these provisions, each condominium owner can request compliance with the regulation also through legal means, based not on the violation of the right to health, but on the violation of the regulation itself, which protects the tranquility and healthiness of the entire condominium.

The legal distances to be respected

If the barbecue used consists of a masonry building with an adjoining chimney pot, it must be classified as an oven and, consequently, art. 890 of the Civil Code.

Article n° 890
Distances to harmful or dangerous factories and warehouses

Who near the border, even if there is a wall on it partition, he wants to build ovens, fireplaces, salt warehouses, stables and similar, or wants to place wet or explosive materials or in any other way harmful, or implant machinery, for which it can arise risk of damage, must observe the distances established by regulations and, failing that, those necessary to preserve the funds neighbors from any damage to solidity, healthiness and safety.

This article provides that, for the construction of ovens or fireplaces near borders, the distances established by municipal regulations must be observed or, failing that, sufficient distances must be adopted to avoid dangers to solidity, healthiness and safety.

This implies an absolute presumption of the harmfulness or danger of chimneys, which can only be overcome by adopting appropriate precautions, which vary based on concrete situations.

In the case of mobile barbecues, it is still necessary to respect the regulations on inputs, legal distances and any provisions contained in municipal and condominium regulations, to avoid conflicts and guarantee responsible use.

What the condominium administrator can do

The art. 1131 of the Civil Code establishes that the condominium administrator, within the limits of the powers established by article 1130 or of the greater powers conferred on him by the condominium regulation or by the assembly, has the representation of the participants and can take legal action both against the condominiums and against third parties.

Article no. 1131

Within the limits of the established powers ((from article 1130)) or of the greater powers conferred on him by the condominium regulations or by the assembly, the administrator represents the participants and can take legal action against both the condominium owners and third parties.
You can be sued for any action concerning the common parts of the building; he will be notified of the provisions of the administrative authority which refer to the same object.
If the summons or provision has a content that goes beyond the administrator's powers, he is required to inform the condominiums' meeting without delay.
The administrator who does not fulfill this obligation may be revoked and is required to pay damages.

In the presence of intolerable emissions, theadministrator can intervene legally if the inconveniences affect the common parts of the building or if a clause of the condominium regulation relating to emissions is violated.

One of the main tasks of the administrator is to guarantee compliance with the condominium regulations, thus protecting the tranquility and healthiness of the entire condominium.


To avoid unpleasant disputes related to the use of the barbecue in a condominium, it is essential to know and respect the regulations in force, both at a legislative and regulatory level.

The art. 844 of the Civil Code establishes the limits of tolerability of the introduction of smoke and odors, and if these limits are exceeded, neighbors can request the cessation of the nuisance activities and, if necessary, obtain compensation.

Furthermore, it is important to consult the condominium regulations, which may contain specific restrictions on the use of the barbecue. Finally, the condominium administrator plays a crucial role in ensuring compliance with the rules and resolving any conflicts.

By following these tips, you can enjoy the pleasure of barbecues in a responsible and respectful way towards other condominiums.