There are few aromas that evoke the feeling of summer more that meat sizzling over the barbecue coals.

When you buy a property in Spain you want to make the most of outdoor living that you don’t often get to enjoy in the UK. Outdoor living and dining are a quintessential element of the Spanish lifestyle but it’s wise to check the regulation where you live before lighting the barbie on your balcony or terrace.

While there is no national Spanish law the prohibits BBQs in private spaces, certain local town halls or community regulations pale limits on where and when people can use grills. For example, some municipalities ban gas BBQ’s during the summer because they pose a fire risk while in Madrid, lit grills must be at least five metres from the façade of the nearest neighbour.

If you live in an urbanisation or gated community your neighbourhood will lilely have its own rules of dos and don’ts which could include a on balcony or roof terrace BBQs. If in doubt, its safer to request a copy of the local ordinance from the community president.

It’s also important to know that if you opt for a built-in BBQ on your property rather than a portable one, a permit must be sought from the local council and the resident association should be informed.

The overreaching consideration must be Spanish Property law which prohibits homeowners and tenants from carrying out any activity that could be considered “annoying, harmful, dangerous or illegal”. When applied to garden grilling, the legislation explains that for the activity to be considered annoying its use must be continuous and excessive or cause damage to property or neighbours.

Given the broad interpretation of the terms it’s worth noting that a homeowner can file an formal complaint at any time if smoke form a BBQ is bothering them.

For most residential communities barbecuing is a socially accepted part of living in Spain and is widely tolerated if it doesn’t become a nuisance

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