Status: 07.12.2023, 19:48 PM
By: Sandra Sporer, Alina Schröder
From fairy lights to door wreaths: Christmas decorations make your home much cosier. But depending on the choice of seat, there may be legal consequences.
Munich – First of all, one thing should be made clear: You can decorate as much as you want within your own four walls – this also applies to rental apartments. However, consumers should always keep an eye on the issue of safety. A supposedly harmless string of lights can quickly become dangerous. In addition, the Christmas decorations outside the home should be distributed rather discreetly. Because different rules apply there.
In your own home, there are hardly any limits to the decoration at Christmas
Tenants should first ask themselves whether the decoration could disturb someone or whether it poses a danger. In your own apartment or house, there is almost no risk of bothering other residents. Even the landlord cannot prohibit Christmas decorations in the apartment.
"The case law assumes that the use of lighting elements is now a widespread custom that is part of the contractual use of the rented property," the landlords' association informs on its blog. This refers to a judgment of the Local Court of Eschweiler and the Regional Court of Berlin. However, there are limits to one's own creativity if there is a risk that the home will be damaged, for example by a fire caused by negligence.
Fairy lights, Christmas trees and the like are no problem within your own four walls. You should be more careful in the garden, on the balcony or in the stairwell. Otherwise, there is a risk of legal consequences. © Tanya Yatsenko/Imago
In principle, fairy lights and other decorations can be hung on the balcony. However, care should be taken to ensure that they do not disturb any neighbours. In this case, the landlord can actually request that the decoration be removed, according to the landlords' association. In case of doubt, this right can also be enforced. To avoid this, it is advisable to respect the applicable quiet hours and turn off or at least dim the lights between 22 p.m. and 6 a.m. Despite the decoration of fairy lights, this saves electricity and thus ultimately money.
Disturbing decoration – landlord may require that fairy lights be switched off
If the neighbor's lighting is brighter than usual and shines directly into your own bedroom, this can be perceived as a nuisance. In such cases, tenants should first seek a conversation and inform the landlord. If nothing changes and there is a significant impairment, a rent reduction can be claimed.
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Fancy a voyage of discovery?
As a matter of principle, you should keep your hands off facades. As a rule, these are not part of the rental property, as mietrechtlexikon.de clarifies. Attaching Christmas decorations is therefore generally taboo in this place. Prior consultation with the landlord is essential in this case.
Not every decoration is allowed in the stairwell, even at Christmas time
In stairwells, there is not only the risk that residents will feel disturbed. Bulky decorative objects are also a hindrance. "In the worst case, they could block escape routes," said owner representative Julia Wagner in an interview with Focus Online. Before tenants decorate here, they should therefore coordinate with the neighbourhood in the house. However, attaching a Christmas wreath to your own door is harmless.
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The editor wrote this article and then used an AI language model to optimize at her own discretion. All information has been carefully verified.