Can I Have a Small Gas Grill on My Patio?

in Legal Issues on by

Some renters who are contemplating summer barbecues and other events may be wondering if they can have a small gas grill on the premises of their apartment unit or housing community. Using a grill of any kind is a controversial part of renting and something that is allowed on a case-by-case basis. Here are some ways to figure out your liabilities with a grilling appliance.

Inspect Your Lease Carefully

The individual lease for an apartment or a housing unit often has provisions for outdoor cooking, including limitations or restrictions on a small gas grill or other grill setup. Look for these as well as provisions on smoking and other barbecue related processes that you may looking to include in your summer routine.

Look for Local Laws on Grilling

In some places, a local law or ordinance may prohibit using gas grills, charcoal grills or other items on rental properties. Check with your local government offices or fire department to make sure you comply with what’s on the books in your municipality.

Evaluate Your Safety Environment

Generally, grilling works best in areas without a lot of flammable structures around, including wooden decks or other wooden infrastructure.

Multi-Story Housing

Some of the worst environments for grilling are verandas or terraces on the upper floors of a housing community. Always think carefully before pursuing any kind of outdoor cooking in these areas. Evaluate courtyards and other lower level areas for grilling.

Think about all of the above when you’re considering how to set up outdoor cooking facilities for your summer events. Renters need to realize all of their liabilities for using a small gas grill before they set one up in their building or community.

7 Responses to “Can I Have a Small Gas Grill on My Patio?”

  1. April 04, 2011 at 3:29 pm, marc said:

    Many places will not allow flame grilling at all, which is not necessarily all that bad an idea if you think about it. There are electric grills thought too. They may not be as sexy or even put out as much heat (you need to get more grill than you might think) but you can still ad a smoke box for flavor.


  2. April 16, 2011 at 9:40 am, james said:

    no grills aloud on patios its a community policy violation,your grill must be 10 feet away from your apartment….


  3. June 18, 2011 at 7:14 pm, Tom said:

    How can you say it’s a community policy, it’s not anywhere in our lease that we can’t have a grill!


  4. June 22, 2011 at 9:48 pm, Ivan said:

    I don’t know what communities you guys live in. All large cities have statutes that prohibit the use and storage of charcoal and propane grills and containers. The only exception is electric grills. So it doesn’t even matter whats on the lease.


  5. August 03, 2011 at 1:13 pm, Blind Faith said:

    It doesn’t have to be in your lease. It’s a Fire Marshall (fire law) that states you cannot have any type of grill within 10 feet of any construction within your apartment building whatsoever. As a property manager I’ve had many of these types of tenants that endanger property and have disregard for the safety of other tenants with the excuse “it’s not in the lease”! It doesn’t mean it’s not in the local laws. Be considerate to neighbors as well – charcoal grills using lighter fluid are prohibited by law because of the toxin nature of the inhalation of the fumes in upper level apartments. Again, this does not have to be in your lease. All it takes is a tenant calling the fire department and you can be given either a warning or a citation.


  6. March 16, 2012 at 5:14 pm, Firefighter said:

    This is the national or us code also know as NFPA. 308.3.1 Open-flame cooking devices. Charcoal burners and other open-flame cooking devices shall not be operated on combustible balconies or within 10 feet (3048 mm) of combustible construction.

    1. One- and two-family dwellings.
    2. Where buildings, balconies and decks are protected by an automatic sprinkler system.

    308.3.1.1 Liquefied-petroleum-gas-fueled cooking devices. LP-gas burners having an LP-gas container with a water capacity greater than 2.5 pounds [nominal 1 pound (0.454 kg) LP-gas capacity] shall not be located on combustible balconies or within 10 feet (3048 mm) of combustible construction.

    You must also check local ordinances and follow the one which is most strict, but most local ordinances adopt the national or NFPA code.

    So I guess the National Fire Protection Agency which develops the fire codes forgot about the toxic nature of charcoal grills. Blind Faith


  7. July 13, 2012 at 4:50 pm, Christine said:

    Can you tell me where you found this info? I can’t seem to find it online. Thanks!!!


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