Disputes around fairy lights

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The district court of Berlin has made a clear statement on this case: It dismissed the eviction action, after a homeowner had terminated his tenant, among other things, because he had attached a Christmas lights on the terrace at Christmas (Az.: 65 S 390/09), The unwanted string of lights justifies therefore no termination.

Whether it is at all a breach of duty, the court in its decision explicitly left open. For it is now a common custom to decorate windows and balconies with electric lighting in the period before and after Christmas. Even if a ban on fairy lights is agreed in the rental agreement and the tenant still creates a Christmas lights, it is a relatively minor offense that could justify neither a termination without notice or a timely termination.

Does the lighting have to be switched off at night?

Light, whether of lamps, spotlights or the Christmas decoration, is an immission within the meaning of § 906 Civil Code. This means that the light must basically be tolerated only if it is customary and does not significantly affect. In principle, the neighbor can not be required to close the shutters or curtains so that he is not affected by the light.
Whether the Christmas lights may also shine at night depends on the individual case. Out of consideration for the neighbors one should switch off in particular flashing lighting, which is visible from outside, at the latest by 22 o'clock. The Wiesbaden district court (judgment of 19.12.2001, Az. 10 S 46/01) has decided in one case that the permanent operation of an outdoor light (bulb with 40 watts) in the dark must not be tolerated.

Hang only tested fairy lights

Only buy fairy lights with the GS mark (tested safety). The trend is the LED technology, which is safer and uses less energy. If you create a Christmas atmosphere outdoors, you should only use products that are specifically designed for outdoor use, recognizable by the sign with the drop of water in the triangle. Additional security is provided by protected extension cords and sockets with circuit breaker.
It should be noted that the decorations pose no danger and in any case are well secured. If fairy lights or other decorative objects are placed on the balcony or on the facade, it must be ensured that they can not fall down. In addition, the renter must ensure that the attachment does not damage the façade or the balcony.


Sparklers sparkle and sparkle so beautifully - but unfortunately not completely harmless

Fire damage caused by sparklers

In addition to the fairy lights, sparklers are also popular at Christmas and New Year's Eve. The latter, however, are not entirely harmless, because the flying sparks are always the cause of room fires, because the sparklers are often lit in the apartment. The insurance does not have to pay for every fire damage: For example, sparklers may only be burned outdoors or over a refractory base, as indicated in the warnings on the packs. On the other hand, if the sparklers were burned in the room, for example over a nativity set with dried moss, then there is gross negligence and the household contents insurance remains without benefit, according to the Offenburg district court (ref.: 2 O 197/02). According to the Higher Regional Court Frankfurt / Main (Ref.: 3 U 104/05), it is not grossly negligent to burn sparklers on a fresh and damp tree. For the general public, according to the court, does not consider sparklers to be dangerous.

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