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Barbecue grills on balcony

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ariastar

Member
What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? California

We're nine months into our year-long lease. We just got a notice this morning that all barbecue grills must be removed from the premises in the next 30 days under threat of termination of residency. Now I'm curious if they can require all tenants to throw away personal property, or if they are responsible for compensating for this. I can understand requiring someone to get rid of a prohibited item bought after prohibition, but it seems like requiring people to get rid of property bought before prohibition should be allowed, at least until the end of the lease period. I'm a bit angry right now that they want us to throw away a pricey (for us) barbecue grill we wouldn't have bought if it were prohibited before we bought it. $200 is $200 in today's economy, and I can't stomach throwing away a four-month-old grill, basically throwing away $200. Can we make them compensate us for it or withhold it the cost from out rent next month so we can replace the grill when we move?
 


HomeGuru

Senior Member
What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? California

We're nine months into our year-long lease. We just got a notice this morning that all barbecue grills must be removed from the premises in the next 30 days under threat of termination of residency. Now I'm curious if they can require all tenants to throw away personal property, or if they are responsible for compensating for this. I can understand requiring someone to get rid of a prohibited item bought after prohibition, but it seems like requiring people to get rid of property bought before prohibition should be allowed, at least until the end of the lease period. I'm a bit angry right now that they want us to throw away a pricey (for us) barbecue grill we wouldn't have bought if it were prohibited before we bought it. $200 is $200 in today's economy, and I can't stomach throwing away a four-month-old grill, basically throwing away $200. Can we make them compensate us for it or withhold it the cost from out rent next month so we can replace the grill when we move?


**A: read the notice again. I believe it states remove NOT throw away the grill.
Do you live in a building that is constructed of wood and paint that could possibly catch on fire?
 

ariastar

Member
Where else can the grill go other than be thrown away? We have no local family, and our friends in the area all live in apartments without even balconies or patios. So our option is to throw it away. Driving 350 miles to take it to the nearest person we know with a house is out of the question financially.

Open-flame cooking devices can't be used within ten feet of a combustible construction, according to the California fire code. The balcony is large enough to have the grill be 10 feet from the building. The floors below us have the next floor's balcony over them. Ours, being on the top floor, is open to the sky above, not another balcony. I measured and the closest distance between the side of the grill closest to any part of the building is 10'3". We're not talking about the grill being a couple feet from the building. If it were that small of a balcony, we wouldn't have bought one out of common sense, and part of the allure of a top floor for us was that there as no balcony above to make it a stupid idea to have a grill (hello to fumes and smoke wafting inside!).
 
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ecmst12

Senior Member
Charcoal or gas? Clean it up really well, if it's gas disconnect it, take it inside and store it in your apartment, in a closet or something.
 

HomeGuru

Senior Member
Where else can the grill go other than be thrown away? We have no local family.


**A: good freaking grief. Have you not heard of charitable organizations such as Boy Scouts, churches, Goodwill, homeless people etc.

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Open-flame cooking devices can't be used within ten feet of a combustible construction, according to the California fire code. The balcony is large enough to have the grill be 10 feet from the building. The floors below us have the next floor's balcony over them. Ours, being on the top floor, is open to the sky above, not another balcony. I measured and the closest distance between the side of the grill closest to any part of the building is 10'3".
**A: it does not matter what the building code states, if the owner's insurance company mandates no grills, then no grills.
 

dolebot

Member
I think the regulation is: NFPA 1:10.11.7 and other parts of the NFPA code. Its not law, but most municipalities incorporate what the NFPA says into their local codes. In FL we modified it a bit to say any charcoal or gas barbecue grill above the first floor is not permitted.

Unless its electric your not that smart to cook out there anyways. You're going to get yourself and your whole family and a bunch of other folks in the building killed by either burning the whole place down, or suffocating them later on when the carbon monoxide builds up, which doesn't "float away", but hug the ground, goes back into your house and into the other residents below you. There is a reason for the NFPA to keep you from having a balcony grill.

As Homeguru says - the building code doesn't matter. You have to abide by your landlords rules in the lease which probably say something like "tenant must obey local law" or "tenant must not cause an unsafe condition" - violating the NFPA code is probably unsafe in my eyes and there is no exception for "open-air balconies" as the mechanics of CO poisoning are such that it doesn't matter- the specifics don't really matter. The landlord doesn't want grills out there, so you can't have one. Put it inside! Or chuck it. Deal with it, your not going to get anything out of it.

I ALWAYS call the fire department whenever I see someone grilling on their patio - the fire department comes and charges the resident for the convenience call of bringing out the fire trucks.
 

Who's Liable?

Senior Member
Typical in most, if not all, complexes now... Surprised this is even an issue...

This request is an insurance liability issue for the building complex... There have been MANY complex fires started from tenants leaving their grills and catching balconies on fire...

The real question is if OP wants to spend $30/mo. for storage OR $500K+ for the complex burning down.

Placing the grille inside the unit as one suggested is still a violation of the order to remove the grille, as the OP stated the grille must be removed from the premises.
 

tdelker

Junior Member
Have you asked them if disconnecting the tank is sufficient to comply? Or if there is a storage locker that you can store it in?

Try talking with them and see if they'll help you. That's always the first place to start? But being over-dramatic, insisting you are going to have to 'throw' it away isn't going to make you any friends over in the office, and if you've already told them this, you might have lost your chance for a bit of help from them.
 

ariastar

Member
At the end of summer, these things fetch nothing on CraigsList.

It's a charcoal grill, and allowed in our lease. The terms in the lease state that coals must be disposed of in a a plastic bag in another plastic bag in the garbage, and coals must not be left unattended. This is why I'm peeved. It's in our lease. Are they not supposed to either grandfather in what's already there or wait until a lease is up to enforce new rules? How can it be allowable for them to change the terms of the lease?
 

dolebot

Member
Wow, your lease really lets you barbecue on a balcony? Or is it on the "grounds" and you must remove the waste from the public areas.

I'm shocked that anyone would be so retarded to write that in a lease with such a huge fire risk and the CO potentially killing everybody. Maybe its a lease from the '50s?
 

ariastar

Member
On the balcony. It's a large balcony and open above for fumes. As I said, if we have a lower unit that had a "roof" over it (the bottom of the balcony above) we wouldn't have bought one for the concern of fumes being trapped and coming inside. Part of the reason we got a top-floor unit was the openness above it for barbecues.

In the lease, grills are not to be by the front door (which opens to the walk ways), but must be kept on the balcony.
 

xylene

Senior Member
In the lease, grills are not to be by the front door (which opens to the walk ways), but must be kept on the balcony.
When you calmly, rationally, and in writing presented the lease agreement and its clause specifically permitting barbecues... what was the landlords response?

PS - the clause you site is not exactly a permission, it is a prohibition and prescription...
 

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