Fallen leaves and wetness can turn sidewalks into slippery slides in the fall. Tenants and owners are asked to eliminate these danger points. Otherwise there may be trouble. FOCUS online says when a high fine applies and what you need to watch out for.

If there is a tree in front of your own property, it has been dropping leaves every minute since the beginning of autumn. This can be fatal for residents.

Because they are responsible for the safe use of the sidewalk. So you also have to take care of clearing the slippery fall foliage. The traffic safety obligation must be observed, otherwise there is a risk of an expensive fine. In addition, claims for damages are possible if a passer-by falls.

“The injured party can demand damages or compensation for pain and suffering,” emphasizes Roland Stecher from the Bremen consumer advice center. As a rule, the owner in front of whose property the sidewalk is located is held liable.

Depends on where the foliage is.

For example, renters may be required to keep adjacent sidewalks clear of leaves and hazards. Namely, when owners transfer the clearing and gritting obligation to their tenants by means of an addition in the rental agreement.

If the owner commissions a company to clear the sidewalk, the obligation to ensure traffic safety lies with the company.

The general rule is that sidewalks must be safe to pass between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. on weekdays and between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. on weekends.

However, more recent case law deviates from this rule. The district court of Berlin ruled in 2005 (Az. 13 O 192/03) that it is sufficient to remove the autumn leaves every six days.

Consumer advocate Stecher recommends sweeping the paths every day if necessary – to protect others.

The Machine Noise Protection Ordinance specifies when certain devices may be used in public spaces. These include leaf blowers, leaf blowers and lawn trimmers. According to the regulation, these devices may be used between Monday and Saturday (on working days) from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Leaf blowers may not be used on Sundays and public holidays. Additional rest periods may also apply in individual municipalities.

Incidentally, these rules also apply to:

hedge trimmers

FOCUS online advises: Ask in the district, in the town hall or in the community which rest periods apply to your location and be sure to stick to the above basic periods. Find out in advance about applicable additional rest periods from the respective municipalities.

Violations of the rest periods usually cost between 35 and 1000 euros, depending on the federal state and the severity of the offence. With a leaf vacuum, users should be prepared for a fine in the lower three-digit range.

In the case of a “fundamental disturbance of the night’s sleep”, individual municipalities can invoke fines of up to 5000 euros (e.g. §117 law on administrative offenses, OWiG).

If companies violate the provisions of the Federal Immission Control Act (BImSchG), for example if several leaf blowers lead to a massive environmental impact at the same time, fines of up to 50,000 euros can apply. This also applies if leaf blowers are not allowed to be used in certain areas for environmental reasons (§ 62 Section 4 BImSchG).

In extreme cases, petrol-powered leaf blowers can generate up to 110 decibels of noise. This is roughly comparable to a jackhammer or a circular saw. Electrically powered devices are significantly quieter.

In many cases and depending on the municipality, they can also be used outside of the quiet times, but no later than 8 p.m. on weekdays.