Young people in particular regularly get the dreaded party fever at the weekend. Basically, there is nothing wrong with a great party at the weekend. But you should observe a few rules.

The rumor persists: everyone is allowed to have a party once a year. And without restrictions. But that’s nonsense! There is no right to disturb the peace. You can theoretically party as often as you want, but subject to certain rules.

If you want to get carried away, the neighbors should agree to the party or join in the party directly. Otherwise the regulatory office may be at the door. Paragraph 117 of the Administrative Offenses Act (OWiG) states: “Anyone who causes noise without justifiable cause or to an inadmissible or avoidable extent under the circumstances, which is suitable for significantly disturbing the general public or the neighborhood or harming the health of another person, acts against the administrative order damage”.

Of course, there is also a kind of exception to this rule: there are days when you can celebrate loud(er). For example on New Year’s Eve: On this night it is assumed that almost everyone is still awake after 10 p.m. Even if, for example, international sports events are only broadcast very late, the regulatory office often turns a blind eye. However, the exuberant party should be over half an hour after the end of the game.

When celebrating in your apartment, it is of course up to you whether you invite your smoking guests onto the balcony or accept the unrestrained smoking in your rooms. But everything has limits. If the balcony smokers get the upper hand, the neighbors may be disturbed by the rising smoke. You should avoid that as well as loud music on the balcony.

Tobias Klingelhöfer is a lawyer and has been working as a legal expert for ARAG for many years. As a guest columnist for FOCUS Online, he informs consumers about their rights and obligations in different life situations.

Also make sure that your guests use the ashtrays provided on the balcony. Because a mountain of cigarette butts in the community garden under your balcony will definitely cause trouble in the neighbourhood. Even if a lot of blue haze penetrates from your apartment into the stairwell, this can lead to legitimate complaints from the neighbors. If you celebrate your party in a restaurant, state law applies here. In North Rhine-Westphalia, for example, the ban on smoking in restaurants is very strict and is also rigorously enforced by the security forces at private parties. In other federal states, however, it may be permitted to smoke in separate rooms.

Whether it’s the general exuberance, the party crowd or the high spirits of some of the guests; at almost every party something breaks. It’s good if it’s just a few glasses or the unloved fruit bowl of a long-dead aunt. Annoying when a real Chinese vase from the Ming Dynasty is finished off. It gets really bad when people are injured as a result of thoughtless or negligent actions. According to Section 823 of the German Civil Code, anyone who intentionally or negligently injures another person is obliged to compensate for the resulting damage – this also applies to visitors to a boisterous party. In the case of personal injury or damage to property, several hundred thousand euros can quickly accrue.

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Private liability insurance pays for such damage. The minimum sum insured should not be less than three to five million euros. However, young people under the age of 25 are usually still covered by their parents’ private liability insurance. For particularly large celebrations, organizer liability insurance could also be worthwhile for the host.

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