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I am visiting a friend in Norway, and at the apartment I am staying there is a single balcony, that is used for access by all the apartments of the floor.

In Norway you are not allowed to smoke inside, so I used this balcony for smoking.

Several neighbors have seen me smoking there the past days, and didn't comment anything. But last night, while I was smoking on this balcony, a person from a neighboring apartment asked me if I can smoke elsewhere. I was very surprised with his request, so I didn't question him to justify on which grounds he is asking this.

My question is what are the rights of people on their balcony in Norway? Is it legal to smoke on your balcony? Are there any grounds for this request by the neighbor? Or can I safely ignore his request and continue to smoke on the balcony?

Note that this is the only outside space you can smoke at this apartment, as the only alternative is to go three floors down to get outside the building, which is rather inconvenient to do several times a day.

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. – JoErNanO Sep 29 '18 at 18:16
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As far as I can determine, there's no general law against smoking on a balcony in Norway. However, smoking on balconies seems to be a common source of annoyance among neighbours (see e.g. here) and a housing association may legally forbid smoking on the balconies of its properties (see here and here). You need to check the terms of your rental agreement and house rules. Most of the online discussions I found focus specifically on private balconies and smoke drifting into neighbours' apartments or ventilation systems from a single apartment's balcony. In your case it appears that the balcony is shared among all the apartments, so I would guess that there is a higher chance that smoking is forbidden there.

I was very surprised with his request, so I didn't question him to justify on which grounds he is asking this.

I think it's reasonable to guess that he was asking you because he finds the smell objectionable. If smoking is officially forbidden on the balcony, he may also be asking because he objects to people breaking the rules.

On a pragmatic level, it might be worth noting that Norway has some of the lowest smoking rates in Europe, and smoking isn't a cultural norm to the extent that it is in, say, Greece or Germany. Even if it turns out you have a legal right to smoke on the balcony, you may want to consider whether the inconvenience of leaving the building to smoke is a price worth paying for maintaining good relations with your neighbours.

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. – JoErNanO Sep 29 '18 at 18:16
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While it is generally not illegal to smoke outdoors in Norway (except where children is involved, they have special protections in the law), as a Norwegian myself, I'll note that smoking on shared balconies is considered quite rude by most people, unless you have cleared it with the other users first. Most people in Norway does not appreciate being subject to smoke or the smell thereof.

A housing association may also forbid smoking on common areas in their own regulations. They are not allowed to do so on private balconies though, although your neighbors will still get very annoyed with you if they feel too exposed to your smoke.

In general, as has been pointed out in other answers and comments here, most Norwegians do not react favorably to being exposed to smoke, and the country have strong laws in place to prevent undesired exposure.

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