Mowing the garden might seem like an easy routine activity for many people who own a garden or land. Still, Austria wouldn’t be Austria if there weren’t many rules and regulations regarding lawn mowing.
As with any other activities associated with noises, lawn mowing is regulated by the municipalities and is a matter for the local police. Unfortunately, that means you could be getting a visit from the police if you don’t follow the rules. Or worse: a passive-aggressive note from an anonymous neighbour.
Laws vary depending on the municipality, and you can find a list of them divided by state here. Don’t forget to check your own Gemeinde rules.
It is not uncommon for specific areas, for example, condominiums and kleingärten, to have their own (often stricter) rules. So you need to be mindful of your landlord rules, building rules, municipal and state rules.
In Vienna, for example, it is forbidden to use any internal combustion equipment (petrol lawnmowers) at all. It is also not permitted to mow your lawn on Saturdays from 12pm to 12am and all day during Sundays and holidays.
Electric lawnmowers could technically still be used during these times, but the general quiet times (Ruhezeiten) apply.
In Innsbruck, there is a regulation forbidding any “noise-inspiring” house of garden work during weekdays (Monday to Saturday) from 12pm to 3pm and 8pm to 6am, and all day for Sunday and public holidays.
Graz has even stricter rules, including an all-year ban on leaf blowers and leaf vacuum cleaners. For lawn mowing and any other work that makes noises, the ban is from Monday to Friday from 7pm to 7am, on Saturdays from 12pm to 3pm, and 7pm to 7am and all day on Sunday and public holidays.
In Salzburg, garden tools powered by combustion are also forbidden, like leaf blowers. In addition, in general, lawn mowing is only allowed from Monday to Saturday from 8am to 12pm and from 2pm to 7pm and on Sundays and public holidays from 10am to 12pm.
Austria’s third-largest city Linz is one of the few where there are no specific regulations on lawn mowing – though the Ruhezeiten rules still apply just like any building and Verein regulations that might rule the particular area where you live.
There are no specific regulations in many smaller cities that might get you in trouble with law enforcement.
However, especially where the communities are tighter, it is important to keep in mind how much Austrians value their “quiet times”, the contact with peace and quiet in nature, especially as spring makes it possible to enjoy some sun in their balconies and backyards again.
In doubt, it doesn’t hurt to ask for any unwritten rules that might exist.
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Rasenmähen – lawn mowing
Ruhezeiten – quiet periods
Gemeinden – municipalities
Verordnungen – ordinances
Verbrennungsmotoren – internal combustion engines