Fact or myth?

Sometimes we are told by neighbours, friends and even the village mayor that new french laws now apply to everyday life and often the advice is contradictory and confusing. Even 2 mayors from adjacent communes can’t always agree the facts!
A couple of examples;
It is now illegal to light a garden fire at any time, not just during the summer and harvest time, without special permission from the mayor which involves form filling.
Then I’m told that burning autumn leaves and garden debris in a suitable incinerator is OK!?

DIY using ‘noisy’ equipment is restricted on Sundays and only allowed between 09.00 and 12.00. A neighbour claims that the gendarmes arrived at 2.00pm on a Sunday and fined him for cutting his lawn!?

I do feel that asking for advice on legal matters from the mayor just results in a view that best serves the keeping of peace!

I’m not really seeking advice on what is legal or not here in the northern Dordogne, as I will just comply with our local mayor’s version of the rules, but just wondered if others are sometimes confused by what they hear about rules and regulations?


I have heard that any diy, mowing of lawns etc is not allowed after midday on a Sunday, but all my neighbours do it, so we do (there are only 5 houses in our Hamlet). I had heard about the fire restrictions, but I’d check with the Mayor.

Thanks Linda, it does happen that you are told about regulations that you must comply with and then find that many households just ignore them!

Another one near to us…
Is it legal to run a vehicle servicing and repair business at your home? I think not!
This property has at any time at least 10 vehicles in various states of repair or abandonment scattered around the outside space with the associated noise of work in progress.
Why is that allowed??

Don’t ask the maire, ask the secrétaire de mairie who is a civil servant who actually knows what’s properly what (and has done a competitive exam to get the job whereas all the maire has done is be related to 75% of the electorate and oil up to the rest).


Just so you know: all the rules are actually posted up at the mairie on a notice-board, usually outside ( where they also put up notices about planning permission, forthcoming marriages, what you can shoot when etc etc).