Eaves right

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The eaves right is a term used in the organization of authorities and courts in the late Middle Ages and early modern times up to the 17th century.

It describes the right of a house owner to investigate and, if necessary, punish matters that have occurred inside the eaves of his house and thus define his official authority.

The eaves were seen as the area that (in addition to the base area of ​​the respective building) reached from the outer wall of the building to the line drawn through the drops of water falling from the roof (the eaves). The size of the eaves depended on how big the building was and how far the roof protruded from its outer wall.


The law is a form of domiciliary right . The eaves marked the boundary of the Hofstatt, their rights and their peace. This definition was relevant when it came to determining whether behavior outside the house but still inside the eaves was to be assessed as trespassing .

The house owner was entitled to the right of the eaves if he was a free owner , otherwise to the manor to which this house belonged. How far this right went and who actually had it varied and changed over time.

The eaves could also have economic importance outside of the organization of the authorities if they defined authorization zones: "wil ieman win verchoufen, the sol in give with the bucket outside the tachtroufe" (if someone wants to sell wine, he should give it with the bucket outside the eaves) .

In Styria , the roof right was a privilege in the 16th century that all landlords were entitled to. The landlord exercised full lower jurisdiction within an eaves . The Styrian regional court order, which was published by Archduke Karl in Graz on December 24th, 1574 , recognized the freedom of the landlord before the personal intervention of the regional judge in punishing the criminal cases occurring within the eaves.

Differentiation from eaves right

The eaves law has nothing to do with the drainage law to do, also called umbrella law. The eaves right is the right to divert water running off a roof onto another property (or the obligation to design a roof so that this does not happen).


Individual evidence

  1. For example, according to the 4th title of Tractatus De Juribus Incorporalibus 1679 ( Memento of the original from December 27, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. §. 3. The same are all punishments / change / and maturities / from shame / scolding / ruffing, rumor and other similar deals that go under the roof / and not in open alleys and streets / are still judicially based on the land / belong to the landlord . @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / repoestrg.info
  2. a b c Jakob and Wilhelm Grimm : German Dictionary (DWB). Volume 2 Beer Killer Dwatsch. Leipzig 1860. Keyword “roof eaves”. Column 670, line 12. Reprint from Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag . Munich 1991. dtv 5945. ISBN 3-423-05945-1 . Structure quoted from: The digital Grimm - Electronic edition of the first processing. Version 12/04. Verlag Zweausendeins , Frankfurt am Main. Competence center for electronic cataloging and publication processes in the humanities at the University of Trier in conjunction with the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences. ISBN 3-86150-628-9 .
  3. ^ Mell: Criminal Courts , Page XXVI.
  4. ^ Mell: court descriptions , page XXXII (L.-G.-O. = regional court order, IT = 1st part).
  5. Grimm: German Dictionary , Volume 2, Column 665, Line 73.