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Old 27.03.2009, 20:59
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Neighbour dispute?

Here is something interesting (or unusual). Perhaps people can give some advice on this:

A friend of mine moved into a PPE in a village near Zurich. The PPE consists of 4 (connected) houses with 6 covered parking places and an uncovered parking lot where each house owns 1 parking space (as specified in the 'register de foncier'). Each of the 6 covered parking spaces belongs to one of the 4 houses (as specified in the 'register de foncier'). 2 houses own 1 covered space, while the 2 others own 2 covered spaces. My friend owns one of the houses that comes with 2 covered parking places. I should note that the covered parking places are right in front of the houses, while the uncovered parking spaces are an placed 10 meters away from the building.

The unofficial agreement is to use the parking places in the uncovered parking lot as one parking lot, so everybody can park where he/she wants in the uncovered part. Which is nice when you have vistors.

So far so good.

A few months ago my friend was walking home (I should note here that he does not own a car), and noticed that a car was parked in his covered space. As he did not know whose car it was he informed with the neigbours to find out if it was somebody visiting them. The first neigbours he asked confirmed that it was somebody visiting them but the person would only be there for 5 minutes. The neigbours seemed to be slightly annoyed that he came to ask them about it.My friend thought this was kind of weird. After all it was his parking space, he did not recognize the car (somebody might want to park there for the night), there is an open parking space where places are available, and when his friends and family visits he always gives them instructions on where to park so to prevent cars parking in the wrong place.

A few weeks after that, again a car parked in his covered parking place (while there was enough place in the uncovered open space ). This time he happened to watch the car arriving while doing some work in the kitchen. He went outside and told the people arriving that this was a private parking place and he was expecting some visitors. The people moved their car (it was not just for five minutes). As it turned out these people came to visit the same neigbours (he has had no problems with the other neigbours on this issue).

A few weeks after that it happened again, and my friend just happened to be in the kitchen again and saw the car being parked. Again he went out and told them it was a private parking. The person told him that he would be here for 5 minutes and my friend said ok. Again this was from the same neigbours.

The day after the last incident he received a very upset email from that neigbour telling him that this was not very 'neighbourly' (with not neigbourly the neigbour meant telling people to not use private parking places from other persons) and that he was very dissapointed in having such a neigbour (my friend)).

My friend was a little bit surprised about this. He can understand that sometimes neighbours might want to use his parking place as all the others have two cars while he has 2 covered and 1 uncoverd parking place and no car. But if enough spaces are available in the uncovered area there is no reason for that.

Assuming you can just use (without asking for it) the private covered parking place from somebody else, even when it is for five minutes strikes him as kind of strange. I should point out that these same neigbours are the ones who 'hog' a lot of space in the common storage space under the house, and who have three refrigerators in their own storage space that consume power from the common area (thus everybody pays for their electricity from their refrigerators). My friend has much better relations with the other neigbours and tells me that if this had happened with the other neighbours it had ended differently. When there is a misunderstanding with the other neibours according to him, they usually discuss it and come to an agreement. There have been some misunderstandings but after discussing it, it usually ended with a glass of wine of beer (drinking not throwing). He can understand that people sometimes park in the wrong place and has no problem with that.

But this one neigbour seems to feel entitled to certain things according to my friend. He tried to talk with them about it, but this one neighbour feels he is right and feels that he is singled out. According to my friend they think he is nicer to the other neigbours then them. This is perhaps a missconception as my friend thinks it is because he interacts more with the other neigbours as they have children of the same age. He does not see this one neigbour very often but this has more to do with schedule than with trying to avoid him.

The other neigbours seem to be less confrontational, and in private they told my friend that they not always like how this one neigbour acts, in public however everything is 'fine' and my friend thinks they do not want to be too confrontational with them even when it is sometimes needed (keeping up appearances).

As a result he now gets the 'evil eye' from this one neigbour who now thinks that my friend is really out to get them (which he is actually trying to avoid). It feels a little bit awkward to him and he would like to have a better relationship with them. He could understand it a little bit if the neigbour was an old person who is somewhat inflexible in his behaviour, but his neigbours are in their mid thirties.

Does anybody have any advice for my friend or has similar situations? I think the best solution is to put signs at the covered parking places: 'private parking from family....'

John
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Old 27.03.2009, 21:20
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Re: Neigbour dispute?

This is a typical swiss attitude. Always Me, me, me . Tell the neighbour very nicely that it is a private parking place that was purchased by your friend and is not for public use. A waste of time being nice to such a neighbour. Put a sign up that it is private and unauthorized cars will be towed. " This however is a bit difficult to enforce". I had this problem and what did was to run a bit of chain across with locks that could only be opened by my key. Did this for about two weeks then stopped. It has been over ten years and no one has had the nerve to park on my property anymore. I also told the neighbour if they wanted their guests to have a parking spot then they should have purchased an extra spot. And dont be shy about it.
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Old 27.03.2009, 21:22
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Re: Neigbour dispute?

Welcome to a typically Swiss problem.

Our society needed to go the Amtsgericht to get a solution to it (local court).

It's sort of a case of MY HOUSE, MY PARKING SPACE, MY....

Maybe a friendly clarification would help.

Hope it turns out well
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Old 27.03.2009, 21:31
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Re: Neigbour dispute?

If it is a stubborn neighbour just give him some punch/love and on friendly note invite him for an Apero and discuss the problem over French wine!

Last edited by jacek; 27.03.2009 at 21:44.
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Old 27.03.2009, 21:46
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Re: Neigbour dispute?

If his deed shows him as the owner of that particular parking space tell him to install a parking space lock inside of his parking space. End of dispute..


Last edited by vwild1; 27.03.2009 at 22:01.
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Old 27.03.2009, 23:12
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Re: Neigbour dispute?

So, let's see:

- plenty of parking spaces for everyone
- your friend has no cars and two undercover spaces
- unless he's extremely sociable, the likelihood of needing both undercover spaces for visitors popping in randomnly is surely not that hight


I guess if it was me, I'd prefer to have any cars parked there as often as possible so that any burglars in the area presume someone is home and pick on the neighbour instead.
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Old 27.03.2009, 23:56
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Re: Neigbour dispute?

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I guess if it was me, I'd prefer to have any cars parked there as often as possible so that any burglars in the area presume someone is home and pick on the neighbour instead.
That would be great if space number x was clearly marked as belonging to apartment number y but I'd be surprised if that's the case. I have a similar situation, I own my own apartment and bought 2 parking spaces but I only own 1 car. We have about 30 parking spaces and mine are numbered 12 & 13 which in no way corresponds to my apartment number. Unless a burglar was to sit all day long to watch my space and then to follow me up to my apartment maybe then he might know which one was mine.

But I have to agree with the original poster's friend as I too would be seriously POed if someone was to park in one of my spaces especially after having shelled out 50,000.-chf. for them..!
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Old 27.03.2009, 23:58
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Re: Neigbour dispute?

VWild1 has the right idea.

Whether your friend owns a car, or uses the parking spaces is immaterial. He has paid for those spaces so only he has the right to use them.
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Old 28.03.2009, 00:06
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Re: Neigbour dispute?

So your friend has two covered parking spaces which for the most part he is not using and he is spending his time knocking on doors to find who is using it while visiting.... Seems like he is adapting Swiss attitudes very nicely......

Jim
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Old 28.03.2009, 05:51
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Re: Neigbour dispute?

I like the definition of neighbourly - "Doing what I want". The neighbour is so neighbourly that he sends emails to his neighbour!

I appreciate what others have said - if your friend doesn't use the spaces, why should he care. Well - it's his land. It belongs to him, he's paid for it and he can use it or not use it as he sees fit.

You may not use your garden - but that doesn't mean I can set up deck-chairs on your lawn.

I'd tell the neighbour, face to face, not via email, that in the spirit of neighbourliness, I'd greatly appreciate it if he would ask before using, or allowing his friends to use, my parking space.
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Old 28.03.2009, 06:58
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Re: Neigbour dispute?

I used to get wound up every time I saw a car in my second parking place so I rented it out. Now it isn't my problem any more
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Old 28.03.2009, 07:12
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Re: Neigbour dispute?

If your "friend" wants to go the whole Swiss mile, he can apply for a legal parking protection and have a sign put up indicating that the spaces are for exclusive use of house number X and a CHF200.- fine will apply for illegally parked vehicles.

The cost is under CHF1000.- (plus the sign) and your friend could soon recoup this in CHF200 fines.

This will end all hope of bridging the rift with the parking-happy neighbour, but in my experience this is already a lost cause...

Last edited by AbFab; 28.03.2009 at 11:58.
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Old 28.03.2009, 07:18
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Re: Neigbour dispute?

I agree with MarieZug. He could tell his neighbour that he intends to rent it out as he doesn't need it, but give him first refusal. If the neighbour has lots of visitors he might be glad of the chance to have it and if he refuses and it is being rented to a third party and he still allows his guests to park on it, your friend has a reason for asking for the car to be moved which even he might understand. Otherwise, or if no-one is around who wants to rent it, he'll just have to invite more visitors to pop round to see him. There are several thousand EFers...
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Old 28.03.2009, 07:33
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Re: Neigbour dispute?

Wouldnt signs with "parking privee" and "parking visiteurs" for each spot work? The Swiss seem to abide by signs. Are you in sole or joint ownership.. if the latter raise it at the next meeting.

D
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Old 28.03.2009, 07:56
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Re: Neigbour dispute?

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Wouldnt signs with "parking privee" and "parking visiteurs" for each spot work? The Swiss seem to abide by signs.
Maybe the Swiss abide by the rules but there are so many nasty foreigners here who obviously don't.
Seriously though, our Visitors' Parking Places are clearly marked with the numbers of the houses they belong to, but it sure doesn't stop 'wild parking'. Like the parking places for the Disabled - when questioned, the 'culprit' usually comes us with "well this spot is always empty, so I just thought..."
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Old 28.03.2009, 09:36
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Re: Neigbour dispute?

Your friend has so far done the right thing. He can rest assured that had the situation been reversed, he would have gotten the same treatment or worse. He needs to make it very clear that those spots are his and he does not accept anyone else parking there unless they come and ask him for permission beforehand.

The fact that the neighbour gives him the evil eye is sad but a fact of life when you live in Switzerland. There will always problems with neighbours soner or later in my experience. Better you accept it and spend your efforts and friendlyness with other people instead. If you try the "friendly approach" with your neighbours, you will always be on the loosing end.

Of course, I am not saying you should be rude to your neighbour. You should of course always treat them politely and most importantly, always greet them with a Gruezi, Guten Morgen or Guten Abend.
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