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Old 29.10.2007, 15:57
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Is this normal?

We moved into this house just 2 over 2 months ago. About 10 meters from us is the house of an eldly retired woman who appreared to be quite a difficult person. We put our Kompost at the border line between our garden and hers and we immediately received a request to move it somewhere else not in her view (not because it is smelly or something but simply because it's not nice there). OK, we can live with this, no problem.

Today I had a friend visiting me and she was smoking at OUR balcony which is some 10 meters from my neighbour's house. Then my neighbour called me from her garden and told me something. First I did not understand, so my friend (who has lived here 9 yrs and speaks the local dialect) took over the conversation. After a couple of minutes, I started understanding that my neighbour was complaining about my friend smoking on our premises but she could smell it from her garden. Then I decided to walk away, I was so angry.

Then my friend told me what my neighbour had told her. She said we are not allowed to smoke in our house or in our garden. We are not allowed to have party in our house because nobody wants the noise and that's how it is in this area. She has been living here 40 yrs and that how it has always been.

Is this woman nut or there is really a rule set by households in certain area? Do they also ban people from making *fa...t* in their own house? I recalled not having come across any rules like this in the contract we signed when we bought the house.

My husband and I are not smoking but what should I say next time when we have somebody visiting and smoking?

Thanks for your comments/ideas.
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Old 29.10.2007, 16:01
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Re: Is this normal?

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My husband and I are not smoking but what should I say next time when we have somebody visiting and smoking?

Thanks for your comments/ideas.
Tell them to quit - like right now...
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Old 29.10.2007, 16:04
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Re: Is this normal?

Sounds pretty standard to me. However, she is not within her rights, the only "law" applicable is what it says in the contract. Invite her over and ask her about how things work around here and if she would mind showing you things like the best way to handle such and such. Old people in Switzerland often feel superfluous so all they do is complain and watch what the neighbours do, it's their sport.

If you make her feel like you in some way depend on her she may turn out to be quite nice. Alternatively, find some common interest or take an interest in hers, often it's just at lack of attention.

Doesn't always work but I would say it's the only chance as we are a stubborn and sadly often passive aggressive bunch sometimes...
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Old 29.10.2007, 16:19
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Re: Is this normal?

[quote=Kittster;123992]Sounds pretty standard to me. However, she is not within her rights, the only "law" applicable is what it says in the contract. Invite her over and ask her about how things work around here and if she would mind showing you things like the best way to handle such and such. Old people in Switzerland often feel superfluous so all they do is complain and watch what the neighbours do, it's their sport.

2 weeks after we moved in, we made visits to a couple of neighbours including her to introduce ourselves. Then we were warned by one neighbour that this woman is quite difficult and unfriendly. This put me off from getting into contact with her. Maybe I shouldn't.

Good to hear that is is smt standard in Switzerland. I did not expect it at all.
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Old 29.10.2007, 16:32
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Re: Is this normal?

Standard is maybe too strong a word, basically every set of flats will have some weird old codger which is sadly often also the "Hausmeister". They can really make you unhappy if you let them, so try and get to know them and if its pointless, make sure you get on really well with the rest. It'll give you more leverage if she goes really loopy.
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Old 29.10.2007, 18:34
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Re: Is this normal?

Kindly tell her to take a jump in the river; by being nice to her you're rewarding and condoning her behaviour. I've had enough of interfering old bats and when the old bat in my block decided to have a physical pop at me once, I had him evicted. Turns out he'd been making life hell for everyone for years.

Live your life without feeling the need to placate the rude: you've done nothing wrong - she owes you an apology if anything. Good Luck
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Old 29.10.2007, 18:37
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Re: Is this normal?

I'm with the lady on all of this.


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We moved into this house just 2 over 2 months ago. About 10 meters from us is the house of an eldly retired woman who appreared to be quite a difficult person. We put our Kompost at the border line between our garden and hers and we immediately received a request to move it somewhere else not in her view (not because it is smelly or something but simply because it's not nice there). OK, we can live with this, no problem.

Today I had a friend visiting me and she was smoking at OUR balcony which is some 10 meters from my neighbour's house. Then my neighbour called me from her garden and told me something. First I did not understand, so my friend (who has lived here 9 yrs and speaks the local dialect) took over the conversation. After a couple of minutes, I started understanding that my neighbour was complaining about my friend smoking on our premises but she could smell it from her garden. Then I decided to walk away, I was so angry.

Then my friend told me what my neighbour had told her. She said we are not allowed to smoke in our house or in our garden. We are not allowed to have party in our house because nobody wants the noise and that's how it is in this area. She has been living here 40 yrs and that how it has always been.

Is this woman nut or there is really a rule set by households in certain area? Do they also ban people from making *fa...t* in their own house? I recalled not having come across any rules like this in the contract we signed when we bought the house.

My husband and I are not smoking but what should I say next time when we have somebody visiting and smoking?

Thanks for your comments/ideas.
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Old 30.10.2007, 09:31
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Re: Is this normal?

Just for clarification,I understand from reading your post you live in a detached or semi-detached house,is this right?

If this is the case, the lady has really no ground to stand on,you are free to do as you please IN and and around YOUR OWN premises,after all NO ONE so far has come up with a law where smoking on a balcony is prohibited or indeed somewhere outside.
You make up your own rules as you live in your own house,it would be different if you were living in rented accomodation,then there would be a set of houserules to follow.But again,they can't be set by the neighbours!!

In regards to the compost,it's understandable,should it be placed so she has the view onto it when sitting on her patio or balcony,that this is not exactly a nice sight and thus she can ask ( NOT COMMAND) you nicely to move it elsewhere.

If everything came/was at standstill for the last 40 years in this particular estate,it does not mean that it has to be so in the future as well.To me it looks very much like a case,where someone has a bit of a problem to accept something new.

If this is a close knitted community with lots of elderly people living there,it might be a bit tricky to make them see that other (younger) people have a different lifestyle than them.

Try to find out if there is a so called QUARTIERLEIST,this is a sort of club of ppl who live on that estate and for example organise a Quartierfest,or if the town wants to build a road through your garden they are the ones to start a petition etc etc. It's abit of a mix between a political organisation and a club.


Also as a home owner you have rights,it would be adviseable to join the HAUSEIGENTÜMER VERBAND

http://www.hev-schweiz.ch/

Should you have further problems with this particular neighbour,they have also a judicial service for the members and it might help if they would act as a mediator.
This is the sort of legal side of where you stand at the moment.

Like i said in another post,communication is everything nowadays.
And you did the right thing by going to meet the your new neighbours and apparently ,this lady is well known for this kind of behaviour or maybe being exluded makes her react like a child,in the way of attention seeking,if no one doesn't want to socialise with her.

It might be worth a try to invite her over for a coffee and ask her how life has been over the past 40 years on this estate.Im my experience elderly ppl like to tell about times long gone and suddenly you are not the 'young' enemy anymore,but a person who's interested in her.
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Old 30.10.2007, 09:43
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Re: Is this normal?

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Kindly tell her to take a jump in the river; by being nice to her you're rewarding and condoning her behaviour. I've had enough of interfering old bats and when the old bat in my block decided to have a physical pop at me once, I had him evicted. Turns out he'd been making life hell for everyone for years.

Live your life without feeling the need to placate the rude: you've done nothing wrong - she owes you an apology if anything. Good Luck
Exactly. Don't pander to them.
What is "stick it up your arse" in the local camped up dialect?
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Old 30.10.2007, 10:08
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Re: Is this normal?

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Tell them to quit - like right now...
Ever helpful advice ad-fab/hugh-abu, what has that got to do with the post? I should have used x2 groans here but there you go.

If you want to slate smokers there's plenty of existing threads for you to do that.

The OP doesn't smoke, but has the decency to treat smokers as human beings and allow them the odd ciggy on the balcony...

I'd probably have a go at talking to her, if you're still getting this rubbish I'd ignore her you've made the effort, she's just got nothing better to do.

She has no right to insist that you cannot use you're balcony in this regard. 10m is hardly a short distance.

Unfortunately I can see this being one of many issues possibly coming up, from what you've said she just seems the type.

Just because someone has lived somewhere 40 years it does not give them the right to inflict their ideals on you.

It's very interesting another neighbour said she can be difficult.

I suggest you take Eastenders advice..
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Old 30.10.2007, 10:30
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Re: Is this normal?

I was not having a go at smokers, smoking was only one issue in the thread. If you simply want to talk about smokers rights, follow your own advice and go to the relevant thread.

The question was "is it normal", and I am saying yes its normal behaviour and also that I agree with the woman.

Simply because my opinion differs doesn't mean that I am being unhelpful.

If the question was phrased "what can I do in a situation like this...." then my answer would have been different.

Come on fella.... we are allowed to differ in our views on this forum surely.
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Old 30.10.2007, 12:29
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Re: Is this normal?

its normal for neighbors to interfere with your things continiously especially if they are old
however this doesnt mean that they have the right to do so
i suggest you talk to her politely and ignore her instructions:just continue do what ever you feel like doing in your house
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Old 30.10.2007, 12:39
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Re: Is this normal?

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I was not having a go at smokers, smoking was only one issue in the thread. If you simply want to talk about smokers rights, follow your own advice and go to the relevant thread.

The question was "is it normal", and I am saying yes its normal behaviour and also that I agree with the woman.

Simply because my opinion differs doesn't mean that I am being unhelpful.

If the question was phrased "what can I do in a situation like this...." then my answer would have been different.

Come on fella.... we are allowed to differ in our views on this forum surely.
Yup of course we can have differing opinions, my opinion is in the main most people couldn't care less about a person having visitors that have the odd fag on a outdoors balcony they have better things to do. The woman is being unreasonable.

It's not even as if the OP is a chain smoker, it's a once in blue moon event.
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Old 31.10.2007, 19:08
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Re: Is this normal?

Just about everyone I know, Swiss and non-Swiss alike have problems with their neighbors. I've only met one woman who said she gets along with her neighbors.... but perhaps she's lying. The Swiss make awful neighbors.
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Old 31.10.2007, 19:18
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Re: Is this normal?

Neighbours can make your life heaven or hell.....
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Old 31.10.2007, 19:19
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Re: Is this normal?

pah! Just ignore her completely, it's obvious that she just wants attention and will do anything to get it. I've had an old neighbor who did the same thing (complaining I was playing football in front of her house as a kid), completely ignored her complaints and after a while she went back inside groveling. You are within your rights to smoke outside on the balcony, if she doesn't like it it's her problem not yours. I cannot stand jerks who have nothing better to do than to police other people and try to apply their standards to others. You should check out your tenancy contract, I can't believe that it would mention you're not allowed to have a party in your own house.

ps. could it be she doesn't like foreigners? or does she pick on the whole neighborhood regardless of origin?
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Old 31.10.2007, 19:20
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Re: Is this normal?

I have no problems with any of our neighbors in Basel for over a year now. We live in an apartment building that everyone owns there own. Everyone keeps to themselves. When we lived in Geneva and rented for 6 years we lived in a 17 floor apartment building with balcony's no one there ever complained either. We are lucky as I have read many threads with these aweful complaining Swiss neighbors. Good luck to all.
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Old 31.10.2007, 19:23
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Re: Is this normal?

I would tell her to go 'f' herself. maybe that is just me. No reason to put up with such nonsense. not sure why people do.

Respect your neigbors, but don't cowtow to their hangups about what you do on your property.
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Old 01.11.2007, 17:59
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Re: Is this normal?

Thanks everyone for your comments/advices (except AbFab whose advice I took as a joke and Hugh Abu whom I can't follow at all).

Just to clarify, we live in our own Freistehen, ein Familienhaus, so there is no rent contract, no direct neighbours at all.

So I called my husband (a Swiss) and told him the story. He then assured me that this is not a standard behavior at all, and the woman is not even Swiss (you can keep guessing where she comes from). Every evening whenever she saw my husband coming home, the first sentence is not "good evening" but "when will you move your compost away". I think she is really sick.

Then my husband called up the couple who sold us this house and they said they had exactly the same experience once they had some guest smoking at the balcony. They were just too nice to tell this woman to shut up and mind her own house.

We have decided to ignore her and to continure enjoying our life in our house.
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Old 01.11.2007, 18:44
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Re: Is this normal?

Good for you Vanee
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