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Old 23.11.2006, 15:26
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Annoying Swiss Landlord

My husband arrived in CH before me and found us a house out of a choice of about 10. He went for a really nice house which i really like,the only problem is our neighbours are the landlords. He reckons that this seemed to be the norm in Swiss, that your landlord lived next door or pretty near. Somehow I doubted it but thought that hopefully it would be ok.

Well they have started off being very friendly, inviting us for lunch and helping with translations and official stuff but they are slowly starting to annoy me and I am questioning whether i should be annoyed or if i should do something about it.

The problem is they feel the need to drop by whenever they feel like it, most of the time at very inconvenient times, like Sundays and evenings when it is really hectic in my household. Also just sticking their head around the garage door when we have just arrived home. This i suppose would be ok in inself albeit irritating but when they do drop by they normally drop some sort of comment or advice like when the husband noticed the cardboard packing in the garage which had covered the furniture i had just ordered. He wanted to know what we were going to do with it. Perhaps he is worried about it being a fire hazard or something. Then last night the wife came over and asked me what I was washing the glass top cooker with. Also. with two kids hopping around, it is really hard to keep the house constantly clean and tidy in case the landlords pop over. Last week i noticed that loads of leaves had fallen in the garden from the trees but my husband and I did not get the chance to rack the leaves the weekend, then the wife pops her head over the wall to say how busy she has been sweeping up all the leaves that had blown into their drive. Hint, hint. So off i went at a trot to rack the leaves. It is just little things like that. But then there are the nice things like when their kids carved out a pumpkin and left it on our doorstep with a candle in it for the kids.

The hard part of this all is that it is all shadowed in a guise of friendship. So my problem is are they just being friendly or are we going to, at least twice a week, have a landlord inspection. It is just hard to feel comfortable in the home we pay good money for when we constantly have the owner nosing about.

Am I being silly or would you take exception to this too. If so how do i address it without being rude especially since i dont know if they are being friendly or just nosey.
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Old 23.11.2006, 15:51
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Re: Annoying Swiss Landlord

Quote:
My husband arrived in CH before me and found us a house out of a choice of about 10. He went for a really nice house which i really like,the only problem is our neighbours are the landlords. He reckons that this seemed to be the norm in Swiss, that your landlord lived next door or pretty near. Somehow I doubted it but thought that hopefully it would be ok.

Well they have started off being very friendly, inviting us for lunch and helping with translations and official stuff but they are slowly starting to annoy me and I am questioning whether i should be annoyed or if i should do something about it.

The problem is they feel the need to drop by whenever they feel like it, most of the time at very inconvenient times, like Sundays and evenings when it is really hectic in my household. Also just sticking their head around the garage door when we have just arrived home. This i suppose would be ok in inself albeit irritating but when they do drop by they normally drop some sort of comment or advice like when the husband noticed the cardboard packing in the garage which had covered the furniture i had just ordered. He wanted to know what we were going to do with it. Perhaps he is worried about it being a fire hazard or something. Then last night the wife came over and asked me what I was washing the glass top cooker with. Also. with two kids hopping around, it is really hard to keep the house constantly clean and tidy in case the landlords pop over. Last week i noticed that loads of leaves had fallen in the garden from the trees but my husband and I did not get the chance to rack the leaves the weekend, then the wife pops her head over the wall to say how busy she has been sweeping up all the leaves that had blown into their drive. Hint, hint. So off i went at a trot to rack the leaves. It is just little things like that. But then there are the nice things like when their kids carved out a pumpkin and left it on our doorstep with a candle in it for the kids.

The hard part of this all is that it is all shadowed in a guise of friendship. So my problem is are they just being friendly or are we going to, at least twice a week, have a landlord inspection. It is just hard to feel comfortable in the home we pay good money for when we constantly have the owner nosing about.

Am I being silly or would you take exception to this too. If so how do i address it without being rude especially since i dont know if they are being friendly or just nosey.
Believe me when I say they are being incredibly friendly... This is most unswiss, normally they would not be anywhere near so open...
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Old 23.11.2006, 15:59
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Re: Annoying Swiss Landlord

Like Richard I believe they are being friendly. In my experience Swiss landlords do not drop hints, if they want you to do something they will come right out and tell you what needs to be done. When we lived in Neuchatel we lived in the same house as our landlady, this was no problem and she would tell us what to do with our cardboard etc. She also did tell me what product to use to clean some surfaces but in a nice way and I guess as a bit of a warning as you have to pay for all damages when you move out. She told me she didn't want me liable to pay for them through a mistake as I was new in the country at the time and did not know the products or understand the labels.
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Old 23.11.2006, 16:00
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Re: Annoying Swiss Landlord

i don't want to judge bluntly but it sounds nosey to me. i would handle politely but firm, making them to note how important privacy is for you and your family. is not rare that swiss just want to socialise with excuses (recycling, garbage, silence, you name it). they will probably feel offended, but they won't put you on the sidewalk for that. (hopefully)
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Old 23.11.2006, 16:05
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Re: Annoying Swiss Landlord

So you reckon they are just being friendly, then why do i feel as if i am being policed constantly and as if they are constantly looking over my shoulder and dont trust us to look after their house.

I suppose i am being over sensitive as usual. Suppose i just need to deal with it or move on.
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Old 23.11.2006, 16:10
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Re: Annoying Swiss Landlord

Sorry Zombie i was posting at the same time as you so did not see your response. I am definetly tending more towards your conclusion. Being a very friendly person myself i dont mind friendly but i do like my privacy, especially at home.

I especially dont like guests that just drop by without telling you they are coming. Gosh you could be busy with all types of things.
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Old 23.11.2006, 16:17
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Re: Annoying Swiss Landlord

Just because they are being friendly doesn't mean you don't find them intrusive. It's not an easy situation to deal with especially as you don't want to offend them or get them off side. Maybe an invitation to coffee and a wee friendly word about some ground rules needs to be had?
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Old 23.11.2006, 16:30
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Re: Annoying Swiss Landlord

I'd feel a bit intruded on as well in your position.
Never been a fan of the *pop-in* visit even from friends, I don't think having the landlords constantly stopping in unexpectedly would be appreciated.

hopefully you can say something diplomatically without rubbing them the wrong way.
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Old 23.11.2006, 16:34
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Re: Annoying Swiss Landlord

Thanks for all the advice everyone. Now just to find the right words to say. Knowing me I will still be thinking what to say and then the next time they pop over i will just blurt it out and it will all come out the wrong way.
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Old 23.11.2006, 17:00
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Re: Annoying Swiss Landlord

Sounds like being over friendly.

I used to live in a Zurich apartment building with an American renting the downstairs apartment and the landlord living on top. What started out as being friendly, helping out, ensuring that we knew what to do with things etc. turned into them being a real pain in the ass.

He would turn up at any time of the night and day, call about the smallest thing, like he noticed that something was left propped against a wall (saw it through the window), let himself into the apartments without asking (I threatened to call the police about this one) and even walking in on Sarah downstairs and finding her asleep on the bed naked because he had found she had dropped something in the hallway.

I thought it was him (and his wife) just being friendly to start with but as soon as I said something, and later threatened to call the police to report him for entering the apartment illegally, they turned very cold and sometimes agreesive. I had very little to do with him after the first six months, I had a habit of ignoring his phone calls, avoided him in the building etc. and demanded that any request he had regarding the apartment be made in writing (advice of the Mieterverband).

In the end both the American lady and myself were evicted from the apartment building, though we both faught it off for a long time (he was trying to get me out for about 18 months) in the end he managed.

In this case I would get it sorted out now and make it clear what is and is not acceptable, let them know you value their friendship but can't help but feeling like big brother is watching.
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Old 23.11.2006, 17:26
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Re: Annoying Swiss Landlord

What I have heard from other expat friends in similar situations this is "covert" friendliness. It is their polite way of making sure that you are doing everything like they believe they - as Swiss - would do. Since you are foreigners you are unreliable and not trustworthy to know their Swiss idiosyncracies. If a Swiss had rented from them, they would most likely not do all the snoopying around that they keep doing.

I am not sure if your husband used an agency or not to find this place but most of the time these problems occur when that happens as the landlords trust the agency to select "appropriate" tenants and by appropriate I mean tenants that are familiar with their idiosyncracies.

In any event, you will have to speak to them at some point. Or since your husband was the one that rented the place, it might be better if he has a chat with them. He can let them know that he appreciates their friendliness and concern and because of your family schedule you are not used to people dropping by unscheduled. That you would like to workout some form of communicating with each other without constant intrutions. And so on....

Hopefully this approach will work and if not... time to find a place where your landlords are not your neighbours
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Old 23.11.2006, 17:43
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Re: Annoying Swiss Landlord

Wow Zenistar that really sounds scary and I will definetly draw the line very firmly if they start letting themselves in. Hmm come to think of it i wonder if they let themselves in when we are not in.

I was thinking of a cowardly way to get out of facing them and thought of just locking the gate even when we are home. Maybe they would get the picture eventually and not come over all the time. Oh, i know this is a cowardly way. Either way i am going to have to do something as it is becoming more often now and I certainly dont want it to end up like the story you told Zenistar But you hit the nail on the head, it is like big Brother watching.

By the way Doktor.s, yes it was through a relocation agency so that is an interesting theory you have there.
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Old 23.11.2006, 17:44
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Re: Annoying Swiss Landlord

Just following up, my apartment rental was organised through a well known agency in Zurich.
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Old 23.11.2006, 17:50
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Re: Annoying Swiss Landlord

Quote:
By the way Doktor.s, yes it was through a relocation agency so that is an interesting theory you have there.
From what you had shared I had a feeling that might be the case (rental through an agency) but did not want to assume.

So now you and your husband will have to find a way to approach the situation and hopefully find a solution that will not hinder your current "friendship" with your landlords.

It will be interesting to know (if you feel like sharing) how your ordeal ends.

Good luck.
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Old 23.11.2006, 18:06
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Re: Annoying Swiss Landlord

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From what you had shared I had a feeling that might be the case (rental through an agency) but did not want to assume.

So now you and your husband will have to find a way to approach the situation and hopefully find a solution that will not hinder your current "friendship" with your landlords.

It will be interesting to know (if you feel like sharing) how your ordeal ends.

Good luck.
Yes, i will let you know how it goes. Thanks for the nudge in the right direction.
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Old 23.11.2006, 18:23
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Re: Annoying Swiss Landlord

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Yes, i will let you know how it goes. Thanks for the nudge in the right direction.
Glad I could help
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Old 23.11.2006, 18:41
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Re: Annoying Swiss Landlord

All my friends know clearely that without advance notice no one is getting into my house :-) The only exception I make is fit ladies :-)
Good luck as the landlord sounds like a slime ball. They will probably be very hurt and act like spoiled brats!
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Old 23.11.2006, 18:44
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Re: Annoying Swiss Landlord

that was "clearly" not clearely. I though editing was allowed here as well?
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Old 23.11.2006, 20:25
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Re: Annoying Swiss Landlord

Hello wannabe+

Are your landlords older seniors? Another way to look at this is that they may be lonely, and all of a sudden having you next door, has given them something to do, or someone to care.

My concierge (before passing away) was an old lady, living alone, and she was noisy to a certain extent, but she was very friendly and I think looking for any excuse to speak to someone.

I know it can be annoying given that you have a busy life, but I would give it some time, maybe the novelty will wear off, and if it doesn't, then set politely some ground rules.

PS: I would take your landlords any time over some of those horrendous ones I heard from other friends

Welcome to CH!
Laifu
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Old 23.11.2006, 20:54
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Re: Annoying Swiss Landlord

hahahahaha............i won't start, i promised mark....

HAT
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