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Old 11.04.2012, 19:03
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Need some advice on new neighbors

We just moved into a new place April 17th. It's new construction so our next-door neighbors are new too (but here a bit before us). Their back yard abuts ours (with no fence or anything dividing the two yards), and they have steps from the side of their yard to the parking lot. For the almost month we have been here, they have been away traveling for 2 weeks and we were away for a weekend.

Today I got a call from the owner telling me that the next-door neighbors have complained that we are continuously cutting through their yard from the parking lot to our apartment and to stop because their yard is private property!!!!! We have NEVER done this!

As a new tenant (and so are they actually) what should I do because I don't want the owner to think we are just ignorant, troublesome tenants -- but it is totally untrue. And given the fact that we really have only lived next to each other when we are both at home for maybe a week and a half....

Is it normal here also for people just to complain to an owner about something rather than just ring their neighbor and talk? We both have actually met these people (and just yesterday I ran into the wife who lives there, and she said nothing to me!!!!! Acted all friendly!) -- several times and they are very nice to our face. What is going on? Feel unsettled now in a new place! Any advice?
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Old 11.04.2012, 19:10
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Re: Need some advice on new neighbors

Could it be someone else using the walk way? either other tenants from other apartments? or have you had any workmen or visitors who could've done this?
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Old 11.04.2012, 19:15
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Re: Need some advice on new neighbors

Yes we do, and I mentioned that to the owner. We have people doing landscaping as it is a new building. It did not escape me that maybe they saw 'footprints' and assumed it was us....but WTF? To see someone and not mention it? It is just the way things happen here that you call the owner and 'blame' if you think it is just happening????

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Could it be someone else using the walk way? either other tenants from other apartments? or have you had any workmen or visitors who could've done this?
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Old 11.04.2012, 19:18
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Re: Need some advice on new neighbors

I would pop round to see them and say, I had a call from the landlord about using your walkway - I just wanted to let you know that it wasn't us, we had a similar issue with people in the garden however, we think it is the landscapers who are finishing off the building. I'll make sure going forward that we ask any visitors to our apartment not to use your walk way.

Other option is to call the landlord and tell him you think it is the landscaper using the walkway and ask him to let your neighbours know it isn't you!
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Old 11.04.2012, 19:19
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Re: Need some advice on new neighbors

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Yes we do, and I mentioned that to the owner. We have people doing landscaping as it is a new building. It did not escape me that maybe they saw 'footprints' and assumed it was us....but WTF? To see someone and not mention it? It is just the way things happen here that you call the owner and 'blame' if you think it is just happening????
Sorry to hear about your experience but, sadly, that is the way that things happen there. There are many, many threads on EF (most in Complaints corner) that speak about such actions. As you mention in your first post, it is the passive aggressive approach that is most unsettling and the fact that people are not always what they appear to be.
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Old 11.04.2012, 19:30
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Re: Need some advice on new neighbors

Are the landscapers employed by you, or by the builder/developer?
If they are employed by you, then you must talk to them to say they cannot use next door's garden as a short-cut and show them exactly which route to take. If it is the builder's landscapers, then talk to the builders and explain this is causing problems, and that THEY must discuss this with your neighbour.

I'm Swiss and find it strange that she didn't talk to you about it. I certainly do not agree that this is 'the way it's done here' - certainly no my 'here'. But perhaps the neighbour does not want to be unfriendly, so feels it is best to use somebody else to deal with the matter. I'd invite her for coffee, have a good chat, and then use the opportunity to discuss this- having made sure I'd talked to the builder first. Passive-aggressive is not my style, but a lot better than the 'agressive-agressive' I've sometimes met in the UK. One old neighbour in Staffs didn't like our cat going in his garden, so he threw big stones at poor Thomas - who came in one night with his jaw hanging out- necessitating several operations and causing so much pain. I would have much preferred having a note through the door! Even better a knock on the door and a chat.

Last edited by Odile; 11.04.2012 at 19:59.
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Old 11.04.2012, 19:48
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Re: Need some advice on new neighbors

Thanks guys. All good replies! The landscapers are the builder's and not ours, but I really like the suggestions of passing the 'situation' on to the landscapers discreetly and inviting the neighbors over for coffee. I had to settle down because at first I was so irate that someone would just assume you did something they didn't like and be nice to your face.... but I guess there is a way of doing things. Maybe just right in the comment that they didn't wish to seem unfriendly by just approaching us directly. Have to learn this... I come from NYC and we just go to the neighbor directly and discuss the matter. In the end it can all be a misunderstanding....
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Old 11.04.2012, 19:57
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Re: Need some advice on new neighbors

At least they didn't call the police ! we had the green police called once for using a lawnmower on a Sunday. Rather than letting us know that this was actually not allowed the neighbours called the police. Being foreigners we did not know that this was forbidden and would have quite happily stopped on a friendly request. BTW this was not actually in Switzerland - so can't say that this approach is Swiss.
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Old 11.04.2012, 21:03
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Re: Need some advice on new neighbors

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I'm Swiss and find it strange that she didn't talk to you about it. I certainly do not agree that this is 'the way it's done here' - certainly no my 'here'. But perhaps the neighbour does not want to be unfriendly, so feels it is best to use somebody else to deal with the matter. I'd invite her for coffee, have a good chat, and then use the opportunity to discuss this- having made sure I'd talked to the builder first. Passive-aggressive is not my style, but a lot better than the 'agressive-agressive' I've sometimes met in the UK. One old neighbour in Staffs didn't like our cat going in his garden, so he threw big stones at poor Thomas - who came in one night with his jaw hanging out- necessitating several operations and causing so much pain. I would have much preferred having a note through the door! Even better a knock on the door and a chat.
Sorry Odile, but I think you will find a plethora of threads backing up the fact that 'this is the way it's done here', along with numerous others about the incidences of passive aggressive behaviour.

That said, I wish you luck with sorting out this situation with your neighbours OP.
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Old 11.04.2012, 22:24
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Re: Need some advice on new neighbors

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At least they didn't call the police ! we had the green police called once for using a lawnmower on a Sunday. Rather than letting us know that this was actually not allowed the neighbours called the police. Being foreigners we did not know that this was forbidden and would have quite happily stopped on a friendly request. BTW this was not actually in Switzerland - so can't say that this approach is Swiss.
Yeah but are you going to blame the people who occupy a country, because you don't first educate yourself first about the common rules and traditions of a country you are moving to? I don't know where you are from, but their are many rules that are different from where I am from (the USA), and I don't just go about my way of life here like it was back in Detroit.

I don't think every time a foreigner moves into a different country a local committee needs to arrive with a "welcome to our area" entourage and go over the local laws and etiquette for you. Not knowing the local laws is your own issue. I think it's only normal if you were in violation of a local law where ever you were a local called the police on you. It seems strange to me that every time you break a law, the locals are supposed to assume you are a foreigner and go, introduce themselves, and relate to you that law in which you have broken, is in fact a law.

!!!
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Old 11.04.2012, 22:34
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Re: Need some advice on new neighbors

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At least they didn't call the police ! we had the green police called once for using a lawnmower on a Sunday. Rather than letting us know that this was actually not allowed the neighbours called the police. Being foreigners we did not know that this was forbidden and would have quite happily stopped on a friendly request. BTW this was not actually in Switzerland - so can't say that this approach is Swiss.
I often use it, my tiller, and chain saw on Sundays!

But, as my garden is technically located in an industrial zone (i.e. at work), it's never been a problem, the local farmers run their stuff on the same land as well on Sundays!

Tom
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Old 11.04.2012, 22:38
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Re: Need some advice on new neighbors

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Is it normal here also for people just to complain to an owner about something rather than just ring their neighbor and talk?
Define normal. Possible? Yes.

Technically you don't KNOW they complained, you were informed by someone else (the agent/owner) that they complained about/accused you.

In these situations, it's best to reply in writing to the owner/agent addressing the complaint/accusation including any supporting evidence of not being around.

You can also consider informing them if you KNOW others may be the cause.

To your neighbors I'd suggest continue in the friendly way you have started, someday an opportunity will present itself to "resolve the misunderstanding".

Hopefully you'll be laughing about it on each other's terrace/balcony one nice summer's evening soon......whilst eating and drinking together.
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Old 11.04.2012, 22:41
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Re: Need some advice on new neighbors

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Sorry Odile, but I think you will find a plethora of threads backing up the fact that 'this is the way it's done here', along with numerous others about the incidences of passive aggressive behaviour.

That said, I wish you luck with sorting out this situation with your neighbours OP.
Well it is possible that things are very different in Corseaux (and my part of the world or Tom's) to Zug and such locations where other complaints hailed from
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Old 11.04.2012, 22:54
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Re: Need some advice on new neighbors

Why not take the bull by the horns and just go, ring their bell and explain the situation?

It seems to me that all can be a misunderstanding. I think it's better to go there and tell your side of the story.

Not being on good terms with your neighbours can make your life hell.

Good luck.
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Old 12.04.2012, 02:31
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Re: Need some advice on new neighbors

Well sometimes Swiss people like to complain just for the hell of complaining, I can tell you when I was a kid, I lived in Bern and the neighbors always complained to my parents that we were running by the entrance and that it was too noisy. Personally, I wouldn't make much of it and ignoring it would avoid them from having a reason to brag about
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