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Old 09.11.2020, 15:58
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Tradesman at your property when you're out

Hi Guys,

We are heading back to the UK for a few weeks and in that time the building heating system is being commissioned. The landlord will not be in attendance and i've been asked to leave a key with a neighbour so a technician can gain access.

The thing is we have only lived here for two months so we only know our neighbours from passing in the hallway. Also the technician does not know our apartment so will have to walk around the rooms to find out where all the piping and valves are (in three different rooms).

Would you leave the keys with someone you don't know and allow a stranger in the property unattended? Would we be covered under household insurance should something go missing?

The landlord thinks we are being a little bit unreasonable and i can't tell whether he is right or whether i am right so would be interested in a second opinion

Thanks in advance
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Old 09.11.2020, 16:03
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Re: Tradesman at your property when you're out

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Hi Guys,

We are heading back to the UK for a few weeks and in that time the building heating system is being commissioned. The landlord will not be in attendance and i've been asked to leave a key with a neighbour so a technician can gain access.

The thing is we have only lived here for two months so we only know our neighbours from passing in the hallway. Also the technician does not know our apartment so will have to walk around the rooms to find out where all the piping and valves are (in three different rooms).

Would you leave the keys with someone you don't know and allow a stranger in the property unattended? Would we be covered under household insurance should something go missing?

The landlord thinks we are being a little bit unreasonable and i can't tell whether he is right or whether i am right so would be interested in a second opinion

Thanks in advance
Yes, thats quite normal in Switzerland, the tech charges 1k a day so will not be looking to steal your underwear.
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Old 09.11.2020, 16:19
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Re: Tradesman at your property when you're out

Don't know about the insurance side of it but pretty normal ..

Countless times I've left my key in the mailbox or with a neighbour or similar..

Of course the landlord shouldn't just let themselves in as they please but I'd say pretty normal to ask like that.
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Old 09.11.2020, 16:43
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Re: Tradesman at your property when you're out

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Yes, thats quite normal in Switzerland, the tech charges 1k a day so will not be looking to steal your underwear.

Not so worried about the underwear and more concerned about the camera equipment really!
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Old 09.11.2020, 17:01
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Re: Tradesman at your property when you're out

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Yes, thats quite normal in Switzerland, the tech charges 1k a day so will not be looking to steal your underwear.
So if people in other countries don't earn as much then they are probably thieves?
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Old 09.11.2020, 17:11
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So if people in other countries don't earn as much then they are probably thieves?
Nope, just very little crime in CH because everyone earns enough for a reasonably good life. Crime does not pay in the same way.
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Old 09.11.2020, 17:15
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Re: Tradesman at your property when you're out

One trick I’ve used is to scotch the key to the top of the milk box. A casual look won’t show anything. I then ask them to leave the key in the regular mail box.

BYU!
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Old 09.11.2020, 17:24
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Re: Tradesman at your property when you're out

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Not so worried about the underwear and more concerned about the camera equipment really!
The set of people with access to the property is clear - neighbour plus tradesmen from a specific company.

Neither is going to risk their reputation or a visit from the police in such an obvious situation.

I wouldn't leave very valuable stuff lying around (I'm thinking cash, jewellery, and maybe high value small electronics), but wouldn't worry about anything else.

Actually when I've had tradesmen in I've only ever worried about all the doors being wide open and somebody off the street taking a chance on grabbing a wallet or phone, so simply putting stuff in a cupboard is adequate.
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Old 09.11.2020, 18:11
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Re: Tradesman at your property when you're out

Very little crime doesn't mean you shouldn't be weary of having a stranger go through your home. I have had friends who have had ipods/ipads stolen while their apartment was having work done by tradesmen.

They also had the same conversation with the companies i.e. you have no proof that we stole it, maybe in your country people steal but not in Switzerland, lying Ausländer etc.

Fun stuff; so we always try to have someone home for during these things.
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Old 09.11.2020, 18:14
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Re: Tradesman at your property when you're out

Strange though that the landlord won´t be around. My landlord has a key, always asks in advance if he can go in and supervises the work.
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Old 09.11.2020, 19:27
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Re: Tradesman at your property when you're out

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Strange though that the landlord won´t be around. My landlord has a key, always asks in advance if he can go in and supervises the work.
Officially the landlord is NOT allowed to keep a key.

https://blog.homegate.ch/en/duplicat...d-or-forbidden
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Old 09.11.2020, 20:09
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Re: Tradesman at your property when you're out

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Officially the landlord is NOT allowed to keep a key.

https://blog.homegate.ch/en/duplicat...d-or-forbidden
It is allowed if you agree to that
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Old 09.11.2020, 20:10
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Re: Tradesman at your property when you're out

When the apartments in our building need to be checked out for anything we always get a standard letter from the property co asking anyone who is at work or out on the given day to leave a key with a neighbour. It was the same at our previous place so I assume pretty common in Switzerland.
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Old 09.11.2020, 20:16
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Re: Tradesman at your property when you're out

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It is allowed if you agree to that
Yes of course, I should have said the landlord is not allowed to keep a key without agreeing it with the tenant.
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Old 09.11.2020, 21:47
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Re: Tradesman at your property when you're out

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Hi Guys,

Would you leave the keys with someone you don't know and allow a stranger in the property unattended? Would we be covered under household insurance should something go missing?
These were the original questions. Whether or not it's normal practice to give a key to a trustworthy person is not in question.


My response is "no" and "probably not, ask your insurer (and they'll surely say "no")"


Maybe you could get a lock box with combination code and you give the combination to the tradesman. He'll still have access to your apartment though, but alone. Lock-up your valuables and set up a hidden webcam. :-)
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Old 09.11.2020, 22:42
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Re: Tradesman at your property when you're out

It is normal here but humans can be very disgusting creatures. I would hide any sex toys, female undergarments and toothbrush.

Also wash towels when you get back
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Old 10.11.2020, 06:54
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Re: Tradesman at your property when you're out

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Maybe you could get a lock box with combination code and you give the combination to the tradesman. He'll still have access to your apartment though, but alone. Lock-up your valuables and set up a hidden webcam. :-)
Cameras could be a good deterrent, in the remote case that the visitor might have some dis-honest thoughts... Even just the mention of them..

I have motion detect cameras around my place, inside and out.. I point them out to people/workers just to be upfront, they are not recording them but just to be open..
If we have have a new baby sitter around for example i point them out and offer to turn them around..

But for the purpose of the original post .. Could put the mind a bit more at ease.


##I don't live in the big brother house, i have few strategically placed for when we're not in.

Last edited by John_H; 10.11.2020 at 08:23. Reason: Baby sitter
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Old 10.11.2020, 08:14
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Re: Tradesman at your property when you're out

Coming from South Africa, we were also really uncomfortable with this at the beginning but decided to go with it anyway. Your concerns are always greeted with such surprise from the landlords/rental company/Hauswart. Anyway, we have done it several times now over the years and there just isn’t a problem here. I mean, our dog walker and cleaners also have access and that can change quite often too. Never had an issue. My advice, just do it and enjoy the luxury thatthis is a country where you can still do this sort of thing.
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Old 10.11.2020, 09:05
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Re: Tradesman at your property when you're out

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My response is "no" and "probably not, ask your insurer (and they'll surely say "no")"
With the insurers, it depends what you are claiming for, but they would not have grounds for blanket dismissal of a claim.

My insurance says the house must be secure, so if I leave my door wide open they would say no to a theft claim.

But if I have reputable tradesmen in the house for good reason, I would expect them to cover theft. Probably then they would go after the company to get their money back, or I could do that myself.

Accidental damage should also still be covered, although again that would more likely be covered by the company.

Liability insurance would still be in force, although a professional tradesman would have difficulty claiming off this unless you were really negligent.

Legal insurance would also still apply, potentially helping with all of the above.
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Old 10.11.2020, 09:15
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Re: Tradesman at your property when you're out

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Nope, just very little crime in CH because everyone earns enough for a reasonably good life. Crime does not pay in the same way.
Back in the 70s when Switzerland wasn't rich, crime was much higher, because there were more poor people. If people are poor, you'll have more desperate people. Desperate people are more likely to commit opportunistic crime. As are dishonest people. Reduce the number of desperate people and you reduce crime. You then focus on the dishonest, greedy, antisocial...

Anyway, when we have workmen round, including when we are in the house, we make sure any easily portable valuables are kept out of site. If you're really worried, buy a safe, or put the stuff in a single room with a lock on the door - maybe your cellar.
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