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  #41  
Old 01.03.2021, 19:50
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Re: Neighbors built too close to our property

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Sweetie, it’s not an error but a calculated strategy. They knew exactly what they were doing but decided to accept the consequences, knowing their neighbors would not put up a fuss. It’s done all the time.
They might do that for 1m, but I doubt they would for 20cm. If it had been on purpose I doubt they'd have bothered to inform the OP. For 20cm not worth the risk.

Practically speaking I'd still look for compensation though.
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  #42  
Old 01.03.2021, 20:06
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Re: Neighbors built too close to our property

if they wouldn't inform - the would take responsibility forward for next 10years however they can hold building company responsible for 5-years mostly so that is calculated strategy . Now it's "the neighbour "to respond and agreeing closes the case while not agreeing opens legal dispute where it's not investor to take the costs.

Most likely if we speak of insulation as it's said - they have plan B (inside insulation ) or thiner but better (and more expensive) insulation outside . All in all for me - that be quite simple answer . It's your choice of course.

Please keep in mind it's likely to enter into your Grundbuch as "service land" and that changes value of your property right there - so it's easy to find for potential buyer.
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  #43  
Old 01.03.2021, 21:23
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Re: Neighbors built too close to our property

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Tell them you're not signing anything if it's against Swiss regulations. Simples. Not even for those 20 cm.
I have been trying to dig a little bit deeper today and looks like nothing illegal has been done. I might have used the wrong term ("required") in my initial post and thus misled some of your comments, but I am still not 100% sure.

I wrote to the Bauamt and this is the reply I got:

Bei den Liegenschaften XXX wurden die XXXseitigen Anbauten nicht gemäss den bewilligten Plänen ausgeführt bzw. die Anbauten halten den erforderlichen Grenzabstand von 5.0 m zu Ihrem Grundstück nicht ein.
Dementsprechend ist für das nachträgliche Bewilligungsverfahren Ihre Zustimmung in der Form eines Näherbaurechts erforderlich.

Steht ein nachbarliches Gebäude näher an der Grenze, als es nach den Bauvorschriften zulässig ist, so genügt gemäss § 274 PBG als Abstand die Summe aus dem Grenzabstand, den das neue Bauvorhaben benötigt, und dem kantonalrechtlichen Mindestgrenzabstand.
Der kantonalrechtliche Mindestgrenzabstand beträgt 3.50 m. Da der (ungenügende) Grenzabstand der nachbarlichen Liegenschaften grösser als 3.50 m beträgt, hat die Unterschreitung des erforderlichen Grenzabstands auf Ihre Liegenschaft keinen Einfluss.


From the Baurecht indeed I seem to read that the minimum distance to someone else's land is 3.5m:

§ 270. 1 Alle andern Gebäude dürfen, sofern nicht der Grenzbau vorgeschrieben oder erlaubt ist, die im Abstand von 3,5m parallel zur Grenze verlaufende Linie nicht überschreiten.

And later

Der Abstand zwischen Gebäuden, die Grenzabstände einhalten müssen, hat ohne Rücksicht auf Grundstückgrenzen der Summe der beidseitig nötigen Grenzabstände zu entsprechen.

§ 272. Über den durch Verkehrsbaulinien oder sie ersetzenden Baubegrenzungslinien gesicherten Raum wird kein Gebäudeabstand gemessen, ausser wenn eine Neubaute über die betreffende Linie hinausgestellt wird.

§ 273.55 Wo die Bau- und Zonenordnung nichts anderes bestimmt, dürfen Kleinbauten und Anbauten in einem Abstand von 3,5 m von andern Gebäuden errichtet werden.
§ 274. 1 Steht ein nachbarliches Gebäude näher an der Grenze, als es nach den Bauvorschriften zulässig ist, so genügt als Abstand die Summe aus dem Grenzabstand, den das neue Bauvorhaben benötigt, und dem kantonalrechtlichen Mindestgrenzabstand.
2 Diese Begünstigung gilt nicht, wenn der Eigentümer des nunmeh- rigen Baugrundstücks gegenüber der Baubehörde die Erklärung abge- geben hat, er habe Kenntnis davon, dass er wegen des nachbarlichen Näherbaus selber einen grössern Grenzabstand werde einhalten müs- sen, oder wenn durch eine nachträgliche Grenzänderung ein vorher ausreichender Abstand ungenügend gemacht worden ist.


The above is quite hard to digest for me (especially the part about the sum of the distances) but it seems quite clear that nothing illegal has been done (though I am not sure why the Bauamt mentioned "erforderlichen Grenzabstand von 5.0 m zu Ihrem Grundstück", I need to ask for clarifications...)

I think what it all boils down to is:

1) they made a project for 5m distance to my property (though I guess they could have pushed it to 3.5m), got it approved, set up the sticks, nobody complained, started the work

2) the architect/bauleitung screwed up those 20 cm (could be puzzling, but I have heard horror stories)

3) now the building does not match the approved (also implicitly by me) project anymore and either the project is amended or the work redone to fit what was "agreed" upon.

If really nothing *illegal* has been done, TBH these extra cms do not affect in any way the view or anything else about the liveability of my property and thus I'll most likelyend up signing. First though I'll speak to HEV and if that's not enough I'll cough up the money for a lawyer.

Actually I am now more concerned about the other neighbours (to whom I have a better relationship) who want to raise their roof (by just 20 cms) and take away some more evening sun from us. HEV might be able to help here and perhaps I should ask for something in return, like a Näherbaurecht to be written down at the Grundstuckamt.

Will keep you posted and I will enjoy reading your replies, thanks again.
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  #44  
Old 02.03.2021, 12:02
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Re: Neighbors built too close to our property

What are you actually signing? What happens if you don't sign? I would be tempted not to do so as I don't see what's in it for you if you do. You could be signing away future claims of one kind or another and I really don't see why you need to do that. If not signing means tacit acceptance, then I would prefer to leave it that way as there's no trace of formal acceptance.
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  #45  
Old 02.03.2021, 12:13
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Re: Neighbors built too close to our property

We once got good money to release a covenant on land behind us, and were able to completely re-arrange the development so we were not overlooked- it actually increased our property value as our buyers could see exactly what was what. Different kettle of fish though. Bought us a new roof and extended new kitchen.

Last edited by JackieH; 02.03.2021 at 16:13.
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  #46  
Old 02.03.2021, 13:28
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Re: Neighbors built too close to our property

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What are you actually signing? What happens if you don't sign? I would be tempted not to do so as I don't see what's in it for you if you do. You could be signing away future claims of one kind or another and I really don't see why you need to do that. If not signing means tacit acceptance, then I would prefer to leave it that way as there's no trace of formal acceptance.
Presumably the neighbour wants an agreement that OP won't complain, so they have peace of mind and don't suddenly find they have a problem in a few years. No idea what the statute of limitations is for complaints.
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  #47  
Old 02.03.2021, 13:50
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Re: Neighbors built too close to our property

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I have been trying to dig a little bit deeper today and looks like nothing illegal has been done.
So it seems, rather they simply did not comply with the plans.

Tom
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  #48  
Old 02.03.2021, 13:57
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Re: Neighbors built too close to our property

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So it seems, rather they simply did not comply with the plans.
Yes, so I def. think I can be again a good neighbour and sign.

The other one is trickier though: I definitely want to keep the good relationship with these people but less direct sunlight is a real and measurable (though small) damage to my property. I need to decide what to ask in return... but as usual they are in a rush...
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  #49  
Old 05.03.2021, 14:37
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Re: Neighbors built too close to our property

so it sounds like in case you'd want to construct something on our own land - you'd need to account for this 20cm off the land - to have sum of the distances to the border of your land meet the requirement.

what is small building is another question - perhaps worth checking whenever what is build is indeed in proper category.
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Old 12.03.2021, 10:40
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Re: Neighbors built too close to our property

Seems like we can agree with the neighbours to write a contract allowing my property to build an additional 20 cms in their direction, something that would stay with the properties, whoever the owners are.

What do you all think about such deal?
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  #51  
Old 12.03.2021, 11:02
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Re: Neighbors built too close to our property

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Seems like we can agree with the neighbours to write a contract allowing my property to build an additional 20 cms in their direction, something that would stay with the properties, whoever the owners are.

What do you all think about such deal?
I think you need a lawyer. Amd that you should send the bill to your neighbour. Please do not sign anything until you get legal advice. I agree with Olygirl: they're taking the piss.
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  #52  
Old 12.03.2021, 11:20
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Re: Neighbors built too close to our property

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Seems like we can agree with the neighbours to write a contract allowing my property to build an additional 20 cms in their direction, something that would stay with the properties, whoever the owners are.

What do you all think about such deal?
I agree with RufusB - Go see a real estate lawyer. Spend the 400 - 700 CHF to find out what your rights, options and the consequences are before signing anything.

It could be that this is a great option - it could be that it is a terrible option. Why knows?

Why not ask if you can build in the future to the property line, for example? They screwed up. Again, I have no idea, but talk to someone who does, before signing something that could potentially have consequences years and years down the road.
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  #53  
Old 12.03.2021, 11:24
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Re: Neighbors built too close to our property

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I agree with RufusB - Go see a real estate lawyer. Spend the 400 - 700 CHF to find out what your rights, options and the consequences are before signing anything.

It could be that this is a great option - it could be that it is a terrible option. Why knows?

Why not ask if you can build in the future to the property line, for example? They screwed up. Again, I have no idea, but talk to someone who does, before signing something that could potentially have consequences years and years down the road.
Your rights are to not sign, it's about how much they wish to pay.
You can never build to the property line.
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Old 12.03.2021, 12:23
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Re: Neighbors built too close to our property

owning something and option to own are priced differently
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Old 12.03.2021, 18:04
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Re: Neighbors built too close to our property

didnt read everything, but are you a HEV member? (Hauseigentuemer Verband) They have specialized lawyers (if you arent a member it will cost you 3.13Fr a/min to call) but it might be worth a first check to see where you legally stand.
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Old 13.03.2021, 23:06
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Re: Neighbors built too close to our property

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didnt read everything, but are you a HEV member? (Hauseigentuemer Verband) They have specialized lawyers (if you arent a member it will cost you 3.13Fr a/min to call) but it might be worth a first check to see where you legally stand.
Just became a member. Called them. Pretty useless. They offered to look at the documents for 250chf/hour so I thought I rather find a lawyer whom I don’t have to write/speak in German with.
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Old 14.03.2021, 00:35
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Re: Neighbors built too close to our property

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Seems like we can agree with the neighbours to write a contract allowing my property to build an additional 20 cms in their direction, something that would stay with the properties, whoever the owners are.

What do you all think about such deal?
I think a deal is worth making only when it is win win. Not sure that is the case here.

In our former home, the neighbour put up a privacy fence. He showed us the plans, the measurements were on it, we signed off. During the construction we noticed he built up the earth, put in concrete borders, then the supports for the posts and panels. We complained about the height but were told it was checked and that if we wanted it checked again we would have to pay.

A few years later we decided to install a hedge to cover the privacy fence, which was already looking very weathered. But by this time the rules for the height of a new hedge were amended which meant that the privacy fence would never be covered. So we complained again about the height of the fence. This time there was a new firm looking after building permits in the village and they sent someone along to check. Long story short, the fence was too high when measured from our side and not in accordance with what we signed off on.

Of course the village officials were looking for us to make a deal even though the neighbour made a mistake. So we asked for an exception to the height restriction for our hedge and there is a written agreement which the village authority issued. There were no costs to us. When we sold our house we gave the agreement to the new buyers.

We had nothing to gain had we insisted the neighbour redo his fence and reduce the height.

So you need to ask yourself in this situation what will put this right for you? Hard for me to imagine that they made the mistake deliberately. It is clearly not according to the plans and were it me, I'd make them put it right for me. It's one thing to give a neighbour the right to put a garden shed closer than the usual distance, but to give permission for an entire extension? Forget it. For you to reserve the right to exercise this same option later is just the easy way out for the authorities. Unless this is really what you want I wouldn't agree.

Do you have legal insurance? I am sure this would be covered. Thinking of the future impact on your property is important, be it for resale value or possible renovation.

Also worth keeping in mind whatever you agree you could need the official lot surveyor and the land registry amended and for this there are costs, including the notary.

I understand that you may not want to sour the relationship with your neighbour but this is their mistake.
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Old 14.03.2021, 08:38
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Re: Neighbors built too close to our property

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I think a deal is worth making only when it is win win. Not sure that is the case here.

In our former home, the neighbour put up a privacy fence. He showed us the plans, the measurements were on it, we signed off. During the construction we noticed he built up the earth, put in concrete borders, then the supports for the posts and panels. We complained about the height but were told it was checked and that if we wanted it checked again we would have to pay.

A few years later we decided to install a hedge to cover the privacy fence, which was already looking very weathered. But by this time the rules for the height of a new hedge were amended which meant that the privacy fence would never be covered. So we complained again about the height of the fence. This time there was a new firm looking after building permits in the village and they sent someone along to check. Long story short, the fence was too high when measured from our side and not in accordance with what we signed off on.

Of course the village officials were looking for us to make a deal even though the neighbour made a mistake. So we asked for an exception to the height restriction for our hedge and there is a written agreement which the village authority issued. There were no costs to us. When we sold our house we gave the agreement to the new buyers.

We had nothing to gain had we insisted the neighbour redo his fence and reduce the height.

So you need to ask yourself in this situation what will put this right for you? Hard for me to imagine that they made the mistake deliberately. It is clearly not according to the plans and were it me, I'd make them put it right for me. It's one thing to give a neighbour the right to put a garden shed closer than the usual distance, but to give permission for an entire extension? Forget it. For you to reserve the right to exercise this same option later is just the easy way out for the authorities. Unless this is really what you want I wouldn't agree.

Do you have legal insurance? I am sure this would be covered. Thinking of the future impact on your property is important, be it for resale value or possible renovation.

Also worth keeping in mind whatever you agree you could need the official lot surveyor and the land registry amended and for this there are costs, including the notary.

I understand that you may not want to sour the relationship with your neighbour but this is their mistake.
I would add there is no reason to rush, far better that they have some sleepless nights over the next few years, the outcome will be better if it's not signed off in haste.
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Old 14.03.2021, 10:08
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Re: Neighbors built too close to our property

Don’t sign it. Just tell them. If it were only 18-19cm then fine, but unfortunately 20cm is way too much. It’s Switzerland and we want to be precise.
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Old 18.03.2021, 21:48
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Re: Neighbors built too close to our property

Talked to a lawyer, she thinks I could ask for a few thousands CHF compensation or, better, a Näherbaurecht contract. I'll go for the latter.

Now the question is how much should I ask, given they only overbuilt by 20cm? Writing such a contract for 20 cm would be a waste of time, plus I am not the one who created the issue so I should ask for more. But then I would not want to overshoot and make the neighbours angry.
I checked, and the maximum I can ask by law is 1.5m given the distance between the buildings.

Shoot your numbers and I'll take the median
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