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Old 16.07.2007, 15:57
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Letting Workmen In

A few weeks ago the owners of our apartment building got a firm in to replace the old 2-outlet TV / Radio sockets with 3-outlet ones (i.e. additional plug for the cable modem).

To announce this a flyer was posted in the entrance lobby advising tenants to be around to let the workmen in on a certain day (or leave the key with a neighbour - yeah right...), or be financially liable if the workmen have to come on a different day because the apartment was not accessible.

Fortunately my wife is not working at the moment and was able to stay home, otherwise it would have been real hassle with one of us having to take a day off work.

As it turned out, the workmen had to come on two additional days as they messed up the installation the first time around - and similar flyers were posted in the lobby. So a working couple could face losing three days leave - or 3 days money if one of you is a contractor.

So what are one's rights in this case where somebody comes to work on the property at the landlord's instigation and ends up having to come additional days as they did not finish the job properly the first time around?

I had a look on the Mieterverband website but so far found nothing.

Cheers,

Nick
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Old 16.07.2007, 16:14
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Re: Letting Workmen In

Whenever that happens at my place, I just let the concierge know that I won't be around and she lets the workers in. I've never had to take a day off work, and there's never been any problem... but if you don't have a concierge, then you'd better get to know your neighbours, I guess.
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Old 16.07.2007, 17:12
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Re: Letting Workmen In

one thing, you don't have to let someone in. If you don't, chances are, you wont be sued, but you'll have to make an appointment to do it later.
If they must get into your apt, they will come when you make it available.
You do not have to let anyone in, and you have legal rights to that.
BUT, if you TV or tele goes dead, you have yourself to blame. I am sure most of us have asked the same question and no one has a good answer to make workers come to you when you want. Since it is not your home, you can't call all the shots.
Sorry.
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Old 16.07.2007, 17:18
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Re: Letting Workmen In

We have our next door neighbour's house key and they ours since we moved in 9 years ago. We water their plants and bring in their post when they are away and let workmen in etc. and visa versa.

I thought that this was the way things were generally done...
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Old 17.07.2007, 16:12
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Re: Letting Workmen In

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We have our next door neighbour's house key and they ours since we moved in 9 years ago. We water their plants and bring in their post when they are away and let workmen in etc. and visa versa.

I thought that this was the way things were generally done...
Depends on your neighbours I think. In our building (we've been here a bit over 6 months) our relationship with the neighbours is still at the formal stage: greetings in passing, etc. Occasionally my husband has spoken with one of the neighbours. We will all take in packages for each other if the postperson rings us when the recipients are away, but beyond that everyone keeps to themselves. All of this is what we expected being in the German-speaking part of Switzerland based on the culture.

To the original poster, we have gotten similar notices. They can be a bit intimidatingly worded. To be honest I don't know if PCDesign's suggestion would go over well with our landlord. I wouldn't be surprised if there was some wording in our contract that says we have an obligation to be available/make arrangements for access to the flat when they specify for repairs (the contract is in German so my husband is the one that read it, and since I stay home anyway I've never asked about it). I can certainly understand how a working couple who didn't have neighbours they trust with a key would feel pressured or frustrated though in such a situation.
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Old 18.07.2007, 01:08
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Re: Letting Workmen In

I've always let workman in and never had a problem.
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Old 18.07.2007, 10:36
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Re: Letting Workmen In

well then

Basically upon annoucing the fact as you mention it (with a flyer to everyone and the shared entrance hall) , the tenant has the obligation to let the workmen in,also because this was something that was done in ALL the flats in your Appartmentblock.

Here is a copy of a german text from the HEV. I am addint he english translation in a condensed form, I hope it's still clear as to wahts what ...and sorry in advance for the mistakes .

Im Alltag gibt es immer wieder Situationen, in denen der Vermieter eine vermietete Wohnung betreten muss. Dabei stellt sich die Frage, ob er dies auch bei Abwesenheit der Mieter darf. Die entsprechenden Rechte des Vermieters und des Mieters sind im Gesetz klar geregelt. Der HEV Schweiz gibt Auskunft.

In daily life there are awlays situations that make it necessary for a landlord to enter a let flat.The question si, can he do that too when the tenatns it s away?The rights regarding this a are clearly set in the swiss law.

Mit der Wohnungs- bzw. Schlüsselübergabe überlässt der Vermieter dem Mieter den Gebrauch und damit das Zutrittsrecht zum Mietobjekt. Jetzt entscheidet dieser, wen er in der Wohnung empfangen will. Der Vermieter darf die Wohnung grundsätzlich nicht mehr betreten. Einen Schlüssel oder Passepartout darf er nur behalten, wenn der Mieter sich ausdrücklich damit einverstanden erklärt.

Upon handing over the keys to a flat, the landlord leaves the flat in the care of the tenant and it's the tenant that decides now who he wants to welcome in his flat and who not.The landlord has NO RIGHTS no more to enter flat.He may only keep a key or a passepartout to the flats, if the tenant/s are in informed and agree to that!

Wer ohne Einwilligung des Mieters in ein Mietobjekt eindringt, begeht Hausfriedensbruch und macht sich strafbar. Ob der Mieter gerade in den Mieträumen weilt oder ferienhalber abwesend ist, ist unerheblich. Selbst das Eindringen in einen gänzlich leerstehenden Raum ist unzulässig. In vielen Mietverträgen ist deshalb festgelegt, dass der Mieter bei längerer Abwesenheit dem Vermieter eine Vertrauensperson nennt, die den Wohnungsschlüssel im Notfall aushändigen könnte.

He who enters a rented out flat without the o.k of the current tenant is trespassing,which is a legal offence.It doesn't matter if the tenant is in said rooms or if he is away on holidays.Even to enter a completely empty rented out room is not allowed.Because of this, in many rental contracts exists an added clause,saying approx: 'Should the tenant be away for a longer period of time, he will announce the name and contact details of a person who holds a set of keys, so that the landlord can access the flat in case of emergency'.

Ausnahmen
In Sonderfällen kann der Vermieter allerdings Zutritt zur Wohnung verlangen; zur Wahrung seines Eigentumsrechtes insbesondere dann, wenn er ihm obliegende Reparaturen oder Renovationen vornehmen will.

Exceptions:
In special cases the landlord can ask for access to the flat: with full reserve of his owner rights, in particulalr when he wants to have done necessary repairs or renovations.


Auch im Hinblick auf den Verkauf oder die Wiedervermietung haben der Vermieter bzw. allfällige Interessenten das Recht, das Mietobjekt zu besichtigen. Der Mieter muss aber in jedem Falle vorgängig orientiert werden, am besten schriftlich. Die meisten Mietvertragsformulare sehen eine Voranzeigefrist vor und verlangen ausdrücklich eine schriftliche Benachrichtigung.

Also in regards to letting out/selling the flat again after the current tenants contract ends,the tenant has to allow access to the landlord/janitor with prospective tenants to view the flat.
The current tenant has to be informed in advance,best would be in wiriting.many rental coontracts have this alos included in a special clause
.

"Einbruch" verboten
Verweigert der Mieter trotz form- und fristgerechter Mitteilung den Zutritt oder ist er im angekündigten Zeitpunkt nicht anwesend, und hat er auch den Schlüssel nicht deponiert, dann darf der Vermieter die Wohnung dennoch nicht betreten. Vielmehr muss er sein Zutrittsrecht gerichtlich durchsetzen. Entsteht dem Vermieter aus dem vertragswidrigen Verhalten des Mieters ein Schaden, so hat der Mieter dafür einzustehen.

'Housebreaking' is forbidden
Should a trenant,despite having been informed in time,refuse the access to the flat or is he not present at the announced day/time and has alos NOT deposited the key,then the landlord has not right to enter the flat.
He has to 'push' his access rights via a court.
If there is a damage caused to the landlord by the tenants breach of contract,the tenant has to pay for it!!!!



In Notsituationen
In absoluten Notsituationen (Feuerausbruch, Leitungsbruch etc.) darf eine Wohnung auch gegen den Willen des Mieters und ohne Voranzeige betreten werden. Es muss unmittelbare Gefahr drohen, zu deren Beseitigung oder Abwendung der Zutritt zur Wohnung unbedingt erforderlich ist. Soweit es die Umstände erlauben, sollte der Vermieter eine Amtsperson (Polizei, Gemeindevertreter) beiziehen

In case of emergency
In absolute cases of emergency( fire,pipe bursting etc) a flat can be entered also without consent of the tenant.
But it has to be situation of an apparent danger or one that will cause damages to grant that special emergency access.If it's possibel the landlord should ( for his own protection) do any such thing in presence of the police or a court clerk.


This is the link to a similar question on the mieterverbands website
http://www.mieterverband.ch/fragen/frage.php?id=127


And this is the copy of the german text of the law regarding the OP's question

Zutrittsrecht des Vermieters
Accessing rights of a landlord


Gemäss Art. 257h OR hat die Vermieterschaft in drei Fällen Zutritt zu vermieteten Räumlichkeiten:

According the obligationenrecht Article 257h the landlord can have access to a rented premise in the following three cases:

Wenn sie die Räumlichkeiten neu vermieten will oder muss
If the rooms have to be rented out anewWenn sie die Liegenschaft oder die betreffenden Räumlichkeiten zu verkaufen beabsichtigt
If the whole house or the specified rooms are going to be sold

Wenn dies für den Unterhalt der Mietsache erforderlich ist
When it's necessary for maintenance of the rented premises


So the OP's landlord has acted the way he has to,considering that Swiss workmen are usually punctual ( give or take an hour),it's a feasible thing to organise maybe a relative or so to hold the keys to the flat or wait in said flat when the orginal tenant can't be present.

Also a janitor will do the same as would neighbors,but like someone already stated of course it is important that you trust the neighbours to with it.
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Old 18.07.2007, 16:11
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Re: Letting Workmen In

Hi,

Interesting to read the responses here. My main problem was the fact that although the original notice specified one day, through their own inablility to do their job properly, the cable engineers had to come two additional days. And then a day later, another notice was posted as the Hauswart wanted to read the central heating meters in the apartments. So that would have been four days out of work at short notice.

It isn't such an issue for us at the moment as my wife is on maternity leave anyway and was able to be in, but for many people, to take time off at such short notice is very difficult.

If you are an "Auslander" it is unlikely that you will have family who you can give the key to, and I would have difficulty entrusting our housekey to neighbours.

Cheers,
Nick
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Old 18.07.2007, 20:25
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Re: Letting Workmen In

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well then
WOW EE,
you wrote for days there!
I wish I had all that free time!! haha
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Old 19.07.2007, 00:11
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Re: Letting Workmen In

I had the same problem with the cable people. took 3 days and they were running in and out of my apartment for hours on end.

my friend missed in total over 15 days of work for repairs that where suppose to take place only one day. the manager refused to come to the apartment and let the repair men in...

the tenants association said that there is no time limit on how many days you must take off from work to let repair men in. instead they said to give the key to a neighbor or friend. (she has friends but none willing to miss 15 day or work)...

this is europe even the mangers cant do their job correctly and everyone expects you to have a wife to stay home...
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Old 19.07.2007, 11:00
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Re: Letting Workmen In

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WOW EE,
you wrote for days there!
I wish I had all that free time!! haha
Actually I didn't, a lot of the things are excerpts of articles I wrote for my 'late' group and the couple of other media I also write for, the rights of all my stuff remain with me, so I am free to c&p whatever I want and need, and there is still plenty to come but that's also the reason why it's hard to avoid me on the expat-in-switzerland-needing-help-net, LOL
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Old 19.07.2007, 11:04
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Re: Letting Workmen In

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If you are an "Auslander" it is unlikely that you will have family who you can give the key to, and I would have difficulty entrusting our housekey to neighbours.

Cheers,
Nick

Like I already mentioned, this is why many of the buildings have an
in-house janitor/care-taker/concierge,this is exactly what they also do and one of the reasons for their 'being' !

Before I settled where I am now, I moved house all over the western part of switzerland 15 times ( in about 18 years) and I never ever had a bad experience with a janitor when it came to leaving my keys with them for a reason.
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