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Old 11.10.2011, 22:43
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Viewed a house with an interesting feature

Having been looking for a house for sometime now my other half has fallen in love with a Maison de Maitre in a little village in a french speaking part of Switzerland. I was duly sent off to do a preliminary viewing before she flys out if I thought it was worth it. Being shown round the house was fine until we got to the garden, the young lady showing me points to a door at the rear of the property and divulges that the that part of the property houses the main Swisscom exchange for the area. She goes on to say they access the property approximately once every three months without asking persmission etc. Said all very casually may I add.

Has anybody seen anything like this before. For access they do not need to enter the main house but they do access the gardens. I asked about the insurance liabilities rent etc but she just played it down as though it was the most normal thing in the world to have the main telephone exchange as part of your new home.

I can't believe the Swiss owner gives a major industrial giant free space in his home to house their switch room and just accepts that they can come and go as they please.
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Old 11.10.2011, 22:46
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Re: Viewed a house with an interesting feature

Well, apparently they did. What you have to decide is whether or not you can live with it.
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Old 11.10.2011, 23:13
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Re: Viewed a house with an interesting feature

do you get free broadband access?

it really depends if you can live with it. it kills sale value. i saw a similar kind of house in the UK. lovely house, nice big garden - in fact, big enough to fit a giant electricity pylon in it...
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Old 11.10.2011, 23:23
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Re: Viewed a house with an interesting feature

Would swisscom pay your mortgage interest?
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Old 11.10.2011, 23:35
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Re: Viewed a house with an interesting feature

My husband turns off our wireless overnight to avoid us getting unnecessarily fried () so what would that whirring telephone exchange be doing to you?
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Old 11.10.2011, 23:43
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Re: Viewed a house with an interesting feature

you might find this useful:

http://blacktable.com/elder040114.htm
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Old 11.10.2011, 23:49
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Re: Viewed a house with an interesting feature

I think the whole house may be a bit over the top, perhaps I will just follow Mel Gibsons lead from the Signs and stick to the hat only

viewed-house-interesting-feature-tinfoil-hats.jpg

I'm sure the kids wont mind
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Old 12.10.2011, 01:05
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Re: Viewed a house with an interesting feature

I'm sure Swisscom pays rent for the facility, just as the post office is usually in rented premises. I would check to see if there are any emissions from the equipment and if the house would be sufficiently shielded.
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Old 12.10.2011, 02:47
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Re: Viewed a house with an interesting feature

its common, it is a shared road. the name in french slips my mind right now. I would not be bothered by them but the facility running would be a mayor issue
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Old 12.10.2011, 04:16
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Re: Viewed a house with an interesting feature

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I'm sure Swisscom pays rent for the facility, just as the post office is usually in rented premises. I would check to see if there are any emissions from the equipment and if the house would be sufficiently shielded.
This is what I was going to say. There is usually a rental agreement. I doubt it's very much. But something anyway.
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Old 12.10.2011, 08:23
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Re: Viewed a house with an interesting feature

Swisscom has most likely inherited this from the old PTT days.

There usually is an easement (Servitut (de.) / servitude (fr.)) protecting the exchange (and the lines leading in and out across the servient estate, as well as granting access for maintenance). The seller really needs to be a bit more forthcoming re documentation here.
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Old 12.10.2011, 08:48
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Re: Viewed a house with an interesting feature

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I'm sure Swisscom pays rent for the facility, just as the post office is usually in rented premises. I would check to see if there are any emissions from the equipment and if the house would be sufficiently shielded.
We were asked if cablecom could put and exchange point on our property. The amount offered was a one-off payment and was pitiful - given the profit they would make (monthly revenues from 10 or so houses). We refused. I doubt you would get anything.

It is quite common for such arrangements to be made and/or neighbours to make agreements that need to be honoured by subsequent owners. Check carefully any deeds you buy.
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Old 12.10.2011, 08:48
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Re: Viewed a house with an interesting feature

We have the same thing in the corner of our garden. In 2 years I have only ever seen a technician come around once to service it, and he knocked on the door first.
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Old 12.10.2011, 13:08
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Re: Viewed a house with an interesting feature

Are you looking to rent, or to buy this house?

If renting, I'd have fewer concerns - but would want my insurer to review the situation just in case.

Buying would be a whole different issue, though.

First, believe nothing the agent says. Nor the current owner. Go to the Grundbuchamt and ask to see the entry into the Grundbuch granting easement. Then go to Swisscom and ask to see the original contract.

Make sure you understand both documents and and understand what rights you have signed away/do not posess. If you do not fully understand, have a lawyer review the documents.

It might also be prudent to speak directly to Swisscom over liability issues, getting their response in writing. Do you have any maintance liability wrt the switch? (What if the roots of your tree grow in such a way as to interfer with the switch? What if your tree grows too tall, interfering with the maintanance work - who pays to take it down?) What are your/Swisscom's liabilities in the case of an accident?

Ask your insurer (both your private liability, and your/the current owner's building insurance) to comment.

What are your future plans for the house/garden? Do you plan on any renovation in the future? The easement may mean that you cannot do so, or may restrict your ability to access the area (if you need heavy equipment, etc.)

Do you have a pet, and if so, would someone unannounced accessing your garden cause problems?

For instance:

A friend has something similar - can't remember exactly what, but the property grants an easement and access rights to a third party for some kind of work. So... friend's dog was in the garden, workers came over unannounced, leaving the gate open. The dog - who was in the garden at the time - ran out the open gate into the street. Dog was hit by a car and killed.

As if that was not bad enough, the car owner came after the dog/property owner for damage to his car and his medical bills - as the law allows. Property owner tried to go back to the third party, as their employee leaving the gates open could be construed as the root cause of the accident - but no dice. The third party had right of free access, and no further responsibility. The dog/property owner bore sole liability. And lost their beloved dog, to boot.

---

On the other hand there may be absolutely no concerns whatsoever Just make sure you understand your rights and liabilities - and get confirmation from an official/neutral source, not the agent or current owner.

Unless the house is your dream house in every other way, I'd still walk away - if only because of the resale issue. That you are concerned means that other buyers would be as well.

But if you decide to go ahead - lowball the offer. Easements/rights of access detract from the fundamental value of the property.

Good luck.

Last edited by meloncollie; 12.10.2011 at 15:20.
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Old 12.10.2011, 14:35
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Re: Viewed a house with an interesting feature

Had a friend in the states that had a huge transformer box in his backyard. He was "allowed" to cover it with one of the Sky Mall fake rock coverings. I looked ridiculous since they don't have boulders in Florida. But when you looked at his actual house papers and the lines drawn for the land, it had the transformer box and about a 1/2 meter around it that wasn't actually his property. You may want to see if this is the case here. It could be that you own the plot around the transfer line box, but they own the section where the box is.
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Old 12.10.2011, 16:26
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Re: Viewed a house with an interesting feature

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I can't believe the Swiss owner gives a major industrial giant free space in his home to house their switch room and just accepts that they can come and go as they please.
This could date back years. As has been suggested, you need to see a copy of the entry in the Grundbuch. We have dismissed some properties because upon investigation we discovered things like right of access.
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Old 12.10.2011, 16:45
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Re: Viewed a house with an interesting feature

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you might find this useful:

http://blacktable.com/elder040114.htm
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I think the whole house may be a bit over the top, perhaps I will just follow Mel Gibsons lead from the Signs and stick to the hat only

Attachment 33688

I'm sure the kids wont mind
.. crinkle .. scratch .. crunch ..

Job Done. Top Tip guys.
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viewed-house-interesting-feature-img_4433.jpg  
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Old 12.10.2011, 16:50
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Re: Viewed a house with an interesting feature

Thanks for all of the advice, to be honest I am not that worried about it being there in terms of needing to be shielded etc, was just a bit surprised to find it was there in the first place, the agents helpfully added the decorative but non working bread oven to the listing but completely forgot to mention your very own communications center as a selling point.

If we do pursue the house we will of course have a lawyer check the deeds and agreements etc.

Just to clarify the specifics though, the exchange is actually in the house itself, not the gardens, they currently occupy approximately 35 square metres within the 4 walls of the house. It seems we would have the ground floor and the loft area and they have the first floor of that part of the property. So, I am really hoping they don't own 2 metres (as in one of the examples quoted) of space all the way round it, if they do when I am on the ground floor I will have to reduce the height of the spike on my hat (which incidentally I made last night ready for the second viewing) thus potentially reducing its magical and protective powers.

Should anyone else feel they need a Mel Gibson Shielding hat I am willing to offer advice on manufacture or even if paid enough manufacture one for you. All sizes available, just compare the users head to one of the following:

Coconut - Suit child, pin head or Kermit (edited to include Kermit as had not considered the post prior to this one)
Galia Melon - Slighly bigger child possibly adolescent or a blond
Honey Dew Melon - Full size adult
Water Melon - Those people that just think they know everything

If requesting also please include estimated length of spike required - best way to do this is stand in a door way and measure form the top of your head to the bottom of the frame.
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Old 12.10.2011, 16:56
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Re: Viewed a house with an interesting feature

seems like a lot of grief you could do without tbh

eg what happens if you have a flood and short out everything in the exchange? are swisscom jointly responsible for house maintenance etc etc

personally I'd walk away
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Old 12.10.2011, 17:02
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Re: Viewed a house with an interesting feature

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seems like a lot of grief you could do without tbh

eg what happens if you have a flood and short out everything in the exchange? are swisscom jointly responsible for house maintenance etc etc

personally I'd walk away
I agree. Sounds sort of quaint and all but I'd walk away too. I'm really super curious about this house now though!!
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