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Old 08.05.2008, 15:45
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Owner living in building - good or bad?

One of the apartments I've seen in Zürich, belongs to a small "family" agency (who apparently owns the whole building, and a few other properties around the city), with the owner (head of the agency) living in the same building.

In general, is it good or bad for a tenant to live in an apartment with the owner living in the same building? What are the advantages and disadvantages?

My guess would be that on one hand if there is any problem in the apartment or house, it would get fixed faster (and the landlord easier to reach), but on the other hand, you may be more likely to get complaints from the landlord.

Any thoughts or pieces of wisdom on the matter from others? Anybody else here in the forum lives in the same building as his landlord?

What about if I want to move to another apartment in the future - would it be more difficult to get a good reference from such a family agency?
Thanks,
-- Tom
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Old 08.05.2008, 15:52
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Re: Owner living in building - good or bad?

Depends how nosey they are, and if they can keep things professional. Personaly, I wouldn't be too comfortable about it.
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Old 08.05.2008, 15:54
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Re: Owner living in building - good or bad?

From what i have read on this forum in the past i would not rent the flat.
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Old 08.05.2008, 15:56
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Re: Owner living in building - good or bad?

The owners of our apartment live in the same building right opposite our apartment . They are great people and are very helpful . We have been living there for 3.5 years and have had only good experiences with them . In fact , when we first moved in , the gentleman even helped us by installing a few lights for us , while we awaited our things ( lights , fixtures etc. ) to arrive . We leave the keys with them when we are away on holiday and they also do the same .
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Old 08.05.2008, 15:57
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Re: Owner living in building - good or bad?

It all depends on what sort of people the owners are. When we lived in Muttenz our landlords lived directly under our flat. We got along great. We had them over for dinner a couple of times. We were over at their place a few times. I even baked pita bread for our landlord's birthday. We're still in touch with them after we've moved.
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Old 08.05.2008, 15:59
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Re: Owner living in building - good or bad?

I understand your concern as I live somewhere where I have that "issue". All I can give you as a piece of advice is to know that even thouhg you pay rent and you think its "your" place, they wont.

They will BUG YOU (or at least in my apt) all the time about the most mundane things, like ordering food from leshop and not being there to pick it up so they had to buzz them in.
Or leaving the laundry for 2 hours, or taking the trash to early (or too late). Having the TV past 10, etc etc.

I have to say my landlord has nothing else to do but to nag everyone it the building all day, every day, leaving notes etc. (This is not just me but 6 of us. To be honest is so minor that I just brush it off (that doesnt mean it annoys the cr*p out of me sometimes!) and smile

Just pay the rent on time, be quiet for the first 6 months, good luck
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Old 08.05.2008, 16:10
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Re: Owner living in building - good or bad?

My first idea would also be to avoid renting the flat

... BUT ...

I've been living for the last 4 years in the top two floors of a nice old village house, with the owner living in the bottom two floors, and the experience has been great : the owner is a very nice person, not nosy at all, and when I have issues, for example with the appliances or with plumbing, he takes care of them very quickly. I should add that the house being fairly old it has very thick walls which ensure an appropriate level of privacy.
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Old 08.05.2008, 16:11
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Re: Owner living in building - good or bad?

Sounds like a disadvantage, judging by most replies.
This is a shame - it's actually a nice apartment and there are chances I may be able to get it.

PS, as for the "TV after 22:00 PM" thingy - would this really be a problem? Assuming I don't turn the volume loud, and Swiss construction quality should be high, so shouldn't the apartment be isolated enough for neighbours not to hear it?

And then what about the noise of opening faucets early in the morning or at night?
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Old 08.05.2008, 16:11
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Re: Owner living in building - good or bad?

Bad. Bad. Bad.

Is that enough characters yet for a valid post? OK then we're done.

dave
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Old 08.05.2008, 16:21
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Re: Owner living in building - good or bad?

Good if you're the quiet type who follows all the rules.

Bad if you love loud music and bending the rules half the time.


Seriously though, if the location is good, the flat layout is modern and practical, the view is fantastic and there seems to be no hooliganish children/teens terrorising the neighbourhood , I'd say: "Go for it!"
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Old 08.05.2008, 16:22
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What about a reference from your previous landlord?

Also, I'd love to understand the process of moving out better.

Especially since it appears that agencies want a reference from your previous homeowner - how does that work exactly? Do you just go to your landlord and ask him to write a reference letter, and then take copies of the letter and attach to applications? And if he's just been nosy or nagging, but you have in general been quiet, and always paid on time, he could still refuse and make life difficult for you, right?

Where I come from, and in most other places I know, it's much easier to get an apartment as long as you can pay for it, and landlords generally leave you in peace as long as you pay on time, and nobody asks to hear from your previous landlord to let you in. I'm a bit worried about this landlord reference thing, as it seems to be a big problem, especially if you have a bad landlord, as the reason you want to leave your apartment would be also a cause for it to be difficult to get a new one.

Also, I don't understand - considering that you start looking for a new home a month or more before you leave your previous apartment, you need your reference then already, but one of the most important issues - namely, in what condition you left your last apartment - can not be taken into account for the reference?
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Old 08.05.2008, 16:38
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Re: Owner living in building - good or bad?

Quote:
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Good if you're the quiet type who follows all the rules.

Bad if you love loud music and bending the rules half the time.
Well, I'm generally a quiet type, and follow all the obvious rules. I would always pay on time, wouldn't hold noisy parties, hear loud music, pester the neighbours, etc.

But I do go out at night, so I can't see how to avoid things like opening and closing the house and apartment doors, walking the steps at 2AM, opening the faucet to wash my hands, etc. And I don't know what about any special rules people can invent over there...

Quote:
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Seriously though, if the location is good, the flat layout is modern and practical, the view is fantastic and there seems to be no hooliganish children/teens terrorising the neighbourhood , I'd say: "Go for it!"
Location is reasonable near the western edge of the city (could be better, but for now I'd be happy with it). Flat layout seems good and practical, view fine, and anyway I'm not too picky right now. Kitchen is relatively small and primitive, which I've been told is the reason not many people applied, but not a problem for me. No terror in neighbourhood as far as I know. But I'm just moving in and don't really know the city yet (only been there for a few days as of now), so one can never now - I may decide after a year that it's not for me and look for another apartment, and wouldn't want it to be any more difficult then than it is now.
Thanks for the advice,
-- Tom
 

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advantages, building, contract, disadvantages, home, living, owner, proprietor, rent




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