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Old 28.06.2016, 14:20
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2,5 Apartment and complaining neighbour

Hello, I would like to ask your opinion about this matter. I have found similar posts but would like an specific answer:

My husband, me and my dog have been living in this 2,5 Zürich apartment for three and a half years now. Last september, we had a baby, so we had an abstract idea about moving somewhere else, but we thought the baby would not suppose a problem until he was 2 o 3 years old, as he sleeps in his crib, so we could make it here until then. We love the neughbourhood, and have some friends living close who have a bigger apartment and could be moving too at some point, so we thought the ideal solution would be taking that one. Another reason for not to rush is that my husbands contract is expiring at the end of this year, so we are not very sure about our future here.

Well, the lady who is in charge of housekeeping and lives at the next door has started to push me (first subtle, then in a very umpolite manner) that we should be moving now, as the flat is too small for us. I tried not to care at first, as she is a very difficult person (she has been living in the building for 20 years, do whatever she likes -she says the landloord is her friend- and did exactly the same thing with a previous couple who lived in the upper floor). She claims that is only for our own sake, but she told me she was planning to "pass" the apartment to one friend of hers. As I told her that we were waiting for our friends to move, thinking she would be happy with that, the very next day she went to my friends and asked them if that was true, and WHEN would they leave so we could leave. Of course my friend was annoyed.

I told her that I would only treat his matter with the landlord, and we would move only if we were told to. But, at the same time, I fear this could come sooner than expected, if she decides to really influence the landlord.

Do you think she has the right to claim us leaving soon? At what time is a baby considered a child for reasons of living space? Is this behaviour normal?

Many thanks in advance for your answers
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Old 28.06.2016, 14:35
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Re: 2,5 Apartment and complaining neighbour

There are several posts on the Forum, stating that a 2,5 room apartment is not big enough for a couple plus a baby. Let her rant, only the landlord can throw you out.

Does your rental contract state how many people can live there?
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Old 28.06.2016, 14:44
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Re: 2,5 Apartment and complaining neighbour

No, the contract does not say anything about number of people.
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Old 28.06.2016, 16:13
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Re: 2,5 Apartment and complaining neighbour

Tell her very bluntly to mind her own business and you will move when you are ready.
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Old 28.06.2016, 16:23
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Re: 2,5 Apartment and complaining neighbour

Just because she says she is friends with the landlord doesn't make it true. You could try having a conversation with the landlord directly saying that she is pressuring you & being a busybody. You may find the landlord thinks the same as you do. If not, you'll at least know where you stand.
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Old 28.06.2016, 16:43
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Re: 2,5 Apartment and complaining neighbour

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Just because she says she is friends with the landlord doesn't make it true..
Even if it's true, she has no kind of juridiction.

The worst thing would be the landlord throwing you out but check your rights. I recommend Mietverband
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Old 28.06.2016, 18:41
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Re: 2,5 Apartment and complaining neighbour

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There are several posts on the Forum, stating that a 2,5 room apartment is not big enough for a couple plus a baby. Let her rant, only the landlord can throw you out.

Does your rental contract state how many people can live there?
I have seen a couple and a toddler in an 1.5 room appartment.
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Old 28.06.2016, 19:20
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Re: 2,5 Apartment and complaining neighbour

A caravan is perfectly comfortable for a family of 4 if you don't have the busybody neighbour issue. Most of these "tiny houses" on the US sites are bigger than your average Swiss flat.
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Old 28.06.2016, 20:23
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Re: 2,5 Apartment and complaining neighbour

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Even if it's true, she has no kind of juridiction.

The worst thing would be the landlord throwing you out but check your rights. I recommend Mietverband
Yes, if you are not already a member of the Mieterverband (called Asloca in French, is the tenants' association) I'd recommend that you join immediately. The annual fee is not a lot. Then, if (and that is a big IF) your landlord gives you notice, you can go along to the Mieterverband and ask for help protecting your rights. The Mieterverband gets invovled, even with a lawyer if need be, but not for brand-new members, so please join immediately.

The landlord would, in any event, have to give good reasons for giving you notice. Although, as others have said, a flat of 2.5 rooms is considered too small for a couple plus baby (and in your case plus dog), this is, as I understand it, a factor used when a rental contract starts. In other words, if you were to apply for another 2.5 roomed flat, you'd be unlikely to be given it.

However, there are lots of families who, just like you, were not yet 3 persons when they signed the contract. Because there is a general shortage of affordable accommodation, and this is common knowledge, it would hardly be considered (by a tenants' court, if that's what it ever came to) reasonable for a landlord to expect you to leave just because your family has grown. Therefore, a reason such as "now they have a baby" is hardly likely to be accepted as valid to throw you out.

For your own sake, I suggest making very sure you're not doing anything else wrong. Have a re-read of the house rules, and check that you are not, for example making a noise during the lunch-time-quiet-hours at night, using the shared laundry at the wrong times, etc. These are the things that typcially can cause conflicts between neighbours. However, Baby crying is excluded from this, because it just happens, and nobody can prevent it.

Things that could upset the landlord include not paying your rent punctually, or leaving your personal belongings in the stairwell, or not parking your bicycle/baby's pram in the right place, both of which could be a hazard as they could block a fire escape route, and the inspectors can fine the landlord if his tenants misbehave.

If you know that you are not causing any trouble in these and similar ways, then you can probably just relax.
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Old 28.06.2016, 20:25
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Re: 2,5 Apartment and complaining neighbour

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Most of these "tiny houses" on the US sites are bigger than your average Swiss flat.
Yes, so annoying, isn't it? Read "tiny house" and an intro about how they fitted out their storage space, and then find that their "small" is... well, very generous, as you say, compared to an average Swiss flat. Grrr....
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Old 29.06.2016, 08:19
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Re: 2,5 Apartment and complaining neighbour

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There are several posts on the Forum, stating that a 2,5 room apartment is not big enough for a couple plus a baby. Let her rant, only the landlord can throw you out.

Does your rental contract state how many people can live there?
Utter nonsense.

Those posts may exist, but if they do they're completely wrong.

First, there's no official or legal or whatever requirement. Second, even if reported to authorities, standard approach (article in German) is that everything is just fine as long as there are not more than
(number of rooms plus two)
people living in an apartment. So even if one were to count the dog as a person OP still is fine.

Plus, letting to a married couple very obviously includes the possibiltiy of children "arriving" So landlord can't even argue that it didn't have to be expected.

Do note that the linked article is by the HEV, the swiss home owners association, i.e. by the "enemy".
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Old 29.06.2016, 12:34
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Re: 2,5 Apartment and complaining neighbour

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...Those posts may exist, but if they do they're completely wrong...
I wouldn't say completely wrong, as it likely varies by canton, muni, and the person dealing with the paperwork. We've seen many posts where members were moving to Switzerland for the first time, applying for family reunification, and being told the flat they had was not large enough and would need to be sorted before reunification was approved.

So it might not apply to OP who already has a rental contract, but it does seem when looking at first-time permits some authorities want to see a certain amount of space per person.
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Old 29.06.2016, 23:13
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Re: 2,5 Apartment and complaining neighbour

Since your husband's contract is finished at the end of the year, and your future is uncertain, it does not make any sense to even consider moving.


Contact the landlord and inform him that the Hauswartin is bothering you. Tell the landlord that for a number of reasons you are not in a position to consider moving right now. You do not have to offer up any reasons. Do not mention anything about your husband's contract.


If the landlord were to give you notice, you could fight it. This might bring you an extension.


When couples rent apartments, it is not a given they will have a baby. But if you already had a baby when you applied for the apartment, I doubt you would have been approved. While babies can stay in their parents' room, at some point the baby needs a room of its own.


The Hauswartin might hear the baby crying and wants you to move.


On the front of the rental contract there is almost always an indication of the number of persons living in the apartment. This was given at the time you applied. When a baby is born, and the number changes, you need to inform the landlord. Did you do this?
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Old 30.06.2016, 08:16
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Re: 2,5 Apartment and complaining neighbour

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I have seen a couple and a toddler in an 1.5 room appartment.
Yes, overcrowding does happen, but the Gemeinde / Commune usually insist on one bedroom per person or couple, plus one living room. In this case there is a couple, plus a baby, plus a dog.

If the neighbour complains to the authorities, they could become difficult, and tell the landlord to terminate the contract.

I would definitely join the Mieterverband! (ASLOCA assistance locataires)
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Old 01.07.2016, 19:36
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Re: 2,5 Apartment and complaining neighbour

Come on, all you lot that live in your villas by lakes with big gardens and pools and those wonderful salaries etc.

There are thousands of people, who you may not associate with, who live in small apartments with children and pets. And granny, sometimes.

It may be the law, but it is a very small law.

I doubt the OP will be thrown out of her flat because she has a ten month old baby. That, in itself could be against the law.

A lot of babies sleep in their parents room, and the dog too, probably. And the woman that is annoying should be reported, not the OP, just for being such a horrible person. Nosy neighbours are the worst, give her one of those Adult Colouring Books - it'll keep her mesmerised for months!! Doing the Sistine Chapel.

Last edited by Patsycat; 01.07.2016 at 19:49.
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Old 01.07.2016, 20:36
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Re: 2,5 Apartment and complaining neighbour

I don't think it's so easy for landlords to just throw out tenants, I think they would need a strong legal basis for it. You may even be able to drag it out if you decide to take legal recourse.

It probably also depends on whether you're with a big agency or a private landlord. Big agencies have their policies and wouldn't be influenced by housekeeper.
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Old 02.07.2016, 13:34
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Re: 2,5 Apartment and complaining neighbour

Yes, the landlord was informed.


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Since your husband's contract is finished at the end of the year, and your future is uncertain, it does not make any sense to even consider moving.


Contact the landlord and inform him that the Hauswartin is bothering you. Tell the landlord that for a number of reasons you are not in a position to consider moving right now. You do not have to offer up any reasons. Do not mention anything about your husband's contract.


If the landlord were to give you notice, you could fight it. This might bring you an extension.


When couples rent apartments, it is not a given they will have a baby. But if you already had a baby when you applied for the apartment, I doubt you would have been approved. While babies can stay in their parents' room, at some point the baby needs a room of its own.


The Hauswartin might hear the baby crying and wants you to move.


On the front of the rental contract there is almost always an indication of the number of persons living in the apartment. This was given at the time you applied. When a baby is born, and the number changes, you need to inform the landlord. Did you do this?
 




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