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Old 22.06.2017, 13:40
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Private street or road - maintenance

We live on a small chemin privé (private road) which is almost the end of a cul de sac. Three neighbours past us and about 2 or 300 meters to the nearest public road.

Does anybody have experience about the responsibilities for maintenenace? We have no official agreement with the neighbours and the commun wash their hands of it. We sealed the 30+ metres on our own plot but a Swiss neighbour is demanding we pay or contribute to the repair of his stretch. Is there anyone with previous experience of this or factual knowledge of rights and responsibilities?

Thanks in advance
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Old 22.06.2017, 14:03
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Re: Private street or road - maintenance

Contact the Registre Foncier and ask for a list of "servitudes" (right of way) which should be documented for the parcel(s) concerned. Normally these should also be in the rental or sales contract also.
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Old 22.06.2017, 14:49
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Re: Private street or road - maintenance

Not really what I asked though. I know who has right of way, but who has the responsibility for maintenance of the road?
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Old 22.06.2017, 14:51
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Re: Private street or road - maintenance

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Not really what I asked though. I know who has right of way, but who has the responsibility for maintenance of the road?
Who owns the road?
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Old 22.06.2017, 15:00
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Re: Private street or road - maintenance

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Not really what I asked though. I know who has right of way, but who has the responsibility for maintenance of the road?
Either it is already documented or if not you can extrapolate who should pay what, for this you will need a lawyer.

e.g.

Five home-owners use the road and share maintenance costs accordingly (20% each)

Up to you to do the rest...
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Old 22.06.2017, 15:03
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Re: Private street or road - maintenance

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Not really what I asked though. I know who has right of way, but who has the responsibility for maintenance of the road?
Part of the servitude entry is who bears which maintenance cost. If no such agreement is part of the servitude the maintenance cost has to be shared based upon actual usage. If a road is on property Y but only used by X and is only for X benefits, than X has to bear the full cost.

http://www.hev-aargau.ch/fileadmin/u...tbarkeiten.pdf
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Old 22.06.2017, 15:32
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Re: Private street or road - maintenance

You should have a copy of the plan from the Grundbuchamt (not sure what that is in French) from when you purchased the house. I think that will list any servitudes. Failing that, go to the Grundbuchamt and get a copy. You can do this without a lawyer, but there is a fee.
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Old 22.06.2017, 17:22
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Re: Private street or road - maintenance

The neighbour "owns" the road as it is on his land but we a right of way.

But is there an expectation that maintenance is typically shared by users in Switzerland? We've never been asked for maintenance by owners at the other end of the private road and it would imply that if you live at the far end then you're going to always be on the receiving end of bills. Given the fact the road is at least 30 years old and we've only been there for 3 has this ever been factored in for anyone?

It's why I wanted to know if anyone had any experience in this. The legal position is that it belongs to the neighbour but does anyone have a personal experience in how costs are shared, if at all.

There aren't any agreements specifying maintenance which seems not to be a good thing. The implication that we and 3 neighbours are then responsible for the maintenance of part of it not used by the owner seems a bit harsh too. Would make me think more carefully about being at the far end of a private road for sure.
Presumably then there has to be some equity in considering usage for time as well as number of users? We've been here 3 years but the others have been there for 6 or 12 years.

I'd still be interested to hear if anyone has resolved this amicably or in general what is thought "proper" in the Swiss view.

Last edited by Dramaticpause; 22.06.2017 at 17:32. Reason: Subsequent posts appeared whilst writing
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Old 22.06.2017, 17:42
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Re: Private street or road - maintenance

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Presumably then there has to be some equity in considering usage for time as well as number of users? We've been here 3 years but the others have been there for 6 or 12 years.
Sometimes there is a maintenance fund for such things. If no such fund exists it has to be factored in the price of the property. Maybe that is why you got the property, you offered more than all buyer which were aware of the condition of the road and the maintenance it will need in the near future.
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Old 22.06.2017, 17:44
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Re: Private street or road - maintenance

We own a private road (albeit in Italy), and have right of way of a private road in Ticino (which is owned by the town, but is a forest road).

As owners of the private road, we are responsible for maintenance, but we are also free to not maintain it. Thus, the other users kick in a share based on their share of the taxable property that has access to the road, or else we do not maintain it.

The road in Ticino is a 200m long forest road. Other than us, there is one other user. We trim branches, etc, the commune cuts down trees, etc.

Anyway, if the owner does not use the full length of the road, I would expect that those who do are responsible for keeping it in the condition it was in when they started using it.

Tom
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Old 22.06.2017, 17:58
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Re: Private street or road - maintenance

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Anyway, if the owner does not use the full length of the road, I would expect that those who do are responsible for keeping it in the condition it was in when they started using it.

Tom
The houses are all on individual plots and the neighbour has not sealed the 10metres or so beyond his parking which then leads to our plot. I don't even think he is proposing to seal that part (which incidentally is the reason the snow clearing service we're asked to pay for won't extend to our property).

What he wants is payment for damages done to the other sealed section (belonging to the 2 houses he owns). I don't think it should be my responsibility as it's his road on his land but my thoughts and my responsibilities aren't necessarily the same thing! He's sent a threatening letter from his lawyer and now asked to have another neighbour mediate a discussion so before countering with another legal argument I wanted to see if there was any experience of doing this with real humans rather than hypotheticals and opinions.
Thanks
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Old 22.06.2017, 18:16
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Re: Private street or road - maintenance

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I don't even think he is proposing to seal that part (which incidentally is the reason the snow clearing service we're asked to pay for won't extend to our property).

What he wants is payment for damages done to the other sealed section (belonging to the 2 houses he owns).
Does he use the unseal portion? If not you and the others can get it, with permission of the landowner, seal it on your own cost.

Do you use the sealed portion? Then you will have to pay for the maintenance.

Here an other link. This time in French. May be they explain it
http://www.rts.ch/la-1ere/programmes...f=player/popup

You may also contact the Chambre vaudoise immobilière or buy their booklet on the topic http://www.cvi.ch/pulications-formul...e-copie-4.html
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Old 22.06.2017, 18:43
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Re: Private street or road - maintenance

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The houses are all on individual plots and the neighbour has not sealed the 10metres or so beyond his parking which then leads to our plot. I don't even think he is proposing to seal that part (which incidentally is the reason the snow clearing service we're asked to pay for won't extend to our property).

What he wants is payment for damages done to the other sealed section (belonging to the 2 houses he owns). I don't think it should be my responsibility as it's his road on his land but my thoughts and my responsibilities aren't necessarily the same thing! He's sent a threatening letter from his lawyer and now asked to have another neighbour mediate a discussion so before countering with another legal argument I wanted to see if there was any experience of doing this with real humans rather than hypotheticals and opinions.
Thanks
I have real experience, that's why I gave you the advice I did.

Our house has a plot with 4 new built (<10yr) houses at the end of our garden. The plot used to be part of our property but a previous owner sold it. The 4 houses share an access road which in turn passes over another property.

We have a right of access to the access road as well (it was originally part of our property) and this is stated in our Registre foncier extract, but there is no mention of maintenance nor payment.

The 4 new built houses share the maintenance of the access road 50/50 with the other property. After a couple of years, the new built housing "association" wrote asking us to contribute to their 50% share. As we seldom use the access for vehicles, but only on foot we politely declined their request.

They got a lawyer to write to us who said it is a generally accepted principle in Swiss Law, that those with use of a right of access should share maintenance costs. I consulted our legal insurance (do you have one?) who told me it is not a binding principle and they wrote back to the other party's lawyer saying such. This was about 7 years ago and we have heard nothing since.

As I said, we have given you real information, time for you to get your finger out and do some work yourself.
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Old 22.06.2017, 19:39
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Re: Private street or road - maintenance

What I learned from renting and owning on a private road is never again.

Even if everyone agrees on the maintenance, there will always be excuses. In our previous house I shovelled the snow as no one else could be bothered.
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Old 22.06.2017, 19:47
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Re: Private street or road - maintenance

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I don't think it should be my responsibility as it's his road on his land but my thoughts and my responsibilities aren't necessarily the same thing!
If it was my road, I'd rip up all the paving and install tank traps then.

(actually, we've considered doing that in Italy due to too many unauthorized people using our road )

Tom
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Old 22.06.2017, 20:07
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Re: Private street or road - maintenance

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If it was my road, I'd rip up all the paving and install tank traps then.

(actually, we've considered doing that in Italy due to too many unauthorized people using our road )

Tom
Personally I'm quite amazed that the OP has received this much free legal
advice.

Buying property in Switzerland usually requires a great deal of legal paperwork
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Old 22.06.2017, 20:22
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Re: Private street or road - maintenance

We had a servitude on a road owned by the building opposite & had to pay into the pot for the road mending to be done as we all used the road.
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Old 23.06.2017, 10:06
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Re: Private street or road - maintenance

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What he wants is payment for damages done to the other sealed section (belonging to the 2 houses he owns). I don't think it should be my responsibility as it's his road on his land but my thoughts and my responsibilities aren't necessarily the same thing! He's sent a threatening letter from his lawyer and now asked to have another neighbour mediate a discussion
So apparently there's an arrangement already with at least one plot-owner using the road. What's that arrangement, and is everybody else using the road in it except you?
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Old 23.06.2017, 12:11
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Re: Private street or road - maintenance

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So apparently there's an arrangement already with at least one plot-owner using the road. What's that arrangement, and is everybody else using the road in it except you?
No, there is no arrangement. There is no servitude in terms of a pre-written agreement on maintenance only the droit de passage for access rights to all the plots beyond the neighbour. I wasn't actually expecting a legal confirmation just any examples of any real life experiences in Switzerland.
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Old 23.06.2017, 12:17
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Re: Private street or road - maintenance

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We had a servitude on a road owned by the building opposite & had to pay into the pot for the road mending to be done as we all used the road.
That makes sense. We didn't/don't have an agreement beyond a right of way/access though so I wondered what happens in these cases (practically rather than just legally). It does worry me though like I've said that I might be liable for maintenance on the full length of this road (there are 10 or more plots before ours) although I've never been asked for anything up to now and there have been repairs on the road. So it seems as though we may or may not have to pay depending on what the neighbour does.
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