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Old 01.11.2017, 00:06
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Right to refuse "break-in"

There was an accident at my neighborís heating system. The water flooded out. Now the Landlord realized they didnít repair anything in the last three years and sent me an appointment about when they think they would come on to replace the heating system.

Let me underline I have about ten reasons to not let anyone ever come to my flat when Iím home. When I say anyone, I mean anyone, including friends. Please letís save time and donít tell me where to put my keys.

The given appointment is the day when Iím going to the hospital for a surgery Iíve been waiting for a year.

I contacted the landlord and offered them ten days when they can come in anytime, I would be at home.

They refused as they told me the heating system has to be replaced the same time as they had to close the water, etc.

The problem is I wouldnít like to have a surgery and be nervous for days whether they break in my flat or not. Iíve been living here for many years. Iím not moving, I offered other days when they can come.

In theory, they donít have a key, but Iím not 100% sure, and what if they open the door without a key.

Another problem is I canít ask a friend to be at my place with a shotgun as shoot anyone who tries to come in as I have no reason to let anyone be in my flat, when Iím not there, in the first place.

What can I do? Can they come in, if I said no, but offered a lot of days when they can come?
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Old 01.11.2017, 00:09
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Re: Right to refuse "break-in"

not let anyone ever come to my flat when Iím *NOT* home

(Can I edit my post?)
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Old 01.11.2017, 00:18
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Re: Right to refuse "break-in"

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not let anyone ever come to my flat when Iím *NOT* home

(Can I edit my post?)
No, it takes a while until you see all the additional buttons/possibilities as a "newbie". But you just did clear it anyway.

As to your problem: I'm afraid there is not much you can do as it indeed is a major project they're taking on.
I fully, truly fully, understand you. I never let anyone into my flat when I'm not here, I even take time off if there is something like that (my landlord got used to it and I do get to be the first to be dealt with in the morning when all flats need entering, actually was the case today )
From your description though you'll have to let them in I'd say. Don't have you one really good friend you can trust and who can spend the necessary time in your flat?

PS: If you let that friend with the shotgun sit inside your flat the problem is solved

Last edited by curley; 01.11.2017 at 00:22. Reason: PS
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Old 01.11.2017, 00:26
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Thank you for your reply.

The possible damage they could do to me and to others is way higher than a fine could be, as far as I think. Besides, I have a legal insurance.

The point is I canít even ask a friend because we are also talking about non-material damage, such as copyright, licensing, and I could continue.

There is no way I say yes.

Iím not afraid of the consequences of not letting them in. Itís not happening I agree, no matter what. Itís a wasted time to talk about that case.

Iím afraid they still come in. Thatís the problem. I will have a surgery and the last thing I wanted to stress on whether my landlord wants to break in my flat.

By the way, the Landlord has been changed a few months ago. There were no issues for years. Now there are. I will move because of these new issues anyway, but this takes a while.

Last edited by 3Wishes; 01.11.2017 at 00:38. Reason: merging consecutive replies
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Old 01.11.2017, 00:30
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Re: Right to refuse "break-in"

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..... Itís a wasted time to talk about that case......
Okay then.
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Old 01.11.2017, 00:38
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Re: Right to refuse "break-in"

Did you check over your rental contract for the possibility of any written protocol on how these "needed maintenance" situations are to be handled?
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Old 01.11.2017, 00:40
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Re: Right to refuse "break-in"

Please donít take it personally. It wouldnít help if I write pages about some of the reasons.

Iím thinking of sealing the door but itís ridiculous if I have to that.
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Old 01.11.2017, 00:47
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Re: Right to refuse "break-in"

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...Let me underline I have about ten reasons to not let anyone ever come to my flat when Iím home. When I say anyone, I mean anyone, including friends. Please letís save time and donít tell me where to put my keys...
If you don't trust your "friends" to come to your house even when you are there, sorry but you need better friends. The workmen are not going to rummage through your stuff to steal copyrights or whatever. They are going to fix the heating and the floor. That said, it's obvious you're freaking out about this which is unneeded stress before surgery.

I don't know if the landlord is allowed to enter without your consent, unless it's deemed an emergency. Our flat allows the landlord to call a locksmith and the police for an emergency. I am not sure heating and flooring could be argued as an emergency in your case when it's not been fixed for 3 years already.

As others have said, what is in your contract regarding repairs and access to the flat? Also it may be a good idea to join the Mieterverband and ask them for help.

Good luck - with the surgery and the flat.
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Old 01.11.2017, 00:56
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Re: Right to refuse "break-in"

You could hire a security guard to stop them from entering.
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Old 01.11.2017, 00:56
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Re: Right to refuse "break-in"

Although I can't know for sure, I'd think that the landlord is unlikely to break in to your flat. They have informed you when you must be there. You have said you cannot, and suggested 10 other times when you could be there.

I lived in a building in which water and heating systems had to be worked on on the same day. All the tenants received the info well in advance, as you have. We were warned that anyone who was not there (or had not deposited a key with the caretaker or a neighbour) would be liable to bear the expenses that the plumber and heating technicians might incur by having to come back on another day.

On the day, 8 tenants were there or had left a key, and 1 not. The workers then did as much as they could without access to that flat, and they had to return to do the rest of the work on another day.

All the tenants received a second date, and the letter explained that the reason was that one tenant had not given the workers access to his/her flat, so the workers needed to visit again to finish the work. Everyone had to be there again for that second day, or once again leave the key with the caretaker. As you can imagine, those other 8 tenants were not so happy that the omission of the 1 tenant had caused them to have to organise things all over again.

The bill for that second day was charged, in full, to the one tenant who had blocked things the first day. That tenant was also sent a bill for one-ninth of the full costs of the first day. No other tenants were billed anything.
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Old 01.11.2017, 00:56
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Re: Right to refuse "break-in"

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I’m afraid they still come in. That’s the problem. I will have a surgery and the last thing I wanted to stress on whether my landlord wants to break in my flat.
It would be criminal for the landlord to force his way in without your consent - Art 186 StGB Hausfriedensbruch. Up to 3 years in jail.

You do have however a legal obligation in general to let them in to do the necessary repairs, but it's of a civil character. Punishment for not cooperating would be just money, or at worst you'd be getting kicked out but in a civil way - with proper notice and possibility to appeal through the legal system
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Old 01.11.2017, 01:00
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Re: Right to refuse "break-in"

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The possible damage they could do to me and to others is way higher than a fine could be, as far as I think. Besides, I have a legal insurance.
In Switzerland, it is considered reasonable and fair that the landlord has a right to access to the flat, and also workers or technicians he/she has appointed, as long as the tenants are given notice well in advance (as your landlord has done).

Therefore I would think it is unlikely that your legal insurance could do anything for you, since you are intending not to deliver what is considered to be reasonable and cooperative, enabling the landlord to do what must be done to repair the building.

I also don't see that anyone could charge you a "fine". But perhaps you simply meant bearing the full costs, as I wrote in the post before this.

EDIT: re "fine" or "money" to pay.... ivank was faster!
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Old 01.11.2017, 01:01
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Re: Right to refuse "break-in"

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It would be criminal for the landlord to force his way in without your consent - Art 186 StGB Hausfriedensbruch. Up to 3 years in jail.

You do have an obligation in general to let them in to do the necessary repairs, but it's of a civil character, punishment for not cooperating is just money or getting kicked out in a civil way at worst...
Sure but by that time he would have evidence of the kiddie dungeons and drug operations so the OP couldn't go to the police any more. She'd have to eliminate him - problematic if she's in hospital and the police are notified immediately. Better hire a man with a shotgun instead.
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Old 01.11.2017, 01:03
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Re: Right to refuse "break-in"

I had another idea: might it be possible (and cheaper?) for you to move all the private (potentially copyright) material out of your flat, beforehand? Could you then give the caretaker the key, in the normal way?
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Old 01.11.2017, 01:04
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Re: Right to refuse "break-in"

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If you don't trust your "friends" to come to your house even when you are there, sorry but you need better friends. The workmen are not going to rummage through your stuff to steal copyrights or whatever. They are going to fix the heating and the floor. That said, it's obvious you're freaking out about this which is unneeded stress before surgery.

I don't know if the landlord is allowed to enter without your consent, unless it's deemed an emergency. Our flat allows the landlord to call a locksmith and the police for an emergency. I am not sure heating and flooring could be argued as an emergency in your case when it's not been fixed for 3 years already.

As others have said, what is in your contract regarding repairs and access to the flat? Also it may be a good idea to join the Mieterverband and ask them for help.

Good luck - with the surgery and the flat.
Accident in the neighbours flat. With the floor heating that means either water and/or floor rising/cracking or both.

OP lock your stuff away, if necessary lock it away in an other place or in the cellar.
What comes to mind is: Clinging to worldly goods this frantically is not healthy.
My reason not to let just anyone in is because "my home is my castle", it's an "atmosphere" thing, so I chose well - or with craftsmen keep an eye on them.
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Old 01.11.2017, 01:07
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Re: Right to refuse "break-in"

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You could hire a security guard to stop them from entering.
This is the best idea so far. The only problem is that in such case one wants to avoid attention as much as possible. But I will consider this.
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Old 01.11.2017, 01:08
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Re: Right to refuse "break-in"

If I had valuable goods in my flat, that needed special protection, I would want to make sure that they didn't get damaged by that water.
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Old 01.11.2017, 01:08
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Re: Right to refuse "break-in"

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This is the best idea so far. The only problem is that in such case one wants to avoid attention as much as possible. But I will consider this.
Oh, dear.
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Old 01.11.2017, 01:13
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Re: Right to refuse "break-in"

Can't beat a good old midnight wind-up.
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Old 01.11.2017, 01:20
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Re: Right to refuse "break-in"

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It would be criminal for the landlord to force his way in without your consent - Art 186 StGB Hausfriedensbruch. Up to 3 years in jail.

You do have however a legal obligation, in general, to let them in to do the necessary repairs, but it's a civil character. Punishment for not cooperating would be just money, or at worst you'd be getting kicked out but in a civil way - with proper notice and possibility to appeal through the legal system
Thank you.

I understand this obligation. Even more, it was me who ran to help my shocked neighbor when her flat was flooded. Imagine that, someone hitting your door while you are living in one of the most peaceful parts of ZŁrich. You open the door and the neighbor is screaming for your help telling something about her mother in German. I was prepared to see someone lying on the ground.

Her mother wanted to adjust the heat.

In the last three years, I asked the landlord multiple times to repair the heating at my place.

They waited until an accident happened. And now they picked up the only day when I canít be home. Iím at home about 350 days a year. I mean, the whole day. And except for this two-three days, any other day would be possible.

I also have household insurance. I think I have every insurance one can have except for the one you make for the white spot on the neck of your black cat. I have no black cat. Thatís why.

I think it would have been civilized to offer us two or three options, and see if there is a day which is not totally impossible for at least one tenant.
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