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Old 06.10.2019, 11:02
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Neighbours hedges blocking lake view

Hello,

We have been in our apartment for 6 years now. The apartment is nothing special but we do have beautiful views of the lake which is why we decided to live here and pay a premium rent for it.

Unfortunately my neighbour has just planted hedges at the edge of his garden (not connected to mine). The hedges are still small but growing quickly and already starting to block my lovely view. If they grow above 3 m they will not only block the lake but also our view of the mountains.

I do plan on speaking to my neighbour, although he is not very approachable or welcoming at the best of times. But before I do, I would like to know if there are any rules in Switzerland preventing people from growing hedges/trees and blocking neighbours views.

Thanks for any help.
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Old 06.10.2019, 11:57
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Re: Neighbours hedges blocking lake view

Go to your local Bauamt (building bureaucracy, don't know the term in french, sorry) and ask what the rules are for planting.

In my Quartier of my little village in SZ, there are cantonal rules, village rules and Quartier rules.

We are limited to 120cm if planted on the border between properties, 2m if planted 1 meter set back from the border (Or is it 50cm back? I'd have to look it up, but you get the gist.)

However, there is a complication in that we are a Quartier. Technically* borders between properties within the Quartier count as already behind the set back, as the Quartier is a collective property comprising of the individually owned parts. So technically one could plant a 2m hedge directly on the border between your property and your neighbors as long as that border is within the Quartier borders.


So look up the various regulations that govern your property and the properties around you. Then... as you plan on how to approach your neighbor, also think about whether this is the hill you want to die on, or not.





*I say technically because Border Flora Wars are all too real a thing.

For example: one of the neighbors regularly goes around with his measuring stick, post-it notes at the ready to complain even if the offending hedge (or tree - there are tree rules as well) is no where near his property or view. Because we are all so tired of wasting hours at the annual Quartier meeting as he drones on again, and again and again, and because he has more village Vitamin B and endless time to initiate official complaints however specious, most of us keep our borders to 120, not 2m, just for the peace.

This is what I meant about the hill you want to die on. The Measuring Stick Guy is not too popular in the neighborhood, as you might guess. Do you want to be That Guy? Think about how this interaction with your neighbor will affect your enjoyment of the neighborhood going forward (and into eternity as Nachbarkrieg tends towards the never-ending).

I'd counsel you to first look for a win-win solution. What could you live with that would also meet your neighbor's desire for privacy? Try to find a compromise - the Hedge Row Ulcer is rarely worth it.

Besides, we all need more green amidst our concrete jungles, if only to soak up the CO2.

Good luck with the discussion.
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Old 06.10.2019, 14:41
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Re: Neighbours hedges blocking lake view

Hello Meloncollie,

I certainly don't want to upset neighbours and am generally a 'live and let live' type of person but the views are important to me for many reasons.

Also, as mentioned, I pay a premium on my otherwise uninteresting apartment just because of the views.

I will take your advice and try to find out where my local planning office is.

Thanks
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Old 06.10.2019, 14:53
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Re: Neighbours hedges blocking lake view

The neighbour may not actually know that the hedge is obscuring your view. That's possible.

It might be good if you try to see the reasons for the neighbour's having chosen that particular hedge, in that particular spot. For example, is is for visual privacy? Or is is a natural accoustic shield? From/against whom or what? What is the neighbour gaining from having that hedge?

If once you can undertand that, it'll be come more possible to see whether the neighbour can still have all the benefits of whatever that hedge is doing for him, while not diminishing your view.
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Old 06.10.2019, 15:05
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Re: Neighbours hedges blocking lake view

Out of interest, what is the hedge made of (what plant?)
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Old 06.10.2019, 15:58
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Re: Neighbours hedges blocking lake view

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Out of interest, what is the hedge made of (what plant?)
And above all, does it burn?
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Old 06.10.2019, 16:03
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Re: Neighbours hedges blocking lake view

I'm not sure OP can "fight" this as a tenant? He might have to contact the landlord.


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...... For example: one of the neighbors regularly goes around with his measuring stick, post-it notes at the ready to complain .....
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Old 06.10.2019, 16:22
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Re: Neighbours hedges blocking lake view

Roundup injected into the roots now will make it look like winter freeze killed it https://www.gardenrex.ch/deutsch/rou...onzentrat-1er/
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Old 06.10.2019, 16:42
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Re: Neighbours hedges blocking lake view

Here is the link to an article in the Beobachter (in German) which, in turn, has links to all the various cantonal rules regarding hedges, height and distance from the border.

https://www.beobachter.ch/nachbarn/n...-und-straucher

In Aargau, for example, the roots of the hedge can be no closer than 60cm from the border and, at that distance, the hedge can only be 1m80 high. For each cm further away from the border you can go another cm in height. But the rules are dependent on the canton (and possible local variations).
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Old 06.10.2019, 16:49
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Re: Neighbours hedges blocking lake view

It might actually be an issue between you and your landlord. You pay premium for the view and now you don't get it. Maybe you could join ASLOCA and ask them, how best to proceed.
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Old 06.10.2019, 17:54
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Re: Neighbours hedges blocking lake view

Unfortunately, I just noted that the link to the Code Rural et Foncier for the Canton of Vaud is offline, but I did find this drawing from the Commune of Biere which is quite clear.

http://www.biere-vd.ch/bierefutur/im...2012%20new.pdf

If that is indeed the case it would mean that the hedge could go up to 2m high within 50cm of the border. If the hedge is set back to 4m from the border it could go as high at 9m. In which case it sounds like you may be in trouble with your view...
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Old 13.10.2019, 00:41
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Re: Neighbours hedges blocking lake view

Hi Snoopy,

I think you may be right, I may not be able to do anything as there is a driveway separating our borders.

I will see if ASLOCA can advise.
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Old 13.10.2019, 08:21
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Re: Neighbours hedges blocking lake view

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Hello,

We have been in our apartment for 6 years now. The apartment is nothing special but we do have beautiful views of the lake which is why we decided to live here and pay a premium rent for it.

Unfortunately my neighbour has just planted hedges at the edge of his garden (not connected to mine). The hedges are still small but growing quickly and already starting to block my lovely view. If they grow above 3 m they will not only block the lake but also our view of the mountains.

I do plan on speaking to my neighbour, although he is not very approachable or welcoming at the best of times. But before I do, I would like to know if there are any rules in Switzerland preventing people from growing hedges/trees and blocking neighbours views.

Thanks for any help.
Please post pictures so we can better get an idea of what is involved here
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Old 13.10.2019, 09:23
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Re: Neighbours hedges blocking lake view

The hedges are obstructing your view of the lake? Tell the landlord that you pay for the privilege of seeing the lake and now it’s being blocked. Those hedges devalue the flat which could even lead to a price reduction. With this in mind, I’d do the following:

1. Talk to your neighbor. You have every right to do so and you may find they’ll trim the hedges as a result. Perhaps other properties are also affected by the height of the hedges.
2. If this doesn’t work, talk to your landlord and tell them your place has a lower value now due to the obstructed view caused by the hedges. Ask them to do something about it.
3. If that doesn’t work, go to the local council to find out if building codes include heights of hedges and obstruction of lake view. If yes, ask them how to best proceed with your complaint.
4. If that doesn’t work, ask for a decrease in your rent.
5. If that doesn’t work, learn to live with it or move.

Although I sympathize with Meloncollie’s views, in this case I believe you have the law on your side simply because those lake views affect the value of your property. Your neighbor may very well be aware of this but has chosen to wait until someone complains. So COMPLAIN!
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Last edited by olygirl; 13.10.2019 at 12:19.
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Old 13.10.2019, 10:56
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Re: Neighbours hedges blocking lake view

Tidjane, is that you?
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Old 13.10.2019, 12:46
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Re: Neighbours hedges blocking lake view

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Tidjane, is that you?
Tidjane Tidjane wherefore art thou Tidjane!
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