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Old 12.05.2021, 13:09
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Issue with building permission in Ebmatingen

Hi everyone,

I am reaching out as we signed for a new building being built in Ebmatingen (Im Grossacher) and were now told by the estate agent that 2 claims have been made against the construction.

I was wondering whether any of you either bought in the same building or know someone who may have signed as we would like to discuss with them.

The estate agent, 3 weeks after having received the notice that appeals had been filed against the project, told us that the lawyer estimated that it would take 6 months to resolve. Not only they did not need to ask their lawyers since the 6 months timeline is a legal fact (information publicly available) but they should have told us "immediately" that appealed had been filed against the project, which they did not.

Since we have now no visibility on the timeline or whether the project will even be built, I asked for the appeal claims so I could get my own opinion and decide if I should ask for my money back (all of it since they breached the contract we signed by not "immediately" informing us). They replied that "For reasons of data protection, my clients do not want the files regarding objections to be released. So I have to ask you to decide how to proceed on the basis of the known facts at hand." .

This is mesmerizing to me, they have almost close to CHF 100,000 of our cash locked away, and they refuse to tell us what the appeal is about and ask us to make a decision based on no fact except that there is an appeal against the project.

I was wondering whether estate agents (who I know for sure as confirmed by the very helpful Maur Gemeinde) who have access to the claims, can refuse to provide the documents to future owners?

Thanks much for your help.

Guillaume
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Old 12.05.2021, 13:30
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Re: Issue with building permission in Ebmatingen

Not sure but maybe ask the Gemeinde? I am sure you have a contract or something similiar that you can show to proof that you have an interest in knowing. I would at least try that (and quickly).
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Old 12.05.2021, 13:32
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Re: Issue with building permission in Ebmatingen

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Not sure but maybe ask the Gemeinde? I am sure you have a contract or something similiar that you can show to proof that you have an interest in knowing. I would at least try that (and quickly).
Thanks, I have indeed and the Gemeinde confirmed that they do not have the right to provide such documentaion (they wre super fast and helpful).
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Old 12.05.2021, 13:59
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Re: Issue with building permission in Ebmatingen

It would sound like the neighbours are objecting. This could take years.

If you're bold, go knocking on doors of neighbours, there will be objectors typically on the basis of the noise/dirt from the build and those who lose some view, if there is one of significance (probably towards Greifensee, I am guessing).

What is being built - specifically how high and how close to neighbouring properties?
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Old 12.05.2021, 14:09
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Re: Issue with building permission in Ebmatingen

Thanks Sean,

From what I understand:
- Gemeinde made project public in November
- Objections were made
- Gemeinde issued building permit nevertheless
- within 30 days people filed appeal to baurekursgericht in Zurich, starting a 6 month appeal project

So clearly the appeal will not take longer than 6 months, this is a legal timeline, so we should know if the appeal is accepted (and we lost) or not (and we won) by mid October 2021.

The question is, if we win and it still goes to the Federal circuit, then how long would that take.
I have looked at the archive and the name of the architect (who has built quite a few buildings in Zurich) is nowhere to be found so either they had no appeal launched against them, or they settled before a decision was made.

Regarding the project, it is the typical 2-3 storey concrete constructions from the 70's which is being destroyed and replaced by a Minergie 4 storey Multi-Familly house.

All neighbours except one are on the other side of the road as on one side there is no building (a field) and a house is on the other side 20m away.

I do not think it is a height issue because the total building is more or less the same height as the building from the 70's being demolished.

It could just be grumpy neighbours wanting to save time, but at a cost of c. 20-50k for an appeal procedure, this seems like an expensive project for them.
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Old 12.05.2021, 14:24
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Re: Issue with building permission in Ebmatingen

I find this kind of interesting:
Quote:
Since we have now no visibility on the timeline or whether the project will even be built, I asked for the appeal claims so I could get my own opinion and decide if I should ask for my money back (all of it since they breached the contract we signed by not "immediately" informing us). They replied that "For reasons of data protection, my clients do not want the files regarding objections to be released. So I have to ask you to decide how to proceed on the basis of the known facts at hand."
It sounds like a collection of around 4 apartments? Do you know the other purchasers? It could be time to work together, you will do plenty together organisationally once it's built (you hope) so get to know them and act together now. Collectively, threatening to pull out might tilt things in your favour but IANAL.....

How is this impacting the completion date?
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Old 12.05.2021, 14:27
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Re: Issue with building permission in Ebmatingen

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I find this kind of interesting:


It sounds like a collection of around 4 apartments? Do you know the other purchasers? It could be time to work together, you will do plenty together organisationally once it's built (you hope) so get to know them and act together now. Collectively, threatening to pull out might tilt things in your favour but IANAL.....

How is this impacting the completion date?
That is exactly why I am posting here. There are a total of 13 appartments, all have been sold from mid-January and middle of March, yet I do not think any of us know each other.

Initially the project was meant to be delivered in "summer 2022", then they said it is an 18 month project with construction planned to start in September 2021 => Delivery late 2022 or early 2023. Now with this 6 month delay (at least), one would expect a delivery mid-2023 at the earliest.
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Old 12.05.2021, 16:26
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Re: Issue with building permission in Ebmatingen

I know this is not going to eliminate your worries, but:
- claims from the neighbors are usual process in Switzerland
- often the best way to speed is to pay to the people who object
- or you wait and things go their own way
- other circumstances can later move things even more into the future, just take that in the account


- obligations between you and the investor should be clear form the contract. Ass they are in this business and they are the one writing contracts, they know how to protect themself.
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Old 12.05.2021, 16:45
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Re: Issue with building permission in Ebmatingen

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I know this is not going to eliminate your worries, but:
- claims from the neighbors are usual process in Switzerland
- often the best way to speed is to pay to the people who object
- or you wait and things go their own way
- other circumstances can later move things even more into the future, just take that in the account


- obligations between you and the investor should be clear form the contract. Ass they are in this business and they are the one writing contracts, they know how to protect themself.
Thanks, not much help indeed LOL.
I think/understand that the architect engaged with the complainers, but clearly this did not help since they (apparently 2 appeal claims) went to court filing an appeal against the building permission.
So even if I wanted to pay, I have no idea who I would have to pay off.

Regarding the contract, it is pretty clear that they are in breach of one of the clause since it states they need to inform us "immediately" of any claim and it took them 3 weeks to do so, so very much doubt that any judge would consider "3 weeks" anywhere near equivalent to "immediately".

But still think that if a few upcoming owners get together and ask for the documents, then this may change things and we may be able to get the claims.
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Old 12.05.2021, 20:59
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Re: Issue with building permission in Ebmatingen

you better be watching contract details on section penalties for delays in delivery and whenever "neighbour complain" is there considered as "force majeure"

You also mabe be for a ride - as it is not unheard of - that there be some consensus to get some money for neighbours and also building company from such setup - since they simply may have 'informed' them where is the issues with a project (that they already sold) and are not really interested in delivering.

Should the construction company go bankrupt - what are provisions for protection you have ?

what do you when they complete the project but workers are not paid ?
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Old 13.05.2021, 10:24
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Re: Issue with building permission in Ebmatingen

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...since they (apparently 2 appeal claims) went to court filing an appeal against the building permission......
......So even if I wanted to pay, I have no idea who I would have to pay off.
First:

The fact that it goes to court is nothing special. Without knowing the object of contention, there is no point in guessing what is wrong.
Second:

You cannot pay* for this, this is a business of a company who is building housing. Correct me, if I wrongly understand your situation, but, you do not own anything, you just made a down-payment as an reservation. You are not a "Bauherr", you are one of 13 future owners. You have a contract with a builder or maybe just with a bank. You should check your contract and see what are your rights there. Probably in the future there will be other delays and builders normally protect themselves.
If you want to do something in that direction, maybe organize other buyers, hire a lawyer together, it will be a hard task to handle such a group.



*theoretical you can, but there is no point in doing it.
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Old 13.05.2021, 14:53
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Re: Issue with building permission in Ebmatingen

Quote:
the typical 2-3 storey concrete constructions from the 70's which is being destroyed and replaced by a Minergie 4 storey Multi-Familly house.
It is at least 30-50% added height (likely even more, since 70's buildings have typical ceiling heights ~2.3m and new minergie buildings tend to have at least 20% higher ceilings and thicker isolation between levels). It is substantial, it will block a view to at least one extra level across the street. It may very well be a height issue.


Quote:
If you want to do something in that direction, maybe organize other buyers, hire a lawyer together, it will be a hard task to handle such a group.
This. Usually, it is not impossible to find other owners and exchange conractst. It is always a good idea to search internet for mentions of the project name, or the developer company, or the address and find relevant posts. And to put such post on or start a group on your own - sooner or later people will find themselves, if the issue persists.

Last edited by evop; 13.05.2021 at 17:22.
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Old 14.05.2021, 08:55
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Re: Issue with building permission in Ebmatingen

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you better be watching contract details on section penalties for delays in delivery and whenever "neighbour complain" is there considered as "force majeure"

You also mabe be for a ride - as it is not unheard of - that there be some consensus to get some money for neighbours and also building company from such setup - since they simply may have 'informed' them where is the issues with a project (that they already sold) and are not really interested in delivering.

Should the construction company go bankrupt - what are provisions for protection you have ?

what do you when they complete the project but workers are not paid ?
I would not go to the conspiracy theory, the architect who is leading the project, is a reputable one with long history of delivering. The cash is secluded on a bank account with ZKB and the promoter cannot use that deposit for anything, ZKB is the guarantor.
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Old 14.05.2021, 08:56
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Re: Issue with building permission in Ebmatingen

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First:

The fact that it goes to court is nothing special. Without knowing the object of contention, there is no point in guessing what is wrong.
Second:

You cannot pay* for this, this is a business of a company who is building housing. Correct me, if I wrongly understand your situation, but, you do not own anything, you just made a down-payment as an reservation. You are not a "Bauherr", you are one of 13 future owners. You have a contract with a builder or maybe just with a bank. You should check your contract and see what are your rights there. Probably in the future there will be other delays and builders normally protect themselves.
If you want to do something in that direction, maybe organize other buyers, hire a lawyer together, it will be a hard task to handle such a group.



*theoretical you can, but there is no point in doing it.
Thanks, this is my guess indeed, and that is why I am trying to find other buyer of this 13 resident projects. No luck so far.
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Old 14.05.2021, 08:59
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Re: Issue with building permission in Ebmatingen

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It is at least 30-50% added height (likely even more, since 70's buildings have typical ceiling heights ~2.3m and new minergie buildings tend to have at least 20% higher ceilings and thicker isolation between levels). It is substantial, it will block a view to at least one extra level across the street. It may very well be a height issue.



This. Usually, it is not impossible to find other owners and exchange conractst. It is always a good idea to search internet for mentions of the project name, or the developer company, or the address and find relevant posts. And to put such post on or start a group on your own - sooner or later people will find themselves, if the issue persists.
Thanks, this is exactly why I specified the village and the street name (haven't specified the street number on purpose so cannot be taxed of pointing a specific project on that street, even if there is only one if I "remember" correctly ;O)
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