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Old 16.08.2021, 16:46
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Illegal entry to apartment

Strange situation, a friend of mine discovered that a neighbour has a key to her apartment and had entered when she was out. She knows as a neighbour in the building saw it and the person did not deny when confronted about it.

Leaving aside discussions with the building owner about retrieving keys and changing locks, she now questions whether to get the police involved.

1. Given that she has no proof other than the word of a neighbour, how likely is any action to succeed.
2. If she were to succeed. What is the likely fine/punishment for the neighbour?
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Last edited by Phil_MCR; 16.08.2021 at 16:59.
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Old 16.08.2021, 16:48
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Re: Illegal entry to apartment

I´d say:


0 Go to that neighbour and get the key back and inform the landlord


No idea whether this is something the police is interested in until you know why that neighbour has a key?
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Old 16.08.2021, 16:48
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Re: Illegal entry to apartment

Is the context unclear? Is there any clue as to why she has a key, and why she was in the flat, or is all of this as mysterious as it sounds?
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Old 16.08.2021, 16:57
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Re: Illegal entry to apartment

I would first go to the landlord and ask for the locks to be changed. If one person has a key, there could also be more.

And then confront the neighbor.
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Old 16.08.2021, 17:10
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Re: Illegal entry to apartment

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I would first go to the landlord and ask for the locks to be changed. If one person has a key, there could also be more.

And then confront the neighbor.
Agree, don't speak to neighbor at all.

Send email to a manager/landlord (to have a paper trail) and then either call or go them to them.

After that, can even call the police if the landlord says no one else but you has a key.
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Old 16.08.2021, 17:22
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Re: Illegal entry to apartment

Thats just creepy

Is anything missing? Moved around?
All keys have to be handed over to the tenant once the lease begins.
Nobody other than the tenant has the right to keep a key, unless explicitly requested by the tenant.

Like others have said inform the regie/landlord asap and demand to have the lock changed.

Would the vitnessing neighbour testify to what they saw?

I would file a police report (just in case).
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Old 16.08.2021, 18:45
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Re: Illegal entry to apartment

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Strange situation, a friend of mine discovered that a neighbour has a key to her apartment and had entered when she was out. She knows as a neighbour in the building saw it and the person did not deny when confronted about it.

Leaving aside discussions with the building owner about retrieving keys and changing locks, she now questions whether to get the police involved.

1. Given that she has no proof other than the word of a neighbour, how likely is any action to succeed.
2. If she were to succeed. What is the likely fine/punishment for the neighbour?
I would definitely make a big fuss about that!

She does have proof (a witness) and what does that mean the person did not deny it when confronted? That person that that was a normal thing to do?! Must be a nutter.

But I would also seriously go after the landlord/régis, who ever has the responsibility for the keys. This is exactly why flat keys can not (legally) be copied by the tenants and the régis should have noticed a key was missing (which I suppose was given to the neighbour by the tenant before your friend).

No way I would even the culprit not the régis get away with it. The idea of such an event gives me the **g creeps!!
And I don't get upset easily.
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Old 16.08.2021, 19:20
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Re: Illegal entry to apartment

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Would the vitnessing neighbour testify to what they saw?

I would file a police report (just in case).
I would assume so (just saw the guy leave the apartment and lock the door).
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Old 16.08.2021, 19:25
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Re: Illegal entry to apartment

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I would assume so (just saw the guy leave the apartment and lock the door).
The neighbour is male and your friend female? Stalking. Besides intrusion of private sphere, trespassing ....
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Old 16.08.2021, 19:26
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Re: Illegal entry to apartment

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All keys have to be handed over to the tenant once the lease begins.
Nobody other than the tenant has the right to keep a key, unless explicitly requested by the tenant.
Is this law? I was once on vacation when my letting agent wanted to show my apartment to a prospective new tenant.

They asked if they could show them around whilst I was away because they had a key This was with a fairly large agency in the Baselland area.
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Old 16.08.2021, 19:26
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Re: Illegal entry to apartment

I agree that there appears to be some context missing .

Is there any reason that this person should have access .

Is there any evidence they have tampered with any stuff ?

Could there be a case of mistaken identity and that the witness actually saw somebody else who had legitimate access ?

Maybe installing cameras to check for access when she is gone is an option .

A friend of mine did this because she often noticed small items were in a different location to where a had left them .
Despite several years of camera vigilance she was never able to prove that the person she suspected was entering. Her ex was a locksmith so it would not have been beyond the impossible that it was him. She did however discover that she had mice .
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Old 16.08.2021, 19:36
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Re: Illegal entry to apartment

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....Could there be a case of mistaken identity and that the witness actually saw somebody else who had legitimate access ? .....
Nobody has legimitate access without the tenants permission. Ever. Not even the owner/régis.
Only the fire brigade.
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Old 16.08.2021, 19:37
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Re: Illegal entry to apartment

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Strange situation, a friend of mine discovered that a neighbour has a key to her apartment and had entered when she was out. She knows as a neighbour in the building saw it and the person did not deny when confronted about it.

Leaving aside discussions with the building owner about retrieving keys and changing locks, she now questions whether to get the police involved.

1. Given that she has no proof other than the word of a neighbour, how likely is any action to succeed.
2. If she were to succeed. What is the likely fine/punishment for the neighbour?
I'm not so sure that this is a police matter if nothing was stolen. However, nobody is allowed entry to your flat without your prior knowledge.

https://www.mieterverband.ch/mv/poli...-betreten.html

(sorry, this page is in German only, but use deepl.com to translate. It'll be accurate enough).

Personally, I'd send a registered letter to the landlord, informing him of the situation and copying and pasting the relevant paragraphs from the above linked page.

I'd also inform him that I was going to change the lock cylinder (you have to keep the old one for when you move out, and in theory you'd have to re-instate it unless the landlord agrees to keep the new one with all the keys).

I own properties in Switzerland that I rent out, and the Verwalter (manager) has a key because she needs to read the meters twice a year. She will make sure though that she informs the tenants first so she can read the meters when they are around or they will give permission for her to enter the premises when they are not there. My tenants all know that I have key too, but they also know that I would never enter their flats without their knowledge. They all seem happy with the arrangement.

There have been occasions when repairs had to be carried out (water leak, installation of internet cabling) and I discussed access with the tenants. They were happy to allow access when they were at work, but they said they'd be happier if I was there, too, not just the workmen, which was fine by me. All my tenants are foreign, except one, but that doesn't really make a difference.

I'd be happy to draft a letter in German if that helps.
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Old 16.08.2021, 19:59
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Re: Illegal entry to apartment

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Nobody has legimitate access without the tenants permission. Ever. Not even the owner/régis.
Only the fire brigade.
True .

But maybe there is somebody who has legitimate access by her permission . Maybe a good friend who waters the flowers or feeds the goldfish while she’s on vacation . Or maybe her son or something like that . And this person got mistaken for some Troublesome neighbor by a witness
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Old 16.08.2021, 20:03
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Re: Illegal entry to apartment

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True .But maybe there is somebody who has legitimate access . Maybe a good friend who waters the flowers or feeds the goldfish while she’s on vacation . Or maybe her son or something like that . And this person got mistaken for some Troublesome neighbor by a witness
Nobody has legitimate access unless access is granted by the tenant who signed the lease.

I would imagine that the tenant knows if any friend or son has a key and could easily check if said person entered the flat at the time in question.
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Old 16.08.2021, 20:11
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Re: Illegal entry to apartment

I’d insist the landlord changes the locks. You have no idea who else might have key. If they won’t do it, do it yourself and send them the bill.
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Old 16.08.2021, 20:22
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Re: Illegal entry to apartment

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I’d insist the landlord changes the locks. You have no idea who else might have key. If they won’t do it, do it yourself and send them the bill.
I fear that this is not legally enforceable.

of course in an ideal world, the tenant would inform the landlord of his/her concerns, the landlord would be very apologetic and offer the return of all keys, or the installation of a new cylinder. However, I doubt that the tenant can legally demand this.

It is worth mentioning here that if the tenant changes the lock, she/he is theoretically in breach of contract, as this would constitute a bauliche Massnahme
Streng genommen ist dies unzulässig, denn es handelt sich um eine bauliche Massnahme, die nach Art. 260a OR der schriftlichen Zustimmung des Vermieters bedarf. Wird die Massnahme geduldet, muss sie vor dem Auszug rückstandsfrei rückgängig machen. Wer sich also dafür entscheidet, muss den ursprünglichen Schlosszylinder bei Auszug wieder einbauen und sollte ihn dazu gut aufbewahren.
Strictly speaking, this is inadmissible, because it is a structural measure that requires the written consent of the landlord according to Art. 260a OR. If the measure is tolerated, it must be reversed without residue before moving out. Anyone who decides to do so must therefore reinstall the original lock cylinder when moving out and should keep it safe for this purpose.
https://www.vertragshilfe.ch/hausfriedensbruch/
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Old 16.08.2021, 20:24
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Re: Illegal entry to apartment

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Is this law? I was once on vacation when my letting agent wanted to show my apartment to a prospective new tenant.

They asked if they could show them around whilst I was away because they had a key This was with a fairly large agency in the Baselland area.
Yes it is. If the landlord or letting agency keep a key, then they have to inform you when you sign the contract and ask your agreement.
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Old 16.08.2021, 20:26
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Re: Illegal entry to apartment

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I'm not so sure that this is a police matter if nothing was stolen.
Really? What if it was clear that he had been rifling through her underwear drawer?
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Old 16.08.2021, 20:28
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Re: Illegal entry to apartment

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Really? What if it was clear that he had been rifling through her underwear drawer?
you'd have to prove it. Get forensics in? Could be very costly.
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