Help me figure out what to expect in exchange of a Naeherbaurecht for a new multi-family house?

The single house next to mine (in Zurich) was sold and now the new owners want to turn it into a multi-family house with 7 (!) flats.

I got the Bauentscheid, where it’s clearly stated that they cannot build unless they change the plans or get permissions from me on two things:

  1. one of the facades in the plan is 13cm too close to my property (not a big deal)

  2. the plan contains an “Erker” on the facade on my side, this is a massive structure sticking out 2x5 meters from the main building, starting already at the ground floor, with just 20/30 cms above the ground. Basically it’s a trick to extend the flats without regard for the regular 5 meters distance from the neighbouring property (mine). I am surprised this was accepted in the first place and also my lawyer thinks this has some chances of being changed if we filed an appeal (which is costly though).
    The current ruling of the Bauamt says that, if I don’t accept it, they have to reduce the length of this extension to 4 meters, basically losing 2 square meters on each of the three flats (all around ~50sqm in size) on that side, affecting the living rooms.

I don’t like this Erker but I am willing to give them the permission, provided that they pay me appropriately.

Anybody has an idea how much I could aim at? For now I asked them to come up with a proposal. The lawyer thinks it could be something on a 30-50K range. When I reason a bit about it, new flats in Zurich sell very easily for over 15000 CHF/sqm, that could mean a 90K loss (6*15K) on the total value of the properties, possibly more because the living rooms are going to be affected, so perhaps the higher end of the lawyer’s guess is not that crazy to an amount to expect?

Thanks for any comments :slight_smile:

Sorry to hear about this, what a pain to have to worry about. If you think it has potential to negatively impact the value of your property I wouldn’t be too generous. 7 small flats or studios next door will obviously attract different tenants vs. a family house, not to mention a potentially ugly extension

Have you tried talking to someone in the gemeinde ? Even if it is a big zurich gemeinde you might get some insight why it was approved. If you are surprised it was accepted you will probably find out they had doubts too and you may be able to gauge the chances of an appeal working. It could save you a lot of time and lawyer’s fees.

Sounds reasonable. I would try to get something in this range (70-100k).

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I thought this distances were in effect for fire protection… Kind of weird that they allow this for a money compensation.
(reducing the risk of fires jumping buildings + giving access to firefighters)

One can, by mutual agreement, build closer than 5m, but the two buildings cannot ever be closer than 7m, for fire safety rules.

By sticking out so much, their wall will be 8m away from mine, so even with their approval, I won’t ever be able to extend my wall for more than 1m in their direction. I find it quite upsetting that with this trick, the one who builds first can effectively steal from the other. And now their issue is not that they build so much outward, only that this section is too long.

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And then you tell them instead of giving you that money, they should keep it as a reservation payment for one of the flats which you then will rent out :smiley:

So they want to build something like this, but 20-30cm above ground? And this won’t be taken into account for the “Grenzabstand”? I’m not an expert in construction law, and seems like a bit of a stretch, but it might actually be permissable:

Eine selbständige Funktion erfüllen hingegen Erker, Balkone, weit ausladende
Vordächer oder etwa Treppen. Sie dürfen maximal 2 Meter in den Abstandsbereich hineinragen. Das Gesetz beschränkt aber die Breite der Privilegierung
bei bestimmten Vorsprüngen (Erker, Balkone und dergleichen) auf einen Drittel der betreffenden Fassadenlänge.

Bis zum Boden reichende Wohntrakte sind damit nicht abstandsprivilegiert, weil sie nicht der Fassade vorgelagert, sondern Bestandteil dieser sind.


So sounds like a “clever” way to try to squeeze out the absolut maximum of allowed square meters by building it slightly above ground so it counts as Erker. Sneaky :smiley:

You can certainly ask for compensation, perhaps also with the promise not to file an appeal if they pay, as this could delay the building permit for multiple months. But I feel like this is kind of a loophole in the construction law, as you can really cheat the Grenzabstand.

Yes, and 3 floors in height.

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