Neighbours want to raise their roof

I am asked to give them permission to raise their roof another 20 cm to add insulation. Their house is already 3 floors while ours is just 2, the additional height would take away a bit of evening sun.

I am tempted to sign because these are nice people and we have a good relationship, but to be honest my likely plan for the mid-term future is to move and perhaps sell my house at that time. So I did not just sign and promised I’ll get back to them during the week.

I was wondering if allowing them to raise the roof would in any way lower the value of my house? Curious to hear your opinions, if any.

Do you think the difference in sun exposure will be noticeable at all? 20cm doesn’t sound like much.

Most likely not noticeable by us, I just wonder whether it might be picked up by possible buyers once we decide to sell.

How about adding a counter clause that they will not object to an additional floor in your house in return? That could increase the value of your property.


Given that they already built the extra floor (before we bought our house) it would be ridiculous that they’d oppose in that case. But one never knows, thanks for the suggestion.

Do you have a Näherbaurecht with their property? That would be something valuable you could get in return.


No I don’t. Thanks for the tip.

Ridiculous or not, if it’s their right to oppose and you don’t have it on paper, anything could happen. You don’t know how people behave in a position of power. I find the idea of @MrCheese really cool.


Interesting idea, yes. I’d be interested to hear if anything like this was implemented, and how. To be “airtight”, it would probably have to documented at the Grundbuchamt under your neighbours file, else potentially a later new owner of your neighbour’s property (if ever) could say he didn’t know about this.

I assume they are asking you (& other neighbours?) now as a first check, and if no objections they will start the planning and later Baueingabe. Before Baubewilligung you’d have the right to object legally. Of course would be an arse thing to do, if you say “yes” now.

Even if “only 20 cm” sounds like not a lot, it does depend a bit how it is implemented, so try to get as much detail as possible.
A neighbour to us did some changes which looked irrelevant from our point of view “on paper” at Baueingabe, however the new Dachterrasse was then surrounded with a massive white wooden fence, which reduced the visible sky by 1.2m & is a bit of an eye-sore IMO. A bit different to your situation, just trying to give an idea of how things can come out different than expected.

Indeed, speaking with a legal counsellor provided by my employer I was told that any such agreement would only have legal value if deposited with the notary and the Grundbuchamt and thus probably come at a cost.

I think they did not know they had to ask us (and all other neighbours) for permission and now are pressing for a quick acceptance, otherwise they can’t start fixing the roof as planned in April. I have a good relationship to these people and I want to keep it that way but I won’t rush into signing anything TBH.

Thanks for sharing your experience. Could you perhaps complain that the end result did not match what you were presented at first?
In my case I have seen the project and it’s basically going to be exactly the same roof, just 20 cm higher.

Would you still be ok if it turns out to be 40cm? If not then you may want to understand from them how the builder will control that it is only 20cm and be clear (document in writing) what your action would be if it turns out to be more.

We changed an old roof and moved insulation from inside to outside. The builder told us it would be about 20cm externally but it ended up being more. We had no neighbours.


One had to look at the plans at the Gemeinde initially.
I’m not sure it wasn’t actually presented that way, it’s a bit of a detail when you page through a whole file of plans & forms. I could probably have gone back to check the plans & possibly object on this detail. (But I decided it wasn’t worth the hassle).
There was obviously some kind of fence on the Eingabe Baupläne, and one assumes (well I did at the time) it’ll be a fence like everyone else has on the houses on this street (black painted cast iron bars).
I’m not sure whether the type of fence can be objected to…? It kind of wasn’t worth the hassle for an uncertain outcome for me, and also initiate bad vibe with neighbour. I mean in the worst case he tears down the wood fence, puts up thin iron fence & covers it with a cloth sonnensegel / Sichtschutz in some ugly colour. “Temporary” Cloth like that is probably not part of any Bewilligung.

You can complain but those are very different processes: at this time, it’s your neighbor’s responsibility to obtain your approval, the burden is on them to come to a solution. If you see that there is a problem afterwards, it’s on you to fill a complaint, then see that it is processed.

All the stories about complaints I have heard point to emotional stress and scars staying during and often after the process. It’s very worth it to do things properly beforehand to keep that very valuable good relationship you have with your neighbors (congrats!).

If you reach an agreement that doesn’t get everything settled at once, it adds enough value to your house to make it worth the fees and it wouldn’t taint the good relationship you have with your neighbors, I’d say it’s worth it to have it written on the land registry: one scenario that could occur is that your neighbors sell their house, in which case, most agreements you had with them would be void (but anything written on the land registry would still stand).

I don’t know the proper situation but 20cm doesn’t seem a huge deal to me. I’d probably be more annoyed by the fact that they had to be forced to get my agreement to come and see me to talk about it than by the new elevation itself.

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