After construction around us is over

We’ve received this letter, now the extensive construction around us has completed.

With this letter, we are informing you on behalf of the client Halter AG, Gesamtleistungen, about the completion of the construction work on 22 March 2024 and the conclusion of the precautionary preservation of evidence.
In March / Apri 2024, condition surveys (crack logs) were created and a level measurement (height measurement) was carried out before construction began.
There are no indications from the construction site that damage may have been caused to your property. According to the project management, you have not reported any damage.
If you have nevertheless noticed changes that you believe were caused by the construction site, please submit a specific and substantiated damage report to our address by 15 April 2024 on behalf of the client.
Steiger Baučontrol
Without your feedback, the process of preserving evidence is completed, with a simultaneous waiver of any claims against the building owner. You as the owner will not incur any further costs.
On behalf of the client, we would like to thank you for your understanding of the work. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

It’s a bit confusing. The survey (inside and outside the house) was done in 2022 - not 2024. We’ve not incurred any costs, so why will we not incur any further? And it seems a bit off that they’re saying with this condition survey now being complete, we waive any claims if we don’t report by 19th April.

We never received a copy of the survey, so how are we supposed to check? And they don’t appear to be doing a second survey to really be sure.

Any thoughts?

Is it a standard letter send to owners of nearby properties after construction work is completed - to avoid future claims being made?

First thing I’d do is find out whether it’s actually legal to impose a time limit on it.
I’d speak to any neighbours too in case they have some expertise in the issue.

If your property has suffered any damage, which could possibly be attributed to that building project (which may be another project that the original construction of your own property), cracked walls, window pains, sink holes etc., then make a claim now.

They’re not able to avoid liability, but it gets harder to prove they’re liable.

But how I shall I know if my house has subsided? Maybe it has but no cracks show, yet.

I’ll talk to my legal insurance advisors Tuesday.

Fun fact - the house adjoining mine has changed ownership. The new neighbour doesn’t move in until end of April - so they’ve not received a letter.

This statement doesn’t really make sense with that date. When did this building project start? Indeed such a survey is normally carried out before any activities start which could affect neighbouring properties. It appears now, however, that the project is finished.


We had a survey approximately one month before the digging started and we received our copy (or actually, a link where we could download it) some weeks later.

The building project hasn’t finished yet.

I wonder if they got their building sites confused.


That’s the first thought that came to my mind, and also asking the construction company directly…maybe it’s a bureaucratic error? You would think it doesn’t happen here, but it does…when we got our residence permits I received a letter from the authorities with someone else’s name…they mismatched the addresses. Also, some lab results of someone else (from our GP’s medical center), which was really like WTF…so yeah, wouldn’t rule out this shit.

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The project started 2022. I think they’ve made a typo.

In other news, we’ve found laws (I suspect my new neighbour is a lawyer) that state that the (upward) slope from our land must start 60cm away from the border. They need our written agreement for it to start at the border, which they’ve not requested.

Previously, the upward slope started at the border - but now it starts about 50cm within our border.

So, we’re going to request, quoting the relevant ORs, that they build a retaining wall along the border (only needs to be 40cm high), that they ensure our land is restore to its previous level condition and that they don’t damage any of our plants while doing this.

We’re also going to request a a copy of the survey that was carried out two years ago, and in that letter refuse the indemnification that they’re trying to impose - also citing the relevant ORs.

If that doesn’t work, then we will talk to our legal insurance people.

(better a late reply than never)

Be sure to avoid making concessions, whatever you give up now (even by a slip-up) might be difficult to walk back on.

It isn’t your job to state what needs to be done, that’s what regulations and plans are for. There’s no reason for you to do their work by making suggestions, and risk making errors for them to exploit. Instead I’d invite them to inform you about further proceedings, complete with full documentation, by date xyz.

Personally, I wouldn’t even address their inane “reply by xyz, otherwise we win”, but if you do you could with something very broad, like “obviously(!) you waive no rights or privileges unless stated explicitly and in writing signed by both spouses”. You do want to learn from that remark though and use a corresponding approach: they demonstrate that they take advantage of you wherever and whenever they can. They demonstrate that they’re not your friendly neighbors, they’re your adversary or outright enemy.

But do talk to the legal insurance professionals first, before you compile your reply. They’re the experts, this is what you have them for. Taking the proper approach now might prevent tons of headache later on.

The company we’re dealing with is a 3 party - i.e. not the builders. The idea is that within a time period, they’ll arbitrate. This is to do that the construction of new building around our house hasn’t damaged our property. They’ve not worked on our property at all. We’ve written to them already.

They have sent us the survey. We’ve been through it and it looks ok (we’ll do a full check this weekend). However, if something comes up in 2 years time, we can of course make a claim - but direct to the builders.

We have already showed them an example of path subsidence on the boundary and that we require either them move the start of the embankment 60cm to their side, or they build a retaining wall at the border.

We’ve not concede anything.

Just to add a resolution.

The project managers came by this morning. They’ve agreed compensation for 200 francs for our damaged plants, and they’ll fit a retaining wall - and replace the border marker that’s disappeared.

For our neighbour, they’ve agreed to fix the subsidence under her shed.

All very amicable.