– June 28, 2021

Trampoline in front of condominium: Can I defend myself?

We are owners of a condominium on the 1st floor of an apartment building. A co-owner of our building placed a large trampoline with a diameter of approximately 4-5 m directly under our balcony. The bouncing of the children directly underneath our balcony is very disturbing for us.

In questions concerning condominium ownership (STWE), as a special form of co-ownership, the regulations governing the condominium owners’ association, which are usually drawn up from the beginning, apply first. These, in particular, regulate the administration and use of the (residential) property as well as special concerns of the community. To ensure that they remain valid beyond future changes of ownership, they should be recorded in the land register. The regulations supplement the legal rules of the Swiss Civil Code (Article 712a et seqq. CC).


StwEG regulations and out-of-court solution

In some disputes, the regulations on management and use already contain a sufficiently clear rule to inform the person causing the disturbance of his or her rights and obligations. If the other person won’t talk to you or you can’t find any help in the regulations, your next port of call is the condominium owners’ meeting. However, find out in advance what the other owners think about the problem. This way you can present a proposal at the meeting that is already supported by some of them. An individual proposal without any support could prove to be a boomerang. If the disruptive neighbour does not change his behaviour despite the community’s intervention, discuss with the other owners whether the community as a whole will intervene or whether you want to take action against him alone. Initially, you should try to find a solution with the help of the administration or an external mediator. Only if nothing helps – and the matter is important enough to you –  you have to go to the justice of the peace and the courts.


Condominium ownership as a compulsory community

In very few cases it is advisable to take legal action against an unpleasant neighbour. However, if it should come to that point, everyone acts as a party, i.e. either on the plaintiff’s or the defendant’s side. As part of a community of force or fate, no co-owner has the right or the possibility to stay away from a lawsuit.


Costs are apportioned according to share

Participation in a lawsuit is inseparably linked to the respective share in the condominium. The costs of litigation and lawyers’ fees or compensation are distributed accordingly if a court decision is unavoidable in the dispute.

The community of condominium owners may also sue and be sued under its own name (Article 712l paragraph 2 CC). It must be examined in each individual case, whether the individual condominium owners or the condominium owners’ association have active or passive legitimacy.