±JOIN OUR NEWSLETTER
±Compare Expat Providers
±Expat Focus Partners
±Latest Financial Articles
· 10 Things To Think About Before You Move Abroad In Your Middle Age
· Expat Focus Financial Update August 2017
· What Could Higher Interest Rates Mean For Your Overseas Property Purchase?
· Expat Focus Financial Update July 2017
· The Lifestyles And Cultures Of Great Expat Locations
· Understanding Exchange Rates for Your Overseas Property Purchase
· Interview With Duncan Khoury, Head of Marketing, World First Australia
· Expat Focus Financial Update June 2017
· Relocation Destinations For The Politically Minded And Socially Progressive Expat
Property Legal IssuesBack to top Back to main Skip to menu
Switzerland - Property Legal Issues
Citizens of EU and EFTA states have the right to buy property for any legal residential or commercial purpose in Switzerland under the Freedom of Movement agreement between Switzerland and the EU. You must however be resident in Switzerland under a residence permit and not have your ordinary home elsewhere. If you do not satisfy these criteria, you are classed as a non-resident and would only be able to buy a property for commercial purposes without applying for a licence. For L and B permit holders there are also restrictions on the maximum size of the property you can buy without a licence, with a limit of 200 m2 per family. For nationals of countries outside the EU/EFTA, a residence permit C is required to buy property without restriction.
You may sell your property without restriction, provided your buyer also meets the property purchasing criteria in force at time of sale. The exception to this rule is the non-resident buyer of a vacation home who may have a minimum number of years before the property can be sold. In Valais there is a 5 year (pre November 2007 purchases) and 10 year (post November 2007) period before which a property can be sold, in Ticino there will be a wait of 3-5 years before you may place a property on the market. Historically, Geneva and the canton of Vaud also had restrictions but these are no longer in place as of 2011.
You can use a company who will assist you with your property purchase for a fee, and will also bill you for notary costs, or you can buy direct from the owner or off-plan. If not using the services of a company, you will still need to use the services of a notary who will take care of the legal requirements.
There are a few potential pitfalls to look out for. When buying a property, you can find yourself liable for the seller's capital gains tax if this has not been fully settled, but your notary will be able to advise on options to prevent this. If buying land on which to build, you need to first establish that it is classed as residential land and not agricultural, or you will not obtain planning permission. An architect should be consulted before attempting to alter or renovate a historic building to ensure planning regulations are properly observed. These will be regulated by the Planning Office (Bauamt) of the commune in which the building is located. Expats have warned that it can be difficult to obtain permission to renovate a historic builiding and will involve a great deal of paperwork.
European Nationals in Switzerland: Information on the Free Movement of Persons
PDF guide available from www.ch.ch/schweiz/
Read more about this country
Expat Health Insurance Partners
Our award-winning expatriate business provides health benefits to more than 650,000 members worldwide. In addition, we have helped develop world-class health systems for governments, corporations and providers around the world. We want to be the global leader in delivering world-class health solutions, making quality health care more accessible and empowering people to live healthier lives.
At Bupa we have been helping individuals and families live longer, healthier, happier lives for over 60 years. We are trusted by expats in 190 different countries and have links with healthcare organisations throughout the world. So whether you're moving abroad for a change of career or a change of scene, with our international private health insurance you will always be in safe hands.
Cigna has worked in international health insurance for more than 30 years. Today, Cigna has over 71 million customer relationships around the world. Looking after them is an international workforce of 31,000 people, plus a network of over 1 million hospitals, physicians, clinics and health and wellness specialists worldwide, meaning you have easy access to treatment.