Swiss Federal Government Plans To Tighten Foreign Investors' Rights To Acquire Swiss Real Estate

Author:Dr. Thomas Rihm
Profession:Rihm Attorneys
 
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The Swiss Federal Government intends to adapt the federal laws on the acquisition of real estate land by persons abroad (Lex Koller) in order to address widespread concerns that foreign investments - also by individuals immigrating to Switzerland - continue to drive up real estate prices in Switzerland. On March 10, 2017, the goverment opened the consultation process ending on June 30, 2017, by presenting the draft legislation.

With a view to reverting to the purpose of the law, the Swiss Federal Government proposes that the acquisition of capital housing by nationals of countries other than the European Union (EU) or the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) be subject again to authorization, this authorization to be combined with an obligation to sell the residential property again as soon as the place of residence in Switzerland is abandoned (what led in the past to cases of obvious abuse, also with respect to owners acquiring under the EU/EFTA-safe haven).

In addition, the Swiss Federal Council wants to clarify controversial practical questions, for example, the conversion of commercial real estate into residential properties. And the Swiss Federal Goverment intends to shorten the...

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