The Land Registry in Switzerland

The Land Registry in Switzerland

Updated on Monday 05th October 2015

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The-Land-Registry-in-SwitzerlandPurchasing a property in Switzerland

According to the legislation, foreign citizens are allowed to buy a property in Switzerland provided that they live in it for at least six months within a calendar year. However, it must be taken into consideration that each Swiss canton has its own property legislation in regards to purchasing and taxation of properties. Once purchased, the property must be registered with the Swiss Land Registry.

Before acquiring a property it is best to have it verified by professionals in order to make sure there are no problems. Our lawyers in Switzerland provide real estate due diligence services for foreign citizens wanting to buy properties in any canton.

What is the Swiss Land Register?

The Land Register in Switzerland has two functions:

  • -          entry, referring to the registration of ownership of a property,
  • -          publication, referring to the listing of properties and their owners.

The Swiss Land Register also contains the plans of land plots. The Land Register also contains the Cadaster of Contaminated Locations which was enabled in 1990.  Property titles must be registered with the cantonal Land Register Department. One can register different titles with the Swiss Land Registry, among these the most common are the ground leases and the storey ownership units. In case of Swiss companies purchasing real estate for commercial purposes the registration procedure is the same as the procedure for natural persons.

For commercial real estate due diligence procedures you can rely on our Swiss law firm.

Registering a property with the Swiss Land Register

All properties, including land plots must be registered with the Land Register in Switzerland. There are a few steps one must follow in order register a property in Switzerland. These are:

  • -          drafting and notarizing the sale-purchase contract,
  • -          notifying the Swiss Land Register after signing the sale-purchase contract,
  • -          after transferring the money, the transfer of ownership will be entered in the Land Register’s system.

Foreign citizens must also pay attention to the registration fee which is determined based on the value of the property. For complete information about the property taxes, please contact our law firm in Switzerland.