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Old 07.06.2011, 16:10
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Housing valuation appt tomorrow

We recently bought a house in Lucerne. We have an appointment tomorrow morning for the assessors to come over to re-value the house. They have asked us for plans of the house and a list of improvements from the last 15 years. The previous owners put in a new dishwasher and dryer and new appliances in the kitchen in 2009 but that's about it, the rest is original to the house from 1992. What can we expect tomorrow, are they just checking for improvements or are they going to go through the place with a fine-toothed comb?
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Old 08.06.2011, 14:23
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Re: Housing valuation appt tomorrow

Haven't been through one, but in order to change the value for taxes you generally had to add living space to the footprint. For example, we added a winter garden that added 25 sqm to the size of our house, and in theory it was reported by the commune. As I undertand, typical replacements, ie. appliances never enter the equation. Same for renvovations that don't change the surface area, ie. put marble tiling in the bathroom.
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Old 09.06.2011, 00:34
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Re: Housing valuation appt tomorrow

how soon after buying do you get someone around to assess it?
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Old 09.06.2011, 08:09
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Re: Housing valuation appt tomorrow

The inspection was for us fairly pain free, the pain only started afterward. We have renovated and extended over the last five years changing the use of some rooms (hobby room to guest bedroom, attic to bedrooms, old garage to an office also adding a double garage) this added quite a bit of living space without a big increase in footprint. The assessment was for the manditory building insurance which is handled by the Germainde. The assessor said there would be quite a difference in value and we may be due for extra tax (wealth tax) depending on the Germainde. After talking to the Bauumpt at the Germainde and tax collector there we received no account for "backdated increase in value". So far so good, the problem came from Energy and Water, your supply charge (not rate) depends on the house valuation in combination with how many people "can" live there. So along comes a CHF4000 bill to cover the increase in value backdated 5 years. Upon enquiring how this was so much the explaination was they do a calculation (absolutely not negotiable) of the increase in value and backdate it to the start of renovations but hang on the renovations are not finished and we have not had use of the total space (garage is 2yo) for the whole 5 years. "We don't care, that is the rules" which they promptly quoted and sent to us.
So to the OP's original question, you may end up with a tax liabilty for the previous owner if they did some changes to room use (and didn't get it reassessed) and the assessment goes back 15 years, talk to the assessor they are good at explaining what liabilities you may have but they can not say (or influence) weather those liabilities will enforced, this get back to the individual Germainde's interpretation of their own rules. Welcome to Switzerland, low tay - high insurance.
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Old 09.06.2011, 08:23
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Re: Housing valuation appt tomorrow

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how soon after buying do you get someone around to assess it?
I think it depends when the last insurance assessment was and weather there have been any changes since then, I would talk to your local Bauumpt to get some advice. Be very nice to them if you want to make any changes, you will need their approval, this can be a simple rubber stamp or they can make your life hell (read very expensive) and throw every planning rule in the book at you. Think of them as a Trafficcop who has pulled you over, you have no idea why, if your nice they might just give you a warning - or throw the book at you with fines, the rules are the same it is only how they apply them that changes.
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