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Old 02.01.2012, 14:56
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Buying a house, but could I rent it out if I returned to the UK?

Hello - I have been in Switzerland for just over 6 months. I like it, and am seriously considering buying an apartment, partly to live in and then if I returned to the UK as a rental investment.

However one serious question has been raised by other Expats that I have spoken to, I am getting conflicting reports as to whether you would have to sell the apartment if you left Switzerland. (to me this would be a complete disaster as there are costs and taxes associated with buying an apartment that I would not get back).

I have done some research and found very little on the internet, the closest I got was this discussion:

Purchasing Flat and renting it out in Zurich with B Permit?

which says it should be ok (but isn't 100% conclusive)

I am on a 5 year B permit, does anyone know the rules or how I can find out from the authorities? Are there differences between Cantons? If so which Cantons have the most foreigner friendly rules (I am in Zurich, but would consider moving)

Thanks in advance
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Old 02.01.2012, 15:18
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Re: Buying a house, but could I rent it out if I returned to the UK?

Nothing is ever entirely clear here and it may depend on the kanton / geminde you are in.

But my understanding is that if you are on a EU B permit, then yes, in principle you can rent it out. You will however need to get permission of the bank, and if you took out money from your pension fund, you will need to repay these first.

If you are non EU, then I do not think it is as simple.
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Old 05.01.2012, 09:33
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Re: Buying a house, but could I rent it out if I returned to the UK?

Thanks for the answer, similar to what I had researched i.e. it should be possible, but no definative answer.

Can you suggest who I could contact in the Swiss authorities to get a more definate answer? Also can you tell me which Kantons/gemindes relatively close to Zurich would be more friendly to foreign buyers?
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Old 05.01.2012, 09:48
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Re: Buying a house, but could I rent it out if I returned to the UK?

It's mostly the banks and pension fund (if you use that as a deposit) you have to worry about. The mortgage rates and conditions given for a primary residence are different from a commercial mortgage which is what a rental property.
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Old 05.01.2012, 10:13
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Re: Buying a house, but could I rent it out if I returned to the UK?

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It's mostly the banks and pension fund (if you use that as a deposit) you have to worry about. The mortgage rates and conditions given for a primary residence are different from a commercial mortgage which is what a rental property.
... and they're pretty different. Expect significantly higher rates and around 60% max of mortgage (rather than 80%). It depends on the bank, of course..
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Old 05.01.2012, 11:39
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Re: Buying a house, but could I rent it out if I returned to the UK?

And keep in mind taxation as well as mortgage, bank, nationality, etc. We looked into it once, and depending on how long you lived in the house as a 'primary residnece' it was sometimes prohibitive to rent it out after only a short period. Again Canton and even local commune rules/taxation differ everywhere.

I would start by asking your bank/mortgager and/or property lawyer for your area.
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Old 05.01.2012, 12:05
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Re: Buying a house, but could I rent it out if I returned to the UK?

Thanks for the replies. So it looks like bank/lawyer is the way to go for advice.

RunningDeer, said it would be prohibitively expensive to rent out after a short period of time, can I ask how long is considered to be a short period of time?

Does anyone know of any Kanton's near to Zurich that are known to look more favourably on foreign ownership.
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