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What is Lex Koller? Our guide will tell you!

Foreign nationals who are not resident in Switzerland cannot purchase real estate or property in Switzerland without prior approval. Our Lex Koller guide will explain when you may be exempt from this approval requirement. And much more besides.


Demand for property in Switzerland has been increasing for years. Not only Swiss citizens or resident foreigners are interested in purchasing property – holiday homes and apartments in particular – but also foreign nationals without a permanent residence in Switzerland. The purchase of property by foreigners is subject to legal restrictions, however. These restrictions form part of the Lex Koller law, and apply throughout Switzerland.


Lex Koller – a law for the purchase of property by foreigners

Restrictions were first imposed on the purchase of property by foreigners in 1961 with a view to protecting Swiss land from excessive foreign ownership. These restrictions were eased several times in subsequent years, most recently in 1997. The federal law known as the Lex Koller governs the purchase of property and real estate by foreigners not resident in Switzerland. Our Lex Koller guide will let you know when buyers need approval, and when foreign nationals are exempt. A table is also provided with an overview of the kind of property and real estate foreigners are able to purchase in Switzerland with and without approval.

On hand with advice and support

Our guides have a simple purpose: we would like to pass on our experience and expertise, and help you find your way around the world of real estate. Whether it pertains to burglary prevention, renting, taxes or inheritance, we want to summarise the key information to make life easier for you. Discover all of our guides online, or request a printed copy from an Engel & Völkers shop near you.


Do you have any other questions about buying or selling real estate? Contact your nearest Engel & Völkers shop by phone or e-mail. We look forward to hearing from you!


To the Lex Koller advisor!

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