Reply To: Buying property in Austria as a third country citizen?

Forum Living in Austria Housing and Property Buying property in Austria as a third country citizen? Reply To: Buying property in Austria as a third country citizen?

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stevepatriarcastevepatriarca
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Hi,

I am not a lawyer or an expert and only respond form personal experience. I think your post raises a number of quite complex issues some of which we have encountered. Firstly, it was never the case that there would be an absolute ban on non EU citizens buying property in Austria, rather that they are covered by different rules and may need to apply for permission. The exact criteria vary from one province to another even from some Gemeinde and even within a Gemeinde. As I understand it if you are covered by the WA you are now treated as if you were still an EU citizen, which effectively means the same as an Austrian citizen. In areas where there are strict limitations on property purchase you would have no fewer rights than an Austrian from Vienna. However that does not mean you have a right to buy, and certainly not if it is not intended to be your Hauptwohnsitz. We had to sign a declaration at very local level (ie in Bad Sauerbrunn not Mattersburg) that we would be using the property as our main residence. On the other hand there are houses a couple of Km away near the swimming lakes which are specifically intended as holiday or weekend homes. If you intend to keep your main residence in Salzburg then you will need to know how that may impact on your property purchase in Tirol and it may differ from one Gemeinde to another. If you are married to an Austrian then you are exempt from the third national requirements but still of course subject to any limits set on your husband’s right to buy. I am assuming that all EU citizens should be treated as Austrians here. Oddly enough although I was covered by the WA we were also asked to produce my marriage certificate although it is not recorded in the Grundbuch. We found that our competent Vienna lawyer had a good grasp of the issues, but they are not always understood by Makler or a provincial Notar. Your lawyer will certainly know where to find the relevant documentation – and if he doesn’t then you need to change your lawyer!

The main take here is the fact that many areas are taking steps to try to limit the weekend, holiday home business. Rightly so in my view. It has already destroyed many towns by removing so many all year residents that infrastructure and commerce cannot be supported. This has happened in some areas around the Neusiedlersee which are packed in summer and desolate in winter. I believe this is also a big concern in Tirol and therefore although Brexit should not now be an issue for those with long term residency covered by the WA, there will be other restrictions which will apply equally to EU citizens and even other Austrians. We found the gemeinde itself very approachable and we had a direct discussion with them and we took our Erklärung personally at the suggestion of our lawyer. That gesture seemed to be appreciated and it was processed very quickly.

Hope this is helpful.