Vacation Domicile/Residence, Second Home, Dedications – We Are Ready to Advocate for Your Interests in All of Austria - Law Experts Attorneys: Attorney Dr Wiesflecker, Attorney Mag. Gamsjäger
Land Transaction Law, Vacation Domicile/Residence, Second Home - Law Experts Attorney
Tyrolean Land Transaction Law governs the transfer of rights and titles inherent in agricultural and forestry land parcels, land parcels approved for building (with existing buildings or empty lots) and the acquisition of such real property by foreigners.
Thanks to the fact that Austria is a member state of the EU, EU citizens principally have the right to acquire real estate in the country without any restrictions. However, the acquisition of titles or shared titles to real estate by foreigners is subject to government agency approval.
The Land Transaction Law considers individuals who are citizens of an EU or EEA member state, as well as companies domiciled in an EU or EEA nation equal to Austrian citizens. Hence, they are exempt from the approval mandate. However, the use of any such property as a vacation domicile or second home is subject to stringent restrictions.
Vacation Domicile/Residence, Second Home in Austria, Definition Vacation Domicile/Residence – Get Legal Advice from Law Experts Attorneys
Given the geographic restrictions of the Alps, the resulting factual limits of land suitable for building and the strong tourism demand paired with a lot of individuals moving into the country from neighbouring countries, the situation is further compounded by zoning matters, dedication issues and the use of properties as vacation homes – especially in the western part of Austria. Consequently, the resulting conflicts of use in some municipalities lead to political and policy discussions as well as pertinent legislation. As a result, the respective legislation in Austria’s western states - Tyrol, Vorarlberg and Salzburg, is particularly restrictive.
Individuals who want to acquire a condominium, a house or a land parcel, for instance in Tyrol, have a wide range of questions because of the restrictive legislation in the west of the country. It all begins with the most basic question: What defines a residence as a vacation domicile or second home according to local laws?
Detailed legal provisions governing vacation homes/domiciles in Tyrol can be found in the “Tiroler Raumordnung” (TROG 2016, Tyrolean Land Transaction Law), which, for instance, largely restrict the creation and new establishment of vacation domiciles in Tyrol. The aim of this legislation was to counteract the previously mentioned rising property prices, geographic and infrastructural congestion due to the high percentage of land with buildings on it as well as the development of so-called “ghost villages”. Pursuant to § 13 of the Tyrolean Land Transaction Law (LGBL No. 101/2016), the definition for vacation domiciles or second homes is:
“Vacation domiciles (residences) are buildings, condominiums or other parts of buildings that do not aim to satisfy a need for year-round residential occupation affiliated with providing a central place to live, but are used for vacation stays, during holidays, weekends or for other temporary purposes for recreational use.”
Hence, a vacation domicile is principally defined to be the opposite of someone’s main residence. This fact notwithstanding, the courts have ruled in quite a few cases that it is absolutely possible to have multiple central places that one calls home, meaning central places in one’s life.
European law defines the term “second home” as a residential domicile for recreational and leisure purposes someone owns without an objective to pursue business/financial goals.
What is Permitted and What is Prohibited Under the Law? – Vacation Domicile/Second Home in Austria – Your Austrian Attorneys: We can offer advice throughout Austria
Tyrol, for instance, has a specific quota for vacation domiciles, which defines the maximum percentage of such homes allotted to each municipality. The objective of this vacation home quota is to keep the number of homes used for recreational purposes at a level that is compatible with the socio-political scenario in the individual towns and villages. Lawmakers have passed this legislation to prevent societally undesirable “satellite neighbourhoods” or “ghost villages,” which are usually only occupied around Christmas and Easter, from mushrooming everywhere.
If a house or condominium has already been approved as part of this quota, it can be readily and legally used as a legitimate vacation domicile. If a home or residence is located in a municipality that has not yet reached its maximum quota of vacation homes, it is possible to apply for the relevant permit.
It is prohibited to use a property, house or condominium strictly for holiday or recreational purposes if it is not approved as such. However, this does not mean that the same property cannot be used for other purposes, such as a rental or for business use or as a domicile for work in combination with residential use. One precedent for this was the so-called “Uschi Glas Verdict.” The famous actress, who rarely stayed at her house in Kitzbühel, was able to prove to the highest court that her home was an approved work/residence combination. As an actress, she was using her residential domicile to prepare for her roles and study screenplays.
To obtain professional responses to legal questions and in particular, find out as to whether a residence is actually a vacation home or domicile or if this type of use is even permitted and, last but not least, whether it is even possible to acquire such a property with legal certainty and to use it in a sensible manner, potential owners need the assistance of an expert to analyse the specific situation.
Your Vacation Domicile/Second Home Experts - Law Experts Attorneys Gamsjäger Esq and Dr Wiesflecker
As far as the evaluation of issues related to zoning, land dedication or the use of properties as vacation domiciles are concerned, which are of particular relevance in regions that attract droves of tourists, such as Kitzbühel, St. Anton, Seefeld, Lech or Sölde, Law Experts Attorneys can offer you the assistance of a true expert with a proven track record in this legal field - Stefan Gamsjäger, Esq. Attorney Gamsjäger boasts more than 10 years of experience as an administrative legal expert and deputy Zoning Agency Director at a Tyrolean municipality. Hence, besides having passed the Administrative Services Exam conducted by User Group A, he also has the respective expertise in this important field. Attorney Gamsjäger is also one of the most respected and sought after speakers on the subject matter of zoning laws in the western part of Austria. He has been a keynote speaker – among other things for renowned institutions such as the Tiroler Bildungsforum (Education Forum of Tyrol), the Verband der leitenden Gemeindebediensteten Tirols (Association of Municipal Service Executives of Tyrol = FLGT) in cooperation with the Office of the Tyrolean State Government/Department Municipalities and the Tyrolean Municipalities Association as well as the Tyrolean “Grillhof” Education Institute. In conjunction with these speaker engagements, Stefan Gamsjäger gives Tyrolean mayors, agency heads and clerks in Tyrol’s municipal building and zoning departments regular updates on the latest legal aspects of building and zoning legislation.
His many years of experience in well-known, international corporate law firms and his specialisation in international contract law and civil law have provided Dr Hannes Wiesflecker with the relevant specialist knowledge and longstanding experience to be able to successfully handle property transactions.
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