A person abroad must require an authorisation in order to purchase a holiday home or a serviced flat. The property must be in a place designated by the cantonal authorities as a holiday resort (for instance, cantons of Grisons, Valais or Ticino). According to Geneva cantonal law, it is not possible for persons abroad to acquire a holiday home or a serviced flat in the canton of Geneva.
Except for a few particular situations, every authorisation for the purchase of such property is deducted from the annual quota assigned to the cantons by the Confederation.
As a general rule, the net floor space of a holiday home or of a serviced flat, which includes all liveable rooms, and the surface area of the real estate itself, must not exceed 200 m2 and 1000 m2 respectively.
If the purchaser of such a property, his spouse, registered partner or child under the age of 18 years old, already own such a dwelling or a secondary dwelling in Switzerland, an authorisation may only be granted provided that the latter dwelling is sold before the new purchase transaction is registered in the Land Register.
Holiday homes may not be let on an annual basis but only periodically. Indeed, the purchaser must be able to use his/her property at any time for its alleged purpose.