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Housing in Liechtenstein


Houses in the countryside are similar to those found in the mountainous areas of Austria and Switzerland. Liechtenstein does not have a significant housing problem. About 82% of all dwellings have central heating, 89% have a kitchen, 91% have a private bath, 95% have hot water, and 88% have a common sewage system.

Renting a Property

Rents can be freely negotiated between landlord and tenant, as can many other points appearing in a rental contract. There are rental indices, but these constitute more an orientation than an obligatory numerical value.

The civil code has provisions disallowing disproportionate increases in rental prices. A basic rule is that the rent can only be raised where the contract is for more than 2 years’ duration, and only proportionally to the real inflation rate.

A maximum of three months’ rent can be taken on deposit. When this deposit is held by the landlord for more than a year, he/she must pay the standard interest rate on those funds.

Landlord and Tenant Laws are enforced through local courts in Liechtenstein, whose procedure follows the Court Rules for Tenancy issues. The law’s tendency to favour the landlord is noticeable, because hardly any legal dispute go beyond the court of first instance.

Buying a Property

There are some controls on the purchase of real estate by foreigners. Buying property requires 3 years residency first. Since joining the European Economic Area, (an organization serving as a bridge between the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and the European Union) in May 1995, Liechtenstein has also imposed stringent rules on residency permits from people from the EU.

The EU has given Liechtenstein the freedom to restrict entrance due to its small size. Currently it allows 28 EU nationals every year without working permits, excluding multi national employees who can take up residence as long as they have a work permit.

Once the buyer decides on a property, the agent, through a lawyer, conducts the search and hands in details of the buyers to the concerning government agency (Grundbuchregistrar). Once the search has been completed and there was no formal objection to the buyer acquiring the property, the money is then transferred to a private account at a lawyer’s. The money is only transferred to the seller’s account when all bureaucratic steps have been completed, registration of the property and checking that it is clear of debts and taxes.




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