The article in the Dutch newspaper de Telegraaf of Friday January 31th has caused unnecessary concern to the people who are looking for a second home in Austria. The Austrian regulations for the use of a (second) home is simple. There are 3 broad categories:
– Erholungsgebiet or leisure destination. Houses or projects under this category have a letting obligation. Possibilities for own use for holidays are mostly flexible and for most projects properly arranged. The restriction of this category is that people cannot go and live there.
– Zweitwohnsitz or second home permit. This category implies no restrictions of use. The house can be used for holidays, can be let or people can stay there for a longer time or even go and live there.
– Hauptwohnsitz. This category covers houses or projects that are primarily destined for own citizens. If a non-Austrian purchases a Hauptwohnsitz, he must also go and live there and that means deregister from the personal records database in the own country and register in Austria. Hence, a Hauptwohnsitz cannot be used as a holiday home or a second home.
The Telegraaf article covers this third category. Unfortunately in some cases the regulations were misused by dishonest parties and the purchasers were incorrectly informed or not informed at all. Because the Hauptwohnsitz is meant for accommodation of the local citizens this kind of houses were often a little favourably priced or they are nicely centrally located.
Prospective purchasers who are looking for a second home or holiday home in Austria do not need to worry if only they make sure they are well-informed about the zoning plan. The notary who settles the transaction can always confirm the right zoning plan. Trustworthy real estate agents or real estate developers of second home projects are well-informed about the Austrian regulations and apply them correctly.
On the Second Home exhibitions seminars about purchasing a house in Austria take place every day. During these seminars elaborate information will be given about the usage possibilities and the permits of a second home in Austria.
Source: Jeroen van der Werff, Directeur NextHome B.V.