Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible to buy a chalet?

Anyone, Swiss or foreign nationals, may buy a chalet. This is possible because the chalets will be managed and operated by a hotel.

Is a special permit required to buy a chalet?

Non-Swiss residents (persons abroad) require a permit under the Lex Koller law (federal law restricting the acquisition of Swiss residential properties by persons abroad). The permit requirement ensures that the purchased property shall be acquired and used in compliance with the Lex Koller requirements. Upon request, such permit will be issued by the cantonal authority.

Does the buyer become the legal owner of the chalet?

Yes, the buyer acquires full legal title (ownership) in the concerned condominium ownership unit, which may be an entire chalet or a residence (apartment), as the case may be. The buyer is registered as the owner of the concerned unit (chalet or residence) in the land register.

Is it possible to buy a unit that is not managed and operated by a hotel?

No, this is not possible for legal reasons. Swiss federal and cantonal legislation on the construction of second homes and on the acquisition of residential properties by persons abroad mandatorily require that all chalets and residences are managed and operated by a hotel.

What does it mean that the units are managed and operated by a hotel?

To qualify as tourist managed accommodations, the concerned units must be part of a hotel business.

For this purpose, the owners of the units contractually waive the personal right of exclusive use of the units and transfer such right to the hotel operator. The hotel operator offers the units on the market to third parties (paying guests). The hotel operator takes care of the maintenance and the renewal of the units.

The units must be designed and equipped in a way that they cannot be used without the hotel’s services. In particular, the units may not have a fully equipped kitchen but only a kitchenette. The hotel operator must include the units in its accommodation business and offer the relevant services to the guests staying in the units.

Which requirements must the hotel business meet?

The hotel operator must provide all services and infrastructure that are typically part of a hotel of the relevant category and that are typically used by the majority of hotel guests, such as a reception, gastronomy, room service, fitness and wellness facilities accessible to all guests.

What is the relationship between the unit owners and the hotel operator?

The unit owners enter into a long-term management contract with the hotel operator. The initial contract term lasts at least 15 years. At the end of this period, the contract must be renewed.

In return for the hotel’s use of the units, the owners participate in the revenues generated by renting out the units to third parties. The allocation of the costs relating to the units and the revenue split between the hotel operator and the unit owners are contractually defined.

How may the owner use their unit?

Unit owners are allowed to stay in the units for a total period of three months per year or longer. At a time, only short-term stays for a maximum duration of one to two weeks are permitted. Long-term stays are not allowed.

In order for unit owners to use their unit or any other unit of the hotel, the owners must book in advance and pay for the stay and the services received in the same way as hotel guests. Unit owners do by default not benefit from preferential rates.

Swiss unit owners may use their own unit in a Swiss held hotel during three weeks per main season for free (Zermatt has two main seasons, one in summer and one in winter). Additional stays are subject to full payment. The limitation to short-term stays applies also to Swiss unit owners.

What is the design of the units and may changes be made to this design?

The units must be designed according to a uniform concept in line with the design of the hotel. The hotel may suggest up to three design lines, from which owners can choose one.

Owners are not allowed to personalise the units, furnish them individually or install appliances. Owners may not leave personal belongings in the units when the units are rented out to hotel guests.

The units must be designed and equipped in a way that they cannot be used without the use of hotel services.

Must the units be offered for rent to hotel guests?

Yes, the mandatory legal framework requires the units to be made available to the hotel operator.

In the condominium ownership agreement and the associated management and use regulations, the owners undertake to make their units available to the hotel operator on an unlimited basis. This will be recorded in the land register. The entry in the land register ensures the permanent hotel-like management.

Will a renewal fund be set up?

Yes, the creation of a renewal fund for the common parts of the building and a reserve fund for the furnishings of the units is mandatory. The contributions to the renewal fund are deducted from the owners’ income.