What is a primary residence (also called main residence)?
A primary residence is a dwelling that is permanently occupied by persons who have their residence in Zermatt, regardless of whether they are owners or tenants.
Primary residences are registered in the land registry with the notation “main residence”, “primary residence” or “equivalent to a primary residence”. If a dwelling is permanently occupied for purposes of gainful employment or education, it is treated as equivalent to a primary residence. If an entrepreneur makes his own apartment available to personnel for a short period of time, it is still considered a primary residence. Service apartments, apartments for diplomatic staff and apartments for asylum seekers are also treated as primary residences, provided they are occupied permanently.
Please note: Even if you only use the apartment as a weekend residence, this does not count as a second home in Switzerland, but rather as a primary residence.
How is “permanently inhabited” defined?
The legal minimum requirements for permanent occupancy are not precisely described and thus allow for a certain degree of leeway. In the case of a stay for work purposes, it is at least 3 months per year.
Tourist managed primary residence:
This particular concept is very common in Zermatt. It is a second home with a limitation of use. This means that owners are obliged to rent out these units to vacationers for at least 45 days per year at local conditions. For this purpose, a permit must be obtained from the municipality every 3 years and the tourist tax bill must be submitted annually.
What happens if the permit is not renewed?
In such a case, the apartment would effectively have to be used as a primary residence and the owner would become liable to pay taxes as a resident of Zermatt. However, we are not aware of such a case at the moment.
Tourist apartments (according to the law on second residences)
These are apartments, chalets or single-family houses that are not designed and built to meet the personal needs of the owners. They must be rented out to vacationers for a short period of time at local conditions.
Apartment in condominium ownership
In the case of condominiums, owner-occupancy should be kept to a minimum. Likewise, a renovation fund must be available. Please note: The municipality of Zermatt issues a permit which entitles the owner to rent out the apartment to vacation guests.