Clear advice on Brexit for UK buyers

There is some confusion and sadly misleading information being given to UK citizens about buying property in Austria at the moment.

Here is a quick steer based on unambiguous advice provided by our retained lawyers in Innsbruck who help our EU and non-EU based customers buy apartments in Tirol, Austria:

  1. Right now, there is no change and UK citizens can buy property in Austria as a natural person just as they always have done;
  2. If the UK leaves on 31 January 2020 with a withdrawal agreement then there will be a transition period (12 to 18 months) and during this time the current status quo will continue;
  3. We have relationships with leading Austrian banks and they are happy to provide mortgages of up to 60% for UK customers (we can even get mortgages for US citizens);
  4. Remember, once you are in Austrian Land Registry, you cannot be taken out so there is an argument to move forward now and buy now;
  5. Tax treaties between the UK and Austria are negotiated separately between us and not under the control of the EU so there will be no change in that respect;
  6. It is likely there will be an agreement when/if we do leave that enables UK citizens to buy in Austria just like they can do now – there could be a special case made for the UK (after all, we are their 4th most important tourism market and highest spenders per capita);
  7. There are nearly 3 times more Austrians living in the UK than Brits in Austria – the Austrians are keen to keep things the way they are and avoid any reciprocal changes;
  8. Finally, if Austria does decide to categorise UK citizens as a ‘3rd country’ buyers then we will create a company for you to buy the property and the major shareholder can be of any nationality (this point of law is often misunderstood); we have been using this SPV approach for years for non-EU buyers from the US, New Zealand, South Africa and Norway etc

Please do not hesitate to contact us or call on +44 20 3735 8790 for advice without any obligation.