Clear advice on Brexit for UK buyers

UPDATED 10 February 2020.  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: according to Paragraph 3(3) of the TGVG 1996, during the transitional period, United Kingdom nationals are covered by the fundamental freedoms under the exit agreement Austrian citizens for the purposes of the Tyrolean Land Transfer Act.

In summary:

  1. There is no change and UK citizens can still buy property in Austria as a natural person just as they always have done;
  2. The UK left the EU but the withdrawal agreement ensures the transition period until 31 December 2020 and during this time the current status quo will continue i.e. UK passport holders can continue to buy property in Tirol;
  3. Tyrolean Provincial Government is also eyeing up the possibility of an extension to the deadline of 31 December 2020;
  4. Once a UK buyer is in Austrian Land Registry, you cannot be taken out so there is an argument to move forward and buy now before 31 December 2020;
  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 possible that after 31 December 2020, there will be an agreement 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 also 3 times more Austrians living in the UK than Brits in Austria and 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’ property buyers then we can create an EU 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.