What is it and how to read it



In the process of acquiring or selling, it is essential to obtain all the information about the property to make sure you are aware of all restrictions and limitations on the land.

In this article we will explain what the land registry is, how to read an exctract from the land registry, and provide you with other useful information so you can understand exactly what it means for your property.


What is the land registry?

It is a public service with the task of officially administering a register of private rights to land: it defines the structure of ownership and rights to land.

Land, real rights and permanent rights (e.g., surface rights), mines and co-ownership shares in a fund, including ownership by plans, are registered as real estate.

There is no centralized office for the whole of Switzerland, so this is maintained by the individual cantons-the cantonal land registry offices. Some cantons have a single office, while others provide a registry office for each district or each municipality.

In most cases, their land register is a digital register that is constantly updated.


Access to the land register

The land registry records property rights, easements, land charges and real estate liens.

Each access in the land registry must be recorded in writing by the owners by submitting a request that is based on documents (contracts of purchase and sale, donation, establishment of an easement, hereditary division, etc.) as well as consents and authorizations.

The land registry office keeps the documents as supporting documents.


Important to know:

- anyone who acquires residential property based on the land register does not need further clarification of the property's status.

- the purchaser of a property becomes the owner only through an inscription in the land register.



Consultation of the land register

Everyone has the right, without special reason, to make a partial consultation easily and free of charge. Anyone can consult, since it is a property:

- its designation and description (for example: its size),

- the name and identity of its owner,

- the form of ownership (for example: apartment) and the date of acquisition,

- as well as easements (rights of use such as right of habitation and right of way) and land charges (for example: obligation to provide water) affecting it.

If you justify an interest, you also have the right to consult other entries in the land register or to have full extracts issued to you that also include real estate lien rights.


What is the purpose of an extract from the land register?

Real estate buyers: the extract from the land register contains important information for potential buyers. Before signing the purchase contract, it is necessary to request it. This lets you know, for example, whether there is a right of way.

Real estate sellers: home sellers should attach the extract from the land register to their sales documents.


How to order it?

The land registry office transmits oral information free of charge. A written excerpt of the land registry is subject to a fee.

Costs depends on the total volume and degree of detail of the land register extract. It is usually between 20 and 30 francs.


How long does it take to receive an extract of the land register?

It depends mainly on where the property is located. In general, it takes 1 to 5 working days to receive the document. Your notary public can get you a copy within a few hours.



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