How to Find Real Estate and Land Register Information in Switzerland

Practical Guide

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How is it possible to access land register information in Switzerland?

Land register information in Switzerland is managed at the level of the different federal states (cantons). Each canton or, depending on its size, subsection of a canton has its own land registry office.

In Switzerland, land register information is available online, at least to a certain extent. Most cantons limit the access to certain information. The availability of online access, user accounts, and search options can vary from canton to canton. To determine the canton, the address can be entered into the map of the federal office of topography (Maps of Switzerland - Swiss Confederation - or Google Maps. When typing the address (street, number, city) into the search bar, the corresponding canton automatically appears after the address.

In order to identify the cantonal website with online access to the public parts of the land register, one may visit the following website and click on the respective canton: Kantonale Geoportale :: KGK-CGC (website only available in German, French or Italian). Online access might be limited to specific types of information, and full details are usually not available to the public. In most cantons, professional users, such as notaries, some lawyers, or surveyors, have access to more detailed information through professional user accounts. These accounts require special permissions or credentials.

The search options of the cantonal websites depend on the capabilities of the specific cantonal land registry system. Common search options include searching by property address or parcel number. Searches of the owner’s name are usually only possible for professional users. Here are some cantonal websites with information which is available without a user account:

The contact details of the land registry offices in Switzerland can be found in the Annex to this document.

What property information is publicly available in Switzerland?

In principle, everybody may request information or a public land register extract on the legally effective entries in the land register. However, information on liens, priority notices and certain annotations (e.g., annotations in accordance with the Swiss federal Law on Occupational Retirement, Survivors' and Disability Pension Plans, annotation of a precautionary measure, etc.) is not provided without a legitimate interest.

By selecting a specific property, the owner of the plot can be identified. However, it is not possible to search for owners without knowing the plot of land. In addition, the property information is restricted. Automatic searches undermining the data protection concept are not possible. As a rule of thumb, a single user can request up to 20 specific property information reports per day. Professional users (notaries) can also search the land register for specific owners, their number of daily requests is not limited.

A more extensive right to inspect the documents and plans in the land register or to obtain a complete extract from the land register is only granted if a legitimate interest (i.e., an interest worthy of legal protection) can be substantiated. The credible interest arises from the personal, current and concrete benefit of the claimant from the inspection and can be of a legal or factual (e.g., economic, scientific or family) nature. Such interest can, for example, be assumed in the case of building liens of craftsmen regarding registered mortgages, for employees with regard to mortgages on their employer's property if they can credibly demonstrate a current threat to their economic interests, or for heirs entitled to a compulsory portion with regard to the determination of the infringement of compulsory portion rights.

The information is only binding if a notarized extract (see below) was issued by the authorities.

Which property related documents are available in Switzerland?

It is possible to order an extract from the land register or a title deed. It is also possible to obtain a partial extract from the land register without information on annotations, reservations, and mortgages, which can be obtained without proof of interest. Proof of interest is required for other extracts. Fees of between CHF 20 und CHF 60 arise for physical extracts. It is possible for the extracts to be publicly notarized.

Professional users can download land register extracts free of charge. However, it is not permitted to use information received in the course of notarial work for other purposes.

In Switzerland, various documents related to property are commonly used for contracts and litigation. The most important documents are:

  • Title Deed: Publicly available for specific properties (not for specific natural persons or legal entities).
  • Excerpt from the Land Registry: Abridged extracts without information on annotations, reservations, and mortgages are publicly available.
  • Past contracts or judgements regarding the transfer of ownership: Only accessible with special proof of interest. Notaries have access to these land register documents.
  • Mortgage Certificate: Not publicly available.
  • Lease Agreement: Not publicly available.

What other property-related information is available in Switzerland?

Maps concerning zoning, contamination, natural dangers, and public law restriction of ownership are available on most cantonal websites. This information is for free. The federal office of topography ( also provides some information (e.g., flood risk areas) for all cantons, yet a visit to the cantonal website is essential for more detailed property-related information. The federal register of contaminated sites can be viewed at the following link.

However, this cadaster is supplemented by cantonal cadasters. These must be consulted via the relevant cantonal websites. When visiting the cantonal website (visit Kantonale Geoportale :: KGK-CGC for the links to the different cantonal websites), there is usually an interactive map called Maps[Name of the Canton]. Once this map has been found, the cadasters of the contaminated sites (in the respective official language) can be identified via the search field.

Is it possible to obtain information on pending litigation concerning the property?

No, it is not possible to obtain information on pending litigation concerning a property. If there is an enforceable judgement or a legally binding payment order, a restriction on disposal can be noted in the land register. This can then be viewed by means of an extract of the land registry. The same applies to procedural seizures that have been noted in the land register.

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