Andrea Rohrer is an associate and member of Pestalozzi’s Real Estate Group & Environment Group in Zurich. Her main areas of practice include real estate, environmental and public procurement law. Andrea Rohrer's comprehensive expertise in the real estate sector comprises all types of contractual issues as well as regulatory topics. In public procurement law, Andrea regularly advises and litigates for public authorities and bidders in both cantonal and federal procurement matters.
Andrea Rohrer regularly advises domestic and foreign clients in both commercial and residential real estate matters, including property investments/divestments, portfolio transfers, sale and lease back transactions, commercial and residential leases as well as public and private law constructions. Besides all types of contractual issues, Andrea Rohrer's comprehensive expertise includes regulatory topics such as the acquisition of real property by non-Swiss residents, rural land rights and environmental issues. In public procurement law, Andrea Rohrer also assists clients with her broad experience during any part of the procurement process. She also publishes in her fields of expertise.
Andrea Rohrer graduated from the University of Fribourg with specialization in contract and European law (MLaw, 2009). During her studies she participated in exchange programs with the University of Alabama, School of Law and the Université Libre de Bruxelles, where she focused on international commercial and contract law. She joined Pestalozzi as a junior associate and became an associate after her admission to the Swiss bar in 2012.
In addition, Andrea Rohrer acts as secretary of wipswiss – women in property switzerland association.
The proposed COVID-19 Business Rental Act has failed in Parliament and is thus off the table on a national level. The main arguments for the dismissal included the retroactive intervention in private law contracts and the legal uncertainty with regard to the question of whether the proposed act had a sufficient constitutional basis. However, the topic of COVID-19 rent reductions will likely lead to court decisions in the future.
The Federal Council recently submitted to Parliament a preliminary draft federal act on rent payments during the COVID-19 lockdown and opened the consultation procedure with the cantons, political parties and interested organisations. The act is a political decision and its constitutional basis is questionable. Further, a number of the suggested provisions leave room for improvement.
While it remains unclear when and on what terms Brexit will happen, the United Kingdom and Switzerland recently signed an agreement on citizens' rights which covers the purchase and retention of real estate by UK citizens in Switzerland and vice versa. After Brexit, UK citizens with a legal and actual Swiss residence will require a permanent Swiss residence permit (C permit). Otherwise, they will be considered persons abroad and will be subject to the Lex Koller restrictions.
Swiss legislation provides for adequate compensation for considerable advantages and disadvantages resulting from spatial planning measures. In particular, land that is newly allocated to a building zone substantially increases in value. Owners of such land will benefit from spatial planning activities without any contribution on their part. For reasons of fairness, these benefits are subject to a levy which is supposed to 'skim off' part of the added value.
The proposed second part of the Spatial Planning Act revision will give the cantons more flexibility with regard to construction activities outside building zones so that they can consider their individual needs more appropriately. An initiative to stop uncontrolled urban sprawl will oblige the federation, cantons and communities to freeze the present size of building zones and ensure that the zones grow no further.
Foreign investments in Swiss real estate are governed by a federal law known as the 'Lex Koller' and additional cantonal rules. The law restricts the acquisition of residential real property by non-Swiss residents. In a recent decision, the Federal Supreme Court decided for the first time that the sale of a vacation home between two non-Swiss residents is allowed only in designated communities. The decision stops a long-standing practice of the cantonal authorities.
An initiative adopted in 2012 led to a constitutional amendment limiting the total number of second homes in any municipality to 20% of the total number of residential units existing in the concerned municipality. Each municipality is obliged to keep an inventory of all homes and to update it by the end of each calendar year. The Federal Office for Spatial Development recently published the inventories of second homes for the first time.