I have story to tell. My parents own a mehrfamilienhaus, they live in the first floor, and they inherited the second floor 6 years ago when my grandmother died. Those are two completely independent apartments in the same home.
Last year my Aunt, who was living in the second floor, left the apartment and my parents started planning:
- renovate the apartment (never been touched since the construction in 1970 basically)
- used it for the visit of their children (me and my siblings), renting out as Bed & Breakfast the rest of the time on AirBnB.
They first inquired with the Town “Technical Employee”, the clerk working on this kind of cases, as well as with Ticino Turismo (the tourism association of Ticino). It seems the plan would work.
One year later and 50k+ of cost to fix it (which to be honest they needed to be spend anyway, they renewed the kitchen, the bath all of the rooms etc and very often my father did the work himself)…the canton refused to allow them to be a B&B.
The small details that the clerk and ticino turismo missed was that the home was a pre-1972 home, build outside of the construction zoning. (altbau ausserhalb Bauzone). It turns out that you need to properly change the “goal” of your home from primary residence to “affittacamere” (eg “Zimmervermieter”) but this requires a building permit, even without a single construction work, but is still a Baugesuch. For homes in residential zones with Baurecht, no problem. In the case of my parents, they had to rely on the cantonal decision based on article 24 of the Spatial Planning Federal Act:
1 If the change in purpose of a building or installation outside the building zone does not necessitate any construction work within the meaning of Article 22 paragraph 1, a permit shall be issued if:
the change of purpose will not have any new impact on space, infrastructure provision and the environment; and
it is not prohibited by any other federal enactment.
2 The exceptional permit must be issued subject to the condition that a new official ruling be made should circumstances change.
Unfortunately it seems from the cantonal office that point (a) is always an issue for changing from apartment for residence to B&B, and they automatically decline all such requests for homes ausserhalb Bauzone.
It’s a bit ridicoulous because they are allowed to rent it as primary residence to 6 adults (they have 6 beds, 3 rooms) in a “WG”/collocation which each one one car, but they are not allowed to change it to AirBnb for like 90 days a year, because it would have “new impacts on space, infrastracture and environment.”
So in the end, just be careful if you buy or inherit something outside of building zone. Because you are really limited in what you can do.