Real estate law
Real estate in legal relations
Real estate law is among the focal points of notarial practice. A notary drafts and certifies for example purchase contracts for properties, houses and freehold flats. The purchase of a piece of real estate is not an everyday transaction and differs considerably from an ordinary purchase contract in its legal form and in its associated risks. A notary is familiar with established contract clauses; he constantly adjusts them to new laws and court decisions, takes into account individual needs of the parties, and bears in mind the facts of the individual case.
After careful determination of the facts, the necessary contractual texts are worked out and certified, and the parties are attended to during the process. The notary procures e.g. necessary official authorisations, pays attention to the cancellation of rights in the land register, and protects the buyer from unsecured advance payments by registering cautions and supervising purchase payments. To ensure the financing of real estate, a notary certifies land charges and mortgages.
Often houses or apartments are sold which have not yet been completed or must be renovated by the seller. In this case, the parties conclude a developer contract. This is a purchase contract for a property or a freehold flat with the additional feature that the included building house or apartment has to be constructed afterwards, at least partially, by the seller as a developer. The manner of construction is given by the specifications and the plans. Risks to the parties should be avoided in all stages of the contract procedure during legal organisation.
The connection between purchase contract and service contract with joint certification causes a land purchase tax as well for the section intended for construction. It is, however, exempt from the value-added tax. One advantage of the developer contract is that the purchase contract and service contract form a unified contract. If the contracts are separated (first property purchase, then contract for construction of a building), significant risks threaten the buyer. To avoid these, the following points are regulated in the developer contract, in addition to the general conditions and securities of the property purchase contract:
Purchase price payments based only on construction progress,
Schedule and extent of the construction,
Special requests of the buyer during construction.
You can find additional information on the content of a developer contract in the developers’ leaflet of the Bavarian Chamber of Notaries.
As a professional investor, you often use more complex models for investment in real estate. Perhaps you are thinking about opening a real estate investment fund right now, or launching one in your proximate circle. You know about the possibilities in real estate leasing offers and are familiar with the advantages of building lease law in commerce. In this connection, you use special means of financing and are familiar with public support programmes. As notaries, we will gladly advise you and develop a concept together with you that suits your individual needs. Our know-how in specialised areas of the real estate business and our organisational involvement in the structures important for real estate transactions will be of great help.
A notary is additionally at your disposal for consulting on real estate endowments, such as for example in connection with an anticipated succession. Since the post-World War II generation created assets values of 8.400 billion Euros (of which barely half are in the form of real estate), the transfer of such life-time achievements to family members, whether in the form of private or business assets, plays a prominent role in notarial practice. The sensitive disclosure of mutual expectations and fears, as well as safeguarding through reliable contract organisation is a particular concern of ours in this regard. The assessment of the tax situation and, if necessary, asset protection against access by creditors and social assistance authorities is always of central importance.