Purchasing Real Estate from Abroad
The German market is open to foreign nationals with no legal restrictions based on nationality in place in German law. Every natural person with legal capacity can purchase real estate in Germany. Our page on “Real Estate and Immigration to Germany” outlines this point and provides further advice.
Due to its strong economy, Germany is particularly attractive to investors and those involved in real estate. However, real estate contracts and projects can be difficult to get moving because there are many aspects which need considering and many parties involved in the project. Our lawyers are experieneced when it comes to the realities of working with local authorities, zoning commissions, construction companies etc. We are also familiar with the necessary requirements when it comes to tax issues, environmental protection regulations and contractual requirements.
As a full-service law firm we work with clients from all over the world. We are aware of the challenges facing investors from abroad entering the German market and therefore are able to provide them with the guidance and expertise needed to forge ahead in their projects. We provide our services in English and in other languages to ensure that advice does not get lost in translation.
German Construction Law
Many aspects of German construction law are regulated for under Title 9 “Contract to produce a work and similar contracts” of the German Civil Code (BGB). This title runs from § 631 BGB to § 650 BGB and outlines rights relating to cost estimates, builder’s security, contractual rights as well as the rights of the customer in cases of defects. As well as the BGB, the Procurement and Contract Procedure for Building Works (VOB) is the basis of construction contracts with VOB/B (General Contract Conditions for Building Works) the most commonly used when drafting contracts for construction projects.
Our service in the field of construction law extends to a wide variety of parties. We often represent clients such as investors, construction companies, project managers and many others. We advise them on the drafting of contracts, the obtaining of necessary permits, in the purchase and sale of property and in compliance with environmental regualtions. Our team works alongside those involved in construction projects of all sizes and purposes. We are keenly aware of the complexities and difficulties associated with such projects and thus, our legal services are specialised for the project we are dealing with.
Once contact has been made with our German construction law team we can start working together to successfully realise your construction requirements in Germany.
Environmental Law and German Construction Law
The protection of the environment is given huge importance in German law. § 20a German Constitution (Grundgesetz) states the following:
“Mindful also of its responsibility towards future generations, the state shall protect the natural foundations of life and animals by legislation and, in accordance with law and justice, by executive and judicial action, all within the framework of the constitutional order.”
Arising from this article there are many laws in Germany relating to environmental protection. As well as that there are many European regulations which will also play a major impact on any construction project launched in Germany. Unlike other legal areas there is no set Umweltgesetzbuch (environmental legal code) but strong protections do exist. Breaching environmental law (when it comes to water pollution, contaminating land, unauthorised use of asbestos etc.) can result in high fines, bad publicity and even (in some cases) imprisonment.
However, these protections of the environment and climate also present opportunities to construction projects. For companies and project leaders who are informed of and aware of these laws, there are grants and supports available from different public bodies if their projects incorporate certain environmental protections while building. Having the right permits in place and making sure that the project follows the requirements set forth by environmental will also help save money in the long run.
Environmental law is a huge element to consider when starting a construction project in Germany. There are many players from local authorities, national bodies to environmental NGOs who have different powers and interests in this field. Having our lawyers available will help reduce risks in this area when it comes to your construction projects.
Coporate Real Estate Services
At Schlun & Elseven Attorneys our comprehensive service means that corporate clients can rely on us to guide them through their major construction projects in Germany – whether they involve a new build or an expansion of current facilities. We can be relied upon to resolve the legal and bureaucratic requirements to ensure that your construction project is carried out as smoothly as possible. Our team will act on your behalf when it comes to dealing with third parties whether that is in potential legal disputes or in matters relating to the management of the project.
Once a project has been completed our law firm can provide further assistance with the letting of the property and with its administration generally. We will also keep you updated for possible opportunities available to you as regards the real estate acquired. On a similar note, we will also be aware of how developments in environmental law and other matters may lead to potential hazards or gains in the future.