Real estate law lawyer

Real estate law

Lawyer Real Estate Law Munich – Frankfurt – Hamburg

Real estate law is a term that bundles various regulations and laws that are relevant when it comes to real estate and the law. However, real estate law is not a separate area of law in the sense of the law.

Topics in our legal advice

Lawyer Real Estate Law – Real estate represents approximately 86 % of German fixed assets. This shows more and more the economic and social importance of land and real estate in Germany – and the high demand for advice from lawyers on this complex of topics.

The lawyers of the Herfurtner law firm advise clients on:

  • Real estate law
  • Inheritance law
  • Property protection
  • Purchase, sale and auction of real estate
  • Residential property law
  • Financing law
  • Tenancy and lease law
  • Commercial tenancy law and
  • Real estate law

Whoever constructs houses, buildings and flats, buys or sells them, comes into contact with real estate law. Accordingly, a law firm or a lawyer for real estate law is often consulted by various parties.

Table of contents

  1. Real Estate Law Firm – Services for Buyers and Sellers
  2. Purchase of real estate
  3. Lawyer for real estate law Hamburg, Frankfurt, Munich
  4. Real estate law – what is it?
  5. Private-law provisions in real estate law
  6. Public law regulations in real estate law
  7. Other legal areas in real estate law
  8. What does a lawyer for real estate law do?

Real Estate Law Firm – Services for Buyers and Sellers

Our real estate lawyers advise sellers and buyers on their real estate transactions. We are at your side from the planning stage to the signing at the notary’s office.

Our law firm’s range of services for real estate buyers – & sellers, investors, private builders, architects, companies, engineers, owners, tenants and property managers includes the following.

  • Property purchase agreement & real estate purchase agreement: In real estate law, our lawyers at the Herfurtner law firm review, draft and draft all contracts relevant to you. We support our clients just as much in enforcing and asserting claims for damages as we do in representing them in liability matters in the event of legal and material defects.
  • Asset protection: Protection of real estate assets from the access of creditors, for example.
  • Legal assistance in building law disputes: independent proceedings for the taking of evidence, VOB/B problems, the preparation and conclusion of contracts up to actions for compensation for work, assertion of or defence against notices of defects and warranties
  • Preliminary examinations for the purchase of real estate: lease agreements and draft agreements, encumbrances, negotiation and review of real estate purchase agreements.

Real estate law – Buying a property

Questions in real estate law are not only relevant if one plans to rent or let a flat. Especially the purchase of real estate is a big step for the buyer, which requires comprehensive advice by a lawyer due to the possible risks.

This is because the purchase of a property is not only an emotional act that often sets the course for the future, but also an event that is often associated with high and long-term financial burdens. Lawyers can help to point out the advantages and disadvantages.

Especially in cities with high demand for housing, such as Berlin, owning a home is worthwhile. Those who invested their money in concrete or even just in a plot of land there ten years ago now benefit from a strong increase in value. However, the purchase of one’s own four walls is not free of risks.

Therefore, when deciding to buy a home or a plot of land, a legal and economic examination and advice by a lawyer should be considered in order to prevent financial damage. Here it is advisable to seek the advice of a lawyer for real estate law in good time.

Our lawyers for real estate law advise sellers and buyers in their real estate transactions. From planning to signing at the notary’s office, we are at your side. Would you like to become “master of your own house” and do you have a question about real estate law and its implications?

Are you considering the purchase of residential property? The lawyers of the Herfurtner law firm will be pleased to be at your disposal for an exchange, also by e-mail or telephone.

For further information and to arrange an appointment with a lawyer, please click here to go directly to our contact area.

Lawyer Real Estate Law

In questions concerning real estate law, a lawyer can support the parties involved in various ways by providing advice. As a lawyer for real estate law, the Herfurtner law firm advises

  • Tenants in the event of disagreements with their landlord (e.g. in the event of a rent increase, when registering their own needs or when giving notice),
  • owners with problems in their homeowners’ association, and
  • Buyers or sellers who want to protect themselves from unpleasant surprises that can result from a land charge or a faulty purchase contract in real estate purchases and sales.

Therefore, real estate buyers, investors, private builders, architects, engineers and property managers benefit from detailed legal advice in real estate law from a lawyer. This includes in detail:

  • Preliminary checks for the purchase of a property by the lawyer,
  • encumbrances,
  • leases and drafting,
  • review and negotiation of real estate purchase agreements.

The lawyers of the Herfurtner law firm also advise building owners and companies in construction law disputes. The advice includes

  • the preparation and conclusion of contracts up to actions for work compensation,
  • independent proceedings for the taking of evidence,
  • warranty,
  • assertion of or defence against notices of defects,
  • VOB/B problems.

Are you looking for a lawyer or information on building law or tenancy law? Do you have questions about a purchase contract or the use of a property? We have offices in Munich, Frankfurt am Main and Hamburg and are happy to act for our clients nationwide, including in the area of real estate law.

If you are looking for a lawyer for real estate law and would like legal advice, you will find the right contact person for your concerns at the Herfurtner law firm.

Click here to contact a lawyer who will be happy to answer your questions. You can also contact us by telephone.

Real estate law – what is it?

Real estate law distinguishes legal provisions in both public and private law. In this context, public law regulates the legal relationships between builders and owners on the one hand and state institutions and the general public on the other.

For example, the decision on who can build a property and under what conditions falls under public law.

Private law, on the other hand, regulates the relationship between private persons. Here it is a matter, for example, of questions of neighbourly contact or the transfer of ownership of land.

Private law provisions in real estate law

A lawyer for real estate law deals in particular with these private law provisions in real estate law:

Real estate purchase contract law:

The area of real estate purchase contract law is mainly found in the BGB. Here it is stipulated, for example, that a purchase contract for a property must be notarised or that the agreement between the seller and the buyer on the transfer of ownership is documented in the land register.

The regulations on acquisition are found in § 311b BGB (contracts on real estate, property and the estate). Among other things, it is stipulated here that notarial certification is required if a contracting party undertakes to transfer or acquire real property.

Brokerage law (BGB):

According to the definition, there is no brokerage law in Germany. Instead, the German Civil Code (BGB) contains various paragraphs that relate to brokerage law. In addition, the regulations are constantly being expanded through ongoing case law, which is why lawyers always keep an eye on the latest rulings.

An estate agent can be the partner of the buyer or the partner of the seller of a property. The German Civil Code (BGB) stipulates, among other things, that a success commission is only payable to an estate agent in the case of a purchase if it is based on a successful brokerage.

Details on issues relating to the brokerage of residential property are regulated by the Residential Property Brokerage Act.

Real Estate Broker and Property Developer Ordinance (MaBV):

The full name of the Makler- und Bauträgerverordnung (MaBV) is “Ordinance on the Duties of Real Estate Agents, Loan Brokers, Property Developers, Building Supervisors and Residential Property Managers”. It is intended to protect clients from working with dubious tradesmen.

Accordingly, it contains regulations for all those who carry out activities according to § 34c paragraph 1 of the GewO. These deal, among other things, with the topics of accounting obligations, record-keeping and information obligations or notification obligations. There are also sections on further training and examinations as well as administrative offences.

Exempt from the ordinance are, for example, “tradespeople who, as insurance or building society representatives, broker the conclusion of contracts for loans or provide evidence of the opportunity to conclude such contracts as part of their activities for an insurance or building society subject to the supervision of the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority”.

Land register regulations:

All rights and obligations relating to a property are entered in the land register. These include, for example, the right of way and the land charge or building encumbrances. The contents to be entered in the land register are regulated by the Land Register Code (GBO) of 1897.

The keeping of land registers is the responsibility of the competent local district courts, which in this case are referred to as land registry offices. With more than 150 paragraphs, the Land Register Ordinance is without question very extensive. On the other hand, it answers many legal questions about real estate.

Notarisation Act:

The Notarisation Act regulates public notarisations and their safekeeping by the appointed, i.e. competent, notary. In addition, the notary’s official duties are regulated in detail in the Beurkundungsgesetz. For example, the deed must be drawn up in German. A notary must also satisfy himself that all parties have appeared and legitimised themselves.

If this is the case, a notary reads transcripts of authentications to the parties and has them approve them and sign them personally. The notary also clarifies facts and instructs on legal implications. Depending on the type of deed, it can be very extensive, but it must be read from the first word to the last. The maximum number of pages of a deed that may be read per hour is 30.

Ground Lease Act:

An alternative to buying land is to create a heritable building right in favour of a third party. In Germany, there is the right to build on a plot of land or maintain a structure without being the owner of the land. In return, the user pays the owner the so-called ground rent. The land in question is encumbered by the fact that a person with heritable building rights is granted the alienable and heritable right to build on this land.

The law on heritable building rights dates back to 1919 and was last updated in 2013. At the end of the period for which it is granted, the heritable building right expires. As a rule, this is the case after a period of 99 years. According to the law, ownership of the building then passes to the owner of the land by operation of law. However, the heritable building right obliges the owner of the land to pay appropriate compensation in this case.

Condominium Act (WEG) / Condominium law:

In principle, a distinction is made between rented flats and owner-occupied flats. For the lawyer, but also for tenants or buyers, this question is crucial. This is because on the one hand tenancy law applies, and on the other hand condominium law applies.

In German law, condominium ownership is a form of ownership of an individual dwelling. According to residential property law, residential property is established by registration in the residential property register. As soon as a flat has come into existence, it receives its own land register page. This means that it can be sold, encumbered or even inherited.

Often an entire property consists of several residential and commercial units that are self-contained. In these cases, residential and partial ownership can be established by a declaration of division, which must be notarised.

According to the law on condominium ownership, condominium ownership is composed of the area of special property and the area of common property. Whereas separate ownership means the sole ownership of a unit or the rooms of a residential unit, common ownership is defined as a co-ownership share in the common property. The exact details can be found in the German Condominium Act (Wohnungseigentumsgesetz, WEG).

The declaration of division regulates which rooms are to be counted as separate property. However, it should be noted that not every room in a flat is eligible for separate ownership. Rather, some rooms must be in common ownership.

Housing Mediation Act:

The Act on the Regulation of Housing Brokerage regulates the activities of brokers for the brokerage of contracts for housing. In particular, this area regulates the question of what activity a housing agent performs, when and in what amount commissions are permissible or how housing offers must formally look.

The Housing Mediation Act also stipulates that an agent’s commission only has to be paid if a tenant is successfully found. In addition, the brokerage principle, which has been in force since 2015, can also be found here. This states that the broker’s commission is to be paid solely by the landlord if he has commissioned the broker.

The WoVermRG came into force in 1971 and has played a role in real estate law ever since. A lawyer for real estate law often comes into contact with this law when there are ambiguities between the tenant and the agent for residential property. In most cases, this concerns the agent’s commission claim, which lawyers have to clarify.

Residential tenancy law:

Residential tenancy law regulates the rights and obligations of tenants in particular. Basically, residential tenancy law can be divided into three phases or sections:

  1. Area of the initiation and conclusion of a contract/tenancy relationship
  2. Rights and obligations over the duration of the tenancy
  3. Termination of the tenancy

Initiation and conclusion of a contract/tenancy agreement

The first area or phase, i.e. the conclusion of a tenancy agreement and its preparation, includes topics such as the inspection of the flat and the preliminary talks. This is also where the so-called “landlord’s right to ask questions” is anchored, as the landlord wants to know who he is dealing with. In addition, you will find the “Bestellerprinzip” (principle of the commissioner) in relation to an estate agent. This states, in a nutshell: Whoever commissions an estate agent also pays him. This can be both the landlord and the tenant.

Regulations on the form and content of a tenancy agreement, on the question of the amount of rent (keywords: “Mietpreisbremse”, “Staffelmiete”, “Indexmiete”) and information on how to deal with cosmetic repairs can also be found here.

Rights and obligations for the duration of the tenancy

The second phase of rights and obligations covers the areas of defects (including the right to terminate the lease), contractual use (including subletting, keeping animals), rent increase (including the local comparative rent, modernisation), allocation of operating costs (including advance payments) and measures for maintenance and modernisation.

Termination of the tenancy

Particularly when one has unexpectedly received a notice of termination, a lawyer for real estate law is often sought. As a rule, tenancy agreements for flats are contracts for an indefinite period. An effective notice of termination after the expiry of the notice period leads to a termination of the tenancy.

In addition, the rent of the residential property can already be limited in time when the contract is concluded. In this case, one speaks of a temporary tenancy agreement, which automatically ends after the expiry of the rental period stipulated in the contract. Accordingly, termination and the temporary tenancy agreement are the main issues in this phase. In addition, there are changes in the circumstances of the flat (e.g. in case of sale).

Commercial tenancy law:

In contrast to residential tenancy law, commercial tenancy law regulates the rights and obligations of tenants of commercial properties. The special feature in the area of residential tenancy law is that it is assumed that the distribution of power between tenant and landlord is unequal. It is therefore intended to protect the tenant first and foremost, who could find himself exposed to the arbitrariness of the landlord.

The situation is different with commercial leases. Here it is assumed that the parties to the contract are more or less on an equal footing. Accordingly, this law also has fewer regulations than residential tenancy law. Tenancy law for commercial premises is also regulated in the BGB.

If a tenant can use the rented premises both for residential and commercial purposes, this is a special case called a mixed tenancy. The problem for legal questions lies in the demarcation. First of all, the question must be answered as to whether the tenancy has its main focus on private or business use (keyword lawyer real estate law). Accordingly, the regulations on residential or business tenancy would apply.

Leasehold law:

Leasehold law grants the tenant of a plot of land or property a right that goes beyond the use of the property, which distinguishes it from tenancy law. Whereas in the case of rent, the rented premises are left empty, in the case of a lease, additional objects or equipment are left which are used directly to generate income. An example is the use of furniture in a restaurant.

Land law:

Land law is a term that is often used synonymously with real estate law. It is an area of law that includes legal norms that must be taken into account when acquiring, disposing of or managing real property.

The general legal bases in real estate law include, above all, the Civil Code (Book 3, Property Law), the Land Register Code, the Condominium Act or the Heritable Building Rights Act.

Public law regulations in real estate law

In addition to private law regulations in real estate law, there is also the area of public law regulations. Here, a lawyer for real estate law mainly deals with these areas:

Building Code (BauGB):

As the successor to the Federal Building Code, the BauGB is the most important law in Germany in terms of building planning law. The provisions it contains have a decisive influence on settled areas such as towns and villages. The instruments available for urban planning are defined here. The Building Code is divided into four parts:

  • general urban planning law,
  • special urban planning law,
  • other regulations and
  • Transitional and final regulations.

Renewable Energies Heat Act (EEWärmeG):

The EEWärmeG of 2009 stipulates that at least 14 % of the heating and cooling energy demand of buildings must be covered by renewable energies by 2020. Therefore, new buildings are obliged to ensure that a certain percentage of their energy supply is provided by renewable energies. This obligation applies to usable floor areas larger than 50 square metres.

It is irrelevant whether the owner is a public or a private builder. The obligation applies to all owners of newly constructed buildings. However, it is up to the owner to decide which type of renewable energy to use. As an alternative to using renewable energy, it is possible to implement substitute measures.

Energy Saving Ordinance (EnEV):

With the Energy Saving Ordinance, building owners are obliged to act in an energy-saving manner when they build new buildings or renovate existing ones. The ordinance includes many regulations on energy-saving thermal insulation and, in the case of buildings, on energy-saving systems technology.

Real estate agent law (trade regulations):

According to the Trade Regulation Act, real estate agents require a trade licence. This serves as proof of their seriousness. Both natural persons and legal entities can apply for it.

The brokerage commission is also regulated by law. On 23 December 2020, a new law came into force that deals with the distribution of brokerage fees. According to real estate law, when buying a property, the seller is now obliged to pay at least half of the commission if he has commissioned the broker.

Tax law:

The Real Estate Transfer Tax Act is affected by real estate transactions. Here it is regulated that purchase taxes are incurred on the sale of real estate, which are to be borne by the buyer. Another area is inheritance and gifts of real estate as well as income tax on income from renting and leasing. Information on this complex of topics is available from tax advisors or lawyers.

Other legal areas in real estate law

Real estate law is not an independent area of law. Rather, the term real estate law combines several areas of law when they become relevant in the context of real estate. Advising on real estate law is therefore a topic that should be considered holistically.

For example, when it comes to residential property and the purchase of land, the areas of financing, capital investment law as well as tax and inheritance law often play a decisive role in the advice given.

However, real estate transactions can also include architectural law, public and private building law, commercial and private tenancy law, real estate and mortgage law, land and neighbourhood law and compulsory auction law.

Joint ventures and family pools – real estate law lawyer advises

We apply basic knowledge in real estate corporate law for our clients in asset management real estate companies, joint ventures and family pools.

A real estate financing should be based on information from a real estate law due diligence. When drafting contracts, tax advice can save unnecessary costs and thus money. In the case of a marriage contract and divorce, there is usually a need for family law advice and representation.

Real estate in the estate often brings inheritance law and inheritance tax aspects to the fore for the heirs. The legal background can be discussed within the framework of timely advice by lawyers. If necessary, a lawyer can also provide for asset protection of the real estate assets from the access of creditors in advance.

What does a lawyer for real estate law do?

The demand for real estate is persistently high, which is why it is attractive for many people to purchase a flat or a house in order to either live in it themselves or to secure a comparatively attractive return as an investor by renting it out.

Especially in cities such as Berlin, Hamburg or Frankfurt am Main, the high demand for living space has caused prices for rental flats to rise enormously in recent years. Those who want to invest their money securely and get more out of their capital often tend towards real estate.

Owners and tenants, sellers and buyers – these are the four groups that are eligible for legal advice on real estate law. The Herfurtner law firm advises buyers and sellers as a lawyer for real estate law in real estate transactions. In addition, a lawyer accompanies the processes from planning to signing at the notary’s office.

Our lawyers also advise on financing issues or on structuring options for inheritance, which includes the management of gifts and the secure drafting of wills.

For our clients, our lawyers also review or draft all relevant contracts relating to real estate and provide support in asserting and enforcing claims for damages. The domicile or the place of business of our clients is irrelevant.

Advice on real estate law

The Herfurtner law firm, with offices in Munich, Frankfurt am Main and Hamburg, is available nationwide to advise and assist in all matters and questions relating to real estate law.

Are you looking for an exchange with a lawyer on the subject of real estate law and risks in the real estate industry? For example, are there defects in the building, do you have questions about the sale, property law or other legal issues? Then you are welcome to contact our lawyers by phone or send an e-mail.

Would you like to receive legal advice on real estate law from a lawyer? For information on the topic of “real estate law lawyer” and the possibilities of legal representation, please go directly to Contact us. In addition, we are also active in the areas of labour law, industrial property law, trademark law, competition law, advertising law as well as copyright law.

If you have invested in or made payments to one of the companies on this list, our lawyers will be at your disposal at short notice.


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