Building Law and Property Development Law Team

The members of the building law and property development law team are:

Dr. Petra Sterner
Samira Fazlić
Christian Hippel
Roger Wintzer
Ingo Kolms

For further information about the areas of responsibility of the team:

The implementation of the obligation to build in the case of developers’ properties

The implementation of the developer’s obligation to build that follows the conclusion of a contract of purchase or a building developer’s contract (see on this point “Partition and Development Project”) assumes some legal knowledge on the part of both the buyer and the vendor. In particular, the following topics tend to be at the heart of most disputes:

  • Scope and content of the obligation to build in the case of new and existing buildings; binding nature of information provided in brochures
  • Defective building work before completion of the build
  • Obligation to pay instalments and due date for payment
  • Delays to building work during the building phase
  • Extent to which compensation for delay can be deducted from individual instalments
  • Entitlement to special wishes being considered
  • Acceptance of the work done
  • Obligations and/or rights regarding the removal of defects following acceptance

The Regulations for Agents and Building Developers [Makler- und Bauträgerverordnung – MaBV] that usually apply to these contracts are not of great help in practice when such difficulties occur. Given the absence of special provisions in these regulations and of higher court case law in this area, such difficulties can only be resolved in a professional and targeted way on the basis of comprehensive knowledge of land purchase law, building law and apartment ownership law. Because our specialist teams have specialist know-how that covers all these areas of the law, we can provide you with the relevant sound advice efficiently.

For further details, please see the topics below:
  • Legal agreements with neighbours as a basis for construction projects that are free of interruptions
  • Building contracts and architects’ contracts
  • Planning, building, acceptance and warranties
  • Remuneration and additional contracts in accordance with the German Tendering and Contract Procedures for Construction Work [Vergabe- und Vertragsordnung für Bauleistungen – Teil B – VOB/B], the German Scale of Fees for Services by Architects and Engineers [Honorarordnung für Architekten und Ingenieure – HOAI] and the German Civil Code [Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch – BGB]
  • Building defects
  • Interruptions and delays to the progress of building work
  • Refurbishment of asbestos-contaminated buildings
  • Attic conversions
Planning, building, acceptance and warranties – “classical” building law and architects law

Few areas of the law have as much potential for disputes as private building and architects law. The causes of these disputes are often complex. The tasks of the planner, the building supervisor, the building contractors and the sub-contractors overlap and cut across each other. High technical standards have to be met. The responsibilities of the parties involved are intertwined because of a wide range of obligations to draw attention to things and provide warnings. Given the pressure of time on the building project, any disruptions to the building schedule, or failures to meet deadlines, or defects are neither clarified in good time nor adequately documented. These problems soon acquire considerable economic dimensions. The parties involved try to blame each other for what has happened. In the background, the insurance companies that are affected block any compromise settlements. Under these circumstances, long, drawn-out disputes are inevitable.

Furthermore, a constant flow of court decisions on building law ensures that the entire field is becoming ever more complex. Even for experienced practitioners it is hard to keep an overview. Moreover, the application of just the basic statutory principles according to the German Civil Code [BGB], the Official Fees for Architects and Engineers [HOAI] and the provisions of the Tendering and Contract Procedures for Construction Work [VOB] is difficult in individual cases.

We help our clients to avoid disputes or to settle them out of court. Where this isn’t possible, we support our clients in the task of keeping an overview, of focussing at an early stage on the economic and legal circumstances that are of decisive importance and of keeping a documentary record of these circumstances as far as is necessary. This is the key to having a strong position at the negotiating table and in court.

You can expect from us a realistic assessment of the legal situation and your chances. We will openly address any weak areas in your case. If we do not see any reasonable chances of success, we will tell you so clearly. Hopeless building law disputes that drag on for years are not for us. We want to win any legal dispute.

We provide you with sound, practice-oriented contractual documents that are tailor-made for their intended use. This means, clear and straightforward building contracts for simple building measures and much more detailed contracts for complex building measures.

We are convinced that it is only committed and experienced specialists who can advise and represent you successfully in matters of building law. All the lawyers in our building law team have years of experience in the building sector. We have our eye on developments in case law. We regularly discuss complex cases as a team. We give lectures in specialist circles. We also provide training for our clients, which enables us to work together more efficiently.