Team Lease and Condominium Law
Jörg Weißker, Alice Burgmair
When drafting lease and tenancy contracts, our priority is to safeguard your interests with effective, practical agreements that can be implemented economically. During contract negotiations, we ensure an appropriate balance of interests – taking into account relevant market conditions – especially when we represent the supposedly “weaker” party. Thanks to our extensive experience in contract negotiation and litigation, we have a sharp eye for any contractual “pitfalls” and can help you avoid them. It goes without saying that we always take into account the latest case law.
On the landlord side, we support the lease-up of new buildings (“from the drawing board”) often already in the early stages of a project. In our work, we also always keep an eye on the possible issues with overlapping public law and private construction law. The “interdisciplinary” cooperation with our PUBLIC LAW and PRIVATE CONSTRUCTION LAW teams allows us to offer you competent “360-degree” advice.
Providing legal support to clients in leasing or renting existing properties is also a routine part of our business.
The LEASE and CONDOMINIUM LAW team also has specialist expertise in certain special categories of cases, such as on the topic of “art in leased properties” (whether it’s the art of the tenant or the landlord), on the leasing and renting of rooms for the operation of leisure facilities of various kinds (fitness and wellness, sports halls, event rooms) or on the non-compete clauses binding the landlord when leasing space to freelancers from related disciplines.
Existing contractual relationships
With existing commercial or residential leases, a multitude of questions often arise on both the landlord’s and the tenant’s side regarding their respective contractual and legal rights and obligations. All issues arising with existing legal relationships require a sound professional assessment of the parties’ legal positions and potential practicable solutions; and depending on the case, it may be necessary to enforce one’s own claims in a cost-efficient manner or to defend against third-party claims.
Our team is well-versed in both the well-known and the lesser-known areas that spark tensions and can lead to dispute, such as:
- Rent increases
- Termination, for example for the needs of the landlord or to enable appropriate commercial use of the property
- Reduction or retention of rent due to defects
- Claims for contract fulfilment
- Issues with operating costs
- Issues relating to the settlement of expiring or terminated leases
Our LEASE and CONDOMINIUM LAW team can help you navigate these challenges and is well-versed in these issues both from the perspective of the tenant and the landlord. This knowledge enables us to support you effectively and pragmatically in achieving your goals.
The marketing potential of real estate, including condominiums, depends heavily on the contracts, especially those involving long-term obligations that have been concluded in relation to the asset. The purchase and sale, but also the (gift) transfer or financing of a property require an evaluation of the existing contracts (due diligence). In cooperation with the PUBLIC LAW and REAL ESTATE TRANSACTIONS teams, we have the necessary expertise to advise you competently even in complex cases, regardless of whether you require a (preliminary) valuation on the seller’s or on the buyer’s side. We identify existing risks for you and develop solutions together with you to eliminate or at least mitigate them.
When drafting deeds of partitions and condominium bylaws, we ensure that the condominium and/or partial ownership structure meets your particular requirements and that its management is as simplified as possible regardless of the legal complexities of the case. We regularly work together with notaries who are experienced in this field of law.
Our expertise also includes special legal structures, such as integrated day care centres for children, the drafting of bylaws for specialty properties or the en bloc sale of multifamily or condominium complexes (or buildings from such complexes) to investors. In such contexts, we can also provide you with legal support for the implementation of building code requirements relating to so-called mobility concepts to reduce the number of mandatory parking spaces or in the design and agreement of easements.
Handling condominiums and property under partial ownership involves many issues that can spark disputes. We assess the legal situation and the resulting spectrum of options, in particular on the basis of the existing rules such as bylaws and resolutions. We also provide creative advice by helping you to formulate clear draft resolutions (including the necessary key points for their implementation) to avoid opening up avenues for court challenges.
Since we advise and represent condominium owners and part owners as well as condominium associations and administrators in the exercise of their rights and in the performance of their duties, we can see any issue from the perspective of all involved parties. The LEASE and CONDOMINIUM LAW team is very familiar with the oftentimes complex interaction between condominium owners, part owners, the condominium association and its representative, the administrator. In the role of an external expert of the German Bar Association’s legislative committee our lawyer Alice Burgmair was actively involved with the process of reforming the Condominium Act through the Condominium Modernization Act (WEMoG) which became law on 1 December 2020. The LEASE and CONDOMINIUM LAW team and the PRIVATE CONSTRUCTION LAW team frequently work together, in particular in the context of the joint prosecution of claims arising from construction defects affecting common property.
Advice for managers
So-called tenant managers are also often dependent on legal support in the fulfilment of their contractual tasks. We therefore also advise and represent tenant managers to the extent that they assume property management duties. This may cover, in particular, the preparation, management and implementation of required maintenance and repair work or modernisation measures, but also the legal relationship between the manager and the property owners.
We support and represent our clients in matters of lease and condominium law (including claims management) both in and out of court. Due to our regular court appearances and our attendance of industry conferences, at which the members of the LEASE and CONDOMINIUM LAW team frequently appear as speakers, we know the prevailing judicial practice of the competent chambers and higher courts “first hand”. This enables us to advocate for your interests and pursue your economic objectives effectively and efficiently.