Annette Krause-Thiel LL.M.
Lawyer and Notary

Fredericiastraße 12
14050 Berlin (Charlottenburg)

Phone:   +49 30 8 83 85 16
  +49 30 89 09 54 30

Fax:  +49 30 89 09 54 31




Property Law

Notarial activities in property law

One of the notary´s main responsibilities is the design and certification of property and condominium sales contracts. Here, the main focus of the drawing up of contracts is that both parties are represented on the contract.

If a rental property needs to be organised in a housing estate, for example, separate flats will be built, and a declaration of division is required. This determines which parts of the building will be included in which property unit in the future. Also included in notarial activities are the design and certification of such declarations of division.

Often the financing for the purchase of a property is made with the help of a bank. Such financing is secured by the bank through notarial land charges which can be made through me.

The order of easements (rights of way, walking, driving and pipeline rights, residential rights, right of usufruct), are subject to notarial activity. The same applies to all types of property interventions, such as the division and amalgamation of pieces of land.

Settlement of a land purchase contract

For the purchase of property in Germany, a notarised contract is required. The previous owner of the land or residence must agree on the essential elements of the contract with the buyer. The parties must agree on the purchase price, above all, and the payment date and transfer modalities. The notary must identify the land register in which the property or the dwelling is registered, and identify any possible charges to be paid for the property. The land register contains the vast majority of legal relations concerned with the property. In the notarial contract, regulations will also be made for legal and/or defect issues. In the certification and settlement of the purchase agreement, the notary takes on a neutral role between the parties, which means that he or she does not only provide legal advice to one side.

After creating the deed, it is the responsibility of the notary to deal with the relevant documents needed and keep track of the transfer of ownership with the Land Registry Office. The purchaser will only become the owner when the buyer has been registered in the land register as such. Since this procedure can take some time, the registration of a so-called ‘priority notice of conveyance’ is recommended for the buyer. This prevents further orders affecting the transferor (still the owner) and guarantees the buyer’s future ownership of the property. He or she will usually only pay the purchase price if the priority notice of conveyance has been made in his or her favour.

The purchase price is often paid into a so-called ’escrow account’ and administered by the notary in trust until the property and the money can be exchanged. The notary will be a neutral person ensuring that both buyer and seller fulfil their contractual requirements. They will also either cancel any existing mortgages for the creditors of the seller or register mortgages with the bank financing the buyer.

Before the conveyance of ownership, the delivery of the item purchased (the hand-over of keys) can already be made. Alongside this is the so-called ‘transfer of possession’, i.e. the buyer is responsible after that date for the purchased object, shall bear all running costs, and can also use the purchased object themselves or even rent it out.

In Berlin at the current time, the property acquisition tax to be paid is 4.5%.