What is building and building

Compact building law - orientation for building owners

Legal properties of the construction site

A look inside Land register reveals almost everything about the rights on a property. Prospective builders can see here, for example, whether:

  • the neighbor has a right of way
  • a right of first refusal was granted
  • a heritable building right is registered

In addition - if available - the building load register of the respective federal state should also be checked. This provides information about public law obligations of the property owner towards the building authorities - for example, whether spacing areas have been taken over from the neighboring property. Most federal states keep this register, but Bavaria, for example, offers an exception, where such obligations are entered in the land register.

A look at this also prevents anger Contaminated land register: Is the soil contaminated by chemicals, poisons or bombs? The environmental authorities are often responsible for the cadastre.

This also helps in conflicts with neighbors Neighbor law: In the event of a dispute, it regulates what rights owners have if a tree grows directly on the property line or leaves blow over from the neighbor.

Building planning law and state building regulations

Builders do not have unlimited freedom of design. The most important regulations when building a house come from building planning law and building regulations.

The Building planning or town planning rights creates the planning prerequisites for the development and use of land throughout Germany. For example, it defines the outdoor areas, i.e. properties that do not belong to a district with built-up areas. The aim of this delimitation of external and internal areas is also to avoid urban sprawl.

For builders, in practice, this is above all the State building regulations important: it creates the legal framework for how things can be built. There is for this at the community level Zoning plan, which presented the intended urban development and the main features of the foreseeable needs of the community. This is where the Zoning plan who precisely determines which planning requirements have to be met. Builders have to stick to it if they want to get a building permit. Some important points that this can determine are:

  • Which roof shapes are allowed
  • How many floors can be built
  • How big and in what shape the home can be built
  • What minimum distances to the neighboring property and spacing areas must be observed
  • The color of the roofing or the facade design

Construction contract law and law when building with the building partner

In construction contracts, the regulations according to the procurement and contract regulations for construction works, Part B (VOB / B) can be agreed or they are based on the German Civil Code (BGB). For construction contracts concluded from January 1, 2018, the new construction contract law also applies, which gives consumers more rights.

Some key differences between VOB / B and BGB explains the specialist lawyer for construction law in Nuremberg Carl-Peter Horlamus:

  • Warranty claims: "With a contract according to VOB / B these are statute-barred after four years, according to BGB it is five years."
  • Interruption of the statute of limitations: "In the case of a contract according to VOB / B, the statute of limitations is interrupted by a notification of defects, according to BGB only through legal action."
  • Change requests: “With VOB / B, the client has express rights to make changes. He can order changes that the construction company must carry out. "

But: Strict rules of the apply to contracts between private builders and contractors Consumer protection. Every regulation according to VOB / B is subject to one Content control. Horlamus explains: "All regulations that disadvantage the consumer inappropriately are ineffective." Conversely, regulations that are disadvantageous for the company remain in effect.

The new construction contract law also applies to construction contracts concluded from January 1, 2018. It guarantees private builders more rights. For example, they can order change requests - if this is reasonable. Lower installments are also due until the house is completed: Consumers have to pay a maximum of 90 percent of the purchase price instead of 95 percent of the purchase price as before.

Who one Prefabricated house manufacturer, general contractor or property developer commissioned with the house construction, he settles everything directly with this construction partner. The basis for this is the one agreed in the construction contract Payment schedule: The client pays in stages, in a maximum of seven installments, for the completion of the building. Horlamus advises: "The individual payments should correspond to the actual construction progress and only be made if the partial service has been completed without defects." For more planning security, the price and quality of the individual objects should be precisely specified in the building description. In the event that botched things up or the property developer goes bankrupt, security deposits should be agreed.

When building a house with the Architects on the other hand, it is freely negotiated how the accounts should be billed. One option that used to be mandatory is billing according to HOAI. Then it will be directed fee according to how many work phases the architect takes on. There are nine in total - from basic research to property management. Builders who want to keep the implementation largely in their own hands often choose phases one to four.

Building permit

Should the house have a second floor or a hipped roof with dormers? These individual wishes of the client can fail due to state law. In order to ensure that their building can also be approved, building owners can submit a preliminary building request to the relevant authority. Which this is can vary from state to state - asking the municipality will help. The building application can be submitted later by an authorized person, such as the architect.

Energy Saving Ordinance (EnEV)

New buildings must always meet the guidelines of the EnEv, especially with regard to the insulation of the property and heating. The ordinance is regularly amended and the requirements tightened further.

Construction acceptance and rights in case of botched construction

When the house is finally in place, the building acceptance is a major milestone: With the acceptance, the final payment is due and the liability for the building is transferred to the owner. If you don't want to overlook any damage or defects, you should consult a building expert and keep a detailed acceptance report. If a building defect only comes to light in retrospect, building owners can claim their warranty rights retrospectively by submitting a notice of defects - provided it has not yet expired.

Finding orientation in building law: with the right companion

With so many paragraphs it is easy to lose your bearings in building law - but if you choose the right consultant as a builder, you can build a house. Experienced architects, prefabricated house manufacturers, property developers or general contractors already have experience with possible pitfalls in building planning and approval. A specialist lawyer can also check the building contract in advance, and later, when the building is accepted, an independent building expert can take a close look at the building. There are experts, for example, at the Association of Private Builders, the Building Owner Protection Association or the consumer centers.

Isabel Naus

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