Real Estate Legal Services
Once you have located the real estate you desire and are considering buying it, you need reliable and efficient legal advice from a Czech real estate lawyer. The purchase and sale of real estate in the Czech Republic is relatively easy, but there are highly technical legal requirements. Corporations can buy and own real estate without any limitations. However, you need to be careful about confirming the seller’s legal title and the existence of possible encumbrances. Registration of real estate in the Czech cadastre is not proof of ownership in itself.
Therefore, due diligence is always necessary to avoid problems. Moreover, any construction project in the Czech Republic faces extremely technical procedures for obtaining zoning and construction permits. You need qualified legal assistance if there is opposition to your building plan from any of your neighbors or the local authorities.
Due Diligence in Real Estate Projects
Thorough due diligence to verify legal title to land and any encumbrances on it is essential in the process of acquiring Czech real estate. Mere registration as an owner in the register of Czech real estate (the cadastre) does not confirm real estate ownership in the Czech Republic. The chain of title for the past ten years must be reviewed and a continuous chain of ownership verified. It is also very important to verify the existence any easements or other encumbrances on a property, because Czech easements can easily be overlooked. Finally, ensuring the validity of construction and other permits is extremely important to accomplishing a project, especially where numerous extensions of construction permits have preceded the actual start of construction.
• due diligence on a company holding title to land in cases where its shares are purchased (legal, tax and financial issues)
• due diligence in determining the true ownership of a plot of land to be purchased (including Czech restitution rights)
• due diligence to uncover any easements connected to a plot of land, those for public access to the plot, the building or neighboring premises
• due diligence to discover any recorded or unrecorded leases of the land
• due diligence to ensure the validity of permits connected with intended construction (including the validity of zoning decisions, construction permits and use permits)
Acquisition of Czech Real Estate
The Czech Republic is very popular with foreign and domestic investors. Real estate funds, corporations and individual all can and do invest in Czech real estate. For Czech tax reasons, investment most often involves buying out a company that owns the desired real estate. Therefore, such transactions are not purely real estate deals but also an M&A deal. A Czech lawyer experienced in both real estate and M&A transactions can make such deals easy to complete. Rutland & Partners lawyers Monika Rutland, Michael Novak and Vojtech Makovec have represented GE, Skanska, Klepierre, Immofinanz, Karlin Group, Passer Group, Starwood, Shikun Binui and other clients in many acquisitions in the Czech Republic.
Our services include:
• sales and purchases of commercial real estate in the Czech Republic.
• real estate acquisition financing, including drafting financing documentation and negotiating with your bank
• providing escrow services and preparing escrow agreements for both asset purchases and corporate share purchase transactions
• assistance with closing your real estate transaction
• services to qualified investment funds and real estate funds
Commercial leasing is an important sector of Czech real estate legal practice. Many international investors use standard leases like those they use in their shopping centers around the world. However, such leases must meet the investor’s worldwide commercial requirements and at the same time, they must be compatible with and enforceable under Czech law. rutland & partners lawyers have represented Klepierre, Plaza Centers, Unibail-Rodamco, Rockcastle, Immofinanz and others in leasing matters.
We offer services related to:
• Czech office leases
• Leases of commercial real estate (shopping centers, strip malls, hotels, student accommodations)
• Leases of land
Construction in the Czech Republic
Choosing a good, reliable general contractor is crucial for completing a real estate development project in the Czech Republic. A Czech lawyer with profound knowledge of Czech construction law and international FIDIC practices will assure that a developer-client will receive a strong contract under which the general contractor will be forced to meet deadlines and complete construction. Furthermore, Rutland & Partners attorneys can assure that bank financing will be compatible with the timeline and structure of a project, so that the client does not experience any complications during drawdowns of financing.
We can help you with:
• drafting construction tender documentation and participating in negotiations with tender participants
• drafting and negotiating construction contracts
• drafting and negotiating FIDIC documents
• construction financing, drafting financing documentation on your behalf and negotiating the documentation with the bank
• assisting with closing of construction financing
• environmental impact assessments (EIAs)
• ecological risk assessments
Our clients often encounter problems in the course of the Czech construction permitting process. The problems usually relate to changes in the governmental master plan, which are most difficult when the local authority does not cooperate. This also applies to Czech zoning permits. In such cases our real estate team supports clients in negotiations with municipal authorities, and when necessary, with litigation to reverse incorrect decisions.
• assist clients with obtaining changes to the Czech master plan, including negotiation of changes with local municipalities
• assist clients in obtaining Czech zoning permits (including administrative appeals in case of a permit is denied)
• Assist clients in obtaining Czech construction permits (including, but not limited to, prolongation of such permits)
• assist clients in the reconstruction of a property and its reclassification for a new use
• assist in the course of obtaining construction financing, drafting financing documentation on behalf of the client and negotiating with the bank
Real Estate Litigation
When parties to a contract are unable to settle differences amicably, serious disputes often arise, sometimes in the middle of the construction process or in relation to warranty claims. The senior partners of rutland & partners, Monika Rutland, Michael Novak and Vojtech Makovec have represented clients such as CSOB, Skanska, Klepierre, Horizon Holding, IBE hotels, Agrofim, and others in construction disputes with several construction companies. To obtain zoning and construction permits, litigation with local administration is sometimes necessary and we are specialists in such matters. It is an unfortunate reality that local authorities will often only take you seriously if you sue them.
We often handle:
• Litigation of issues relating to joint ventures
• Advising clients on construction warranties
• Litigation of construction contract disputes in Czech courts
• Representing clients in Czech and international arbitrations of construction disputes
• Drafting settlements of construction claims
• Litigation of real estate title disputes
• Litigation of issues arising under leases