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Possible Effects of the Coronavirus on Real Estate Law

In connection with current events, the question arises as to the effects and implications of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (formerly 2019-nCoV) (hereinafter coronavirus) on contractual arrangements. The coronavirus, now classified as a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO), is spreading more and more in Germany and the consequences are already having a massive impact on everyday commercial transactions. Above all, there is uncertainty due to the increasing number of quarantine cases and official orders. In this context, uncertainties arise in particular as a result of non-compliance with contractually agreed obligations, which we will explain below for the law on contracts for work and services in Section 4, the law on sales contracts in Section 5, the law on contracts with property developers in Section 6 and the lease contract law in Section 7.

Due to the historical uniqueness of the current pandemic, the legal implications of the coronavirus have naturally not yet been clarified by (supreme) courts. The respective legal consequences for the arrangements to be examined must therefore be analysed and assessed under the current legal situation. In this respect, though, it cannot be ruled out that the German courts will interpret the legal regulations differently in the future and that the previous case law - insofar as it is relevant - will be abandoned. It should also be expressly pointed out that different legal treatment may be required depending on the individual case, so that a blanket application of these principles to any type of case without taking into account the respective concrete circumstances is not possible. Without claiming to be exhaustive, we have clarified the current situation (as of 30 March 2020) regarding the coronavirus in the Federal Republic of Germany in Section 3 and presented the legal consequences of non-compliance with contractual agreements in Sections 4 to 7.

You can read the entire document in the download area below.


Possible Effects of the Coronavirus on Real Estate Law_BEITEN BURKHARDT_0.pdf