Property development contract

Under German law, the property development contract has been a separate form of contract since January 1, 2018, the content and form of which are prescribed in Section 650u of the German Civil Code.

Lexikonartikel Bauträgervertrag

Since, in addition to the building, the land on which it is built also either becomes the property of the purchaser or is encumbered with a heritable building right after completion of the project development by the developer, a property development contract always comprises two different types of contract: a purchase contract or heritable building right contract for the land, and a contract for work and services for the construction work. For this reason, a property development contract is always what is known as a mixed contract from a legal perspective.

In addition to preliminary observations and the object of the contract – i. e. the land and the construction work to be performed – a construction contract always also contains the specifications, in which the construction of the building is laid down from the architecture to the interior finish including any custom-made items agreed. This is supplemented by details of the purchase price and the due date of the individual instalments, which the developer may only invoice after successful completion of specified construction phases. In addition, a property development contract also includes information on the developer’s liability, including the declaration of exemption, which is obligatory under Section 3 of the Real Estate Agent and Developer Ordinance and with which the developer’s bank exempts the property from what is known as the global land charge.

If the sale of the land is part of the property development contract, it must also be notarised because in Germany a transfer of land is not considered to be legally completed until the signatures have been officially certified.

We assume no guarantee and no liability for the accuracy or completeness of this article, nor that it is up-to-date.

Friederike von Greve

Associated with the company for years as head of marketing, her focus is on real estate, home and design themes.


  1. Cf. German Civil Code (BGB)Section 650u Bauträgervertrag; anwendbare Vorschriften. The complete and current text of the law can be found on “Gesetze im Internet“, an official website of the Federal Ministry of Justice.

  2. Cf. Ordinance on the Duties of Real Estate Agents, Loan Brokers, Property Developers, Construction Supervisors and Residential Property Managers (Makler- und Bauträgerverordnung – MaBV Section 3 Besondere Sicherungspflichten für Bauträger. This legal text is also available for viewing in its current version at “Gesetze im Internet“.