Various legal aspects play a role in the purchase and sale, leasing and letting, construction and development of properties. They begin with the negotiations, which are often pivotal to the ultimate contract of sale, lease or building contract. The conditions on which those contracts are entered into determine the manner in which the contracts are performed and the legal and other problems that the parties may encounter, varying from environmental permits, perpetual clauses and limitations or expansions of liability, to arbitration clauses, zoning provisions or recovery clauses.
Köster’s property lawyers have in-depth knowledge of the market and are confident and skilled in conducting construction arbitration, civil and administrative proceedings. We specialise in the following areas:
Landlord & tenant law
Landlord & tenant law is a complex area of the law with a great many protective and restrictive provisions, particularly in relation to residential, retail and hospitality spaces. But it holds no secrets for the lawyers of the Köster Advocaten.
Our landlord & tenant lawyers represent both tenants and landlords of commercial properties, including retail spaces and catering establishments as well as office spaces. And that is not all: our expertise also extends to the leasing and letting of undeveloped land.
We also represent professional and private landlords of residential properties, for which our landlord & tenant lawyers act as competent and skilled sparring partners in dealing with all the lease-related issues that they come across.
We will assist you from A to Z: from the negotiation on the lease to its termination and settlement. Our activities include drawing up leases and advising, negotiating and litigating in the field of landlord & tenant law. This may include the purchase and sale of leased property, its operation, zoning clauses, the approval of deviating clauses, rent determination, renovations, defects, terminations, evictions and substitutions.
Before a building project is commenced, a construction agreement, and possible a purchase and sale agreement, must be carefully drafted. Köster Advocaten regularly advises its clients and litigates on their behalf in this field and is therefore excellently suited to assist in the negotiation process and in formulating the contractual provisions.
It is not uncommon for a client to hold a contractor liable during or on completion of a building project. During or after construction, defects may occur or part of the property may not meet the client’s requirements. Disputes regarding the correct performance of the contract are often handled in arbitration proceedings before the Arbitration Board for the Building Industry. The specialists in our Property Law team have extensive experience in conducting such proceedings, which allows them to provide you with expert and effective assistance in such proceedings.
Sale and purchase of property
Before purchasing or selling a property, it is essential to conduct a thorough investigation. Both the buyer and the seller will wish to avoid any unpleasant surprises after signing the contract of sale. The investigation of the property is also known as a due diligence investigation. Since each of the lawyers of the Property Law team is able to advise in his or her own specialist area, Köster Advocaten can offer both the buyer and the seller a full legal due diligence investigation. On the basis of our areas of expertise, we can then report on the leases relating to the property portfolio and can assess the relevant zoning plans, local regulations and technical reports (such as soil survey reports and asbestos survey reports).
On completing the due diligence investigation, Köster Advocaten can assist the buyer or seller in drafting and negotiating the sale and purchase agreement, obviously taking the outcome of the due diligence investigation into account, for instance by formulating and negotiating any applicable conditions precedent and indemnities.
Once the sale and purchase agreement has been signed, the deed of transfer must be drawn up and executed. Köster Advocaten can assist you in that field as well, in cooperation with one of the civil-law notaries in our network.
In sum, we can offer you a high-quality and full-service practice for the sale and purchase of property.
New developments, major and minor alterations, and property redevelopment almost always require an environmental permit for construction. It is also not uncommon that the building plan is not in keeping with the zoning plan, in which case an environmental permit must also be obtained, for instance for minor derogations from the zoning plan. Köster Advocaten can help you obtain such a permit or change the conditions on which it is granted. Or you may object to a certain property development, in which case we can represent you in objection or appeal proceedings before the administrative court. We have a great deal of experience with such procedures, which allows us to take all the work off your hands.
The spatial planning regulations are in a state of flux and will be fundamentally changed by the introduction of the Omgevingswet (Environmental and Planning Act). That Act is expected to enter into force on 1 July 2022. Traditional zoning plans will disappear and will be replaced by the omgevingsplan (environment plan). At Köster Advocaten we keep a close eye on the latest developments in this field, which enables us to continue to provide you with full services in matters relating to spatial planning and the physical living environment, also under the new legal regime.
The competent authorities regularly impose an order subject to a penalty, an administrative order or an administrative fine to enforce zoning plans and other property regulations, such as the municipal housing regulation. Objections to such enforcement actions may be submitted to the competent authorities and subsequently appealed before the administrative courts. That is important, because enforcement actions are a complicated affair, in which a great deal can go wrong. The specialists of the Property Law team have extensive experience in conducting objection and appeal proceedings and therefore know how best to approach such proceedings. If you are faced with an order subject to a penalty, an administrative enforcement order or an administrative fine, please do not hesitate to contact one of the specialists at Köster Advocaten. They will be happy to assist you.
When the need arises, our property lawyers work closely together with our corporate lawyers, which allows us to advise you from different perspectives. Köster Advocaten also has broad experience with the effective enforcement of security rights and property to which recourse may be had.
Our clients include property investors and property managers, professional landlords and tenants of business premises, banks and project developers. We also advise contractors, principals, architects, estate agents and civil-law notaries.