Apartment construction is delayed - can I back off from the contract?

12 posts in this topic

Hi,

 

I've bought an apartment (neubau). By contract it was to be delivered in September 2018. The contract states that this date is "geschuldet und verbindlich" and that the constructor will compensate for any delay but states no amount, ie. per square meter. The constructor notified a delay of "bis zum" 6 months until March 2019 but refuses to 1) agree on a proper monetary compensation for the delay (they offered way too little) and 2) to provide any new guaranteed handover date (they are only willing to give us a 2-3 weeks notice before readiness to move in).

 

Things got heated and we detailed our claims in a formal letter. They still refuse to compromise.

 

At this point I'm wondering if we have the basis for going to court for breach of contract, eventually refusing to take over the apartment if/when ready, and asking for damages which would include all costs incurred (money already paid to the constructor, Notar, Makler, Grundsteuer, interests on the loan, etc.).

 

I'm also wondering what would be the implications with the bank, considering there is a mortgage involved.

 

Has anybody had similar situations? Any advice would be appreciated.

 

Thanks,

--Francesco

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19 minutes ago, quijote said:

damages which would include all costs incurred (money already paid to the constructor, Notar, Makler, Grundsteuer, interests on the loan, etc.).

 

You forgot to include rent that you are paying since September since you couldn't move in.

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28 minutes ago, fraufruit said:

 

You forgot to include rent that you are paying since September since you couldn't move in.

 

I think from another thread on here somewhere?, that this is the sort of compensation you get.   It has to be enough to compensate for the size of the new apartment, not just to cover rent of a squalid bedsit for example.   Plus storage of furniture etc, if you have had to move out into temporary accommodation, etc.

 

 

 

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I'm wondering if you have a lawyer?

 

I don't know anyone who has bought a neubau that didn't have some kind of delay or problem.  they all had lawyers from get-go.

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2 hours ago, lisa13 said:

I'm wondering if you have a lawyer?

 

I don't know anyone who has bought a neubau that didn't have some kind of delay or problem.  they all had lawyers from get-go.

 

I guess that's the next step.

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I would not terminate it.  That's the other side of "there's always a delay" - it is completely normal.   How much more would rebuying at 2019 prices cost you in Berlin?  Six figures?   You'd not be compensated for that.  

 

I would not say its true that everyone has a lawyer because not everyone buying newbuild is in your situation.   I've always been able and prepared to wait, no skin off my nose, no noticable added cost.  I'd rather have it done properly than rushed, if that's my choice.  My last contract had no set date.   That cliche: Projects slip, it's how you handle it.   So of course take it through the contracted process and get the agreed remedy.   

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I do really recommend that.

 

my former neighbor's case is the one I know the most about - their original contract had all sorts of clauses that prevented them from canceling, limited liability of the builder, and that kind of thing, sometimes in less than obvious ways if you're not a legal eagle.  I think you would benefit from having someone go over the contract in detail and explain your options.

 

her building was 15 months past due when they finally moved in.  As I recall they were able to withhold some of the final payments as the builder was that far behind, but of course once they finished they had to pay up pretty much in full. 

 

She and her husband were smart enough (and had the cash!) to keep their apartment in my building until the new place was truly and finally finished, but some of her new neighbors were caught out living in temporary apartments and one couple even moved into their partly unfinished apartment during the gap (no idea how that is possible).  As far as I know they were not compensated much, if at all.

 

granted this is munich and housing here is bordering on catastrophe at this point, so builders are apparently getting away with far too much.  I hope it's not so dire in your case

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17 minutes ago, swimmer said:

I would not say its true that everyone has a lawyer

 

I did not say that everyone has a lawyer.

 

I said everyone *I* know had a lawyer from the start when buying a new build around Munich, as the risk of surprises is high around these parts.

 

Lucky you, that you never had to worry about delays. 

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yes, and make sure it covers property issues (this was presented to me as an add-on, it was not included in my cover by default)

 

but it might be too late for this case already :( .  still worth getting it

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35 minutes ago, lisa13 said:

[...]

granted this is munich and housing here is bordering on catastrophe at this point, so builders are apparently getting away with far too much.  I hope it's not so dire in your case

 

Thanks lisa13 for sharing your neighbor's story. Unfortunately Berlin real estate market is quickly coming to similar levels as Munich and I believe builders know very well that they get get away with anything.

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45 minutes ago, swimmer said:

I would not terminate it.  That's the other side of "there's always a delay" - it is completely normal.   How much more would rebuying at 2019 prices cost you in Berlin?  Six figures?   You'd not be compensated for that.  

 

That's totally true and some delay is to be expected. I have heard worst cases, up to two years delay. I appreciate your advice, it's just very frustrating to go through a negotiating process especially, as said in another post, the builder knows he can get away with almost anything.

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