Real Estate, Construction and Lease Agreements in France

We advise German, Austrian and Swiss companies on all aspects of French real estate, construction and tenancy law. We provide effective consulting and guidance for your cross-border projects in German, French and English.

We provide support for companies in their real estate investment or structuring projects and we advise private individuals who wish to acquire real estate in France or to bequeath or transfer their assets (business succession - preparation for succession). Similarly, we provide support to institutional investors, auditors and funds at all stages of an investment in France.

We also provide consulting services to German, Austrian and Swiss companies (construction companies, subcontractors, builders, project developers and/or architects) for the provision of their construction and engineering services in France (insurance, contract law, labour law, taxes).

In addition to legal consulting, our team with intercultural experience will also offer you practical support in the following areas in France.

Services in the Areas of French Real Estate, Construction and Lease Agreements:

Real Estate Investment in France:

  • Tax issues in French real estate law (VAT, stamp duty, business tax, municipal taxes, taxation of capital gains in France)
  • Tax optimisation and structuring of real estate investments in France (in particular expert guidance on the choice of corporate form, the formation of the French company and legal and tax structures)
  • Cross-border investments in France (real estate law consulting, purchase and sale of commercial and industrial property in France, provision of collateral under French law)
  • Audits in connection with the acquisition of a company that holds real estate in France
  • Out-of-court and judicial expert proceedings in France (expertise amiable / expertise judiciaire); real estate disputes in France, in particular in the area of liability for building defects and the settlement of recoverable damages

Commercial leases in France:

  • Strategic advice on French commercial lease law, negotiation and drafting of the documents necessary for the conclusion of commercial leases
  • Litigation and recovery of unpaid rents, charges and fees from defendants in France
  • Expert guidance in connection with the termination of French leases, in particular claiming compensation under French law

Asset Management in France:

  • Management of real estate assets in France (negotiation and drafting of leases under French law; financing, refinancing and structuring of real estate assets in France)
  • Asset management in France (in particular in connection with the transfer of assets: consulting services relating to gifts and inheritance under French law, tax returns in France and appeals against decisions of the French tax authorities)

Construction and engineering services in France:

  • Planning and implementation of construction projects in France (cross-border construction contracts, French construction guarantees and, in particular, ten-year guarantees (Garantie décennale), securing claims for work compensation, subcontracting agreements)
  • Cross-border supply of building materials and building components to France and subcontracting with partners in France (industrial production and supply)
  • Out-of-court and judicial expert proceedings in France (expertise amiable / expertise judiciaire) and product liability cases in France
  • Secondment to France (French labour law, secondment process, the BTP construction professional card (carte BTP), tax law aspects in France)
  • Tax issues relating to the presence of German workers in France (VAT, customs, permanent establishment)

Public tenders in France:

  • Public procurement in France, French public procurement law – public works contracts in France

Did you know that in France…

  • there are strict legal regulations regarding the termination of commercial leases? For example, under French law, commercial leases may be terminated under normal conditions by the tenant after three or six years, and by the lessor only after nine years at the earliest.
  • in accordance with Article 3 of the German-French Double Taxation Agreement (DTA) (or the corresponding provision of the French-Swiss DTA or the French-Austrian DTA), income from the rental of a property situated on French territory is taxable in France, even if the owner of the property is not resident for tax purposes in France?
  • any contractor within the broadest meaning of the term (depending on the nature of the service under contract) who is involved in the construction of a new or existing building in France may be subject to a ten-year civil law guarantee (also known as a ten-year “decennial guarantee” (garantie décennale)? In the event of damages, French law allows the contractor to be held liable by the owner or subsequent owners for 10 years in respect of specific construction defects. This obligation under French law also applies to foreign construction companies or suppliers of construction elements: Companies legally bound by the decennial guarantee are also subject to a corresponding guarantee insurance obligation in France, under threat of sanctions.
  • the acquisition of real estate by a French special-purpose vehicle may make it possible to protect both the real estate assets of a company and those of a private individual? This applies, for example, if the business structure is in financial difficulty or if the assets are to be transferred simply and with a reduced tax burden (in the form of gifts). The French company (usually a French real estate company under civil law, “Société Civile Immobilière” (SCI)), whose purpose is to own real estate located in France, can be set up quickly and without the involvement of a notary.

Our Team for German-French Real Estate, Construction and Leases in France