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Right of Withdrawal in the Purchase of an Unfinished Condominium

Written By:  Lutz Auffenberg. – German Attorney at Law

WINHELLER Attorneys at Law

Frankfurt am Main, Germany

The buyer of a condominium can withdraw from the sales contract and is not obligated to pay the purchase price if the sales contract was concluded prior to completion and the building construction deviates from what was agreed to.

The Frankfurt am Main Higher Regional Court has recently clarified this once again. The parties of the proceeding had concluded a sales contract on a condominium even before the project developer had started the building construction.  The buyer had made his purchase decision on the basis of

a model of the residential unit to be built, a sales prospectus, a flyer as well as the residential unit plan regarding the condominium still to be built, in which particularly the model deviated from the final appearance of the unit. However, it could be concluded from the other informational material

that the unit would deviate from the model. Nevertheless, the court affirmed the right of the buyer to withdraw. It explained that it will be difficult for an average buyer, which acquires a residential unit still to be built, to imagine the appearance of the building and the situation of the unit of interest to him in the latter and on the property. In this connection, the model is more helpful to him than the view of abstract plans.

NOTE: Whether in the particular case a right to withdraw exists must be examined on an individual basis. In addition, a rescinded transaction is only justified when it is effectively exercised. Competent legal advice can be decisive in safeguarding one’s rights.

Frankfurt Higher Regional Court, Judgment of November 30, 2011, Case 12 U 136/10.

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