Commercial real estate: Country Q&A tool

Search the Country Q&A in the Corporate Real Estate Global Guide by question and jurisdiction.

Step 1: Check the boxes to select the questions and the jurisdictions for comparison.
Step 2: Click the "submit" button.
Step 3: Scroll down to view answers and check law stated dates for each jurisdiction.

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The corporate real estate market

1. What have been the main trends in the real estate market in your jurisdiction over the last 12 months? What have been the most significant deals?
 

Real estate investment

2. What structures do investors typically use for real estate investment in your jurisdiction and what are the main advantages and disadvantages of each (for example, flexibility and tax transparency)? How is real estate investment carried out in your jurisdiction and what structures do investors use?
 
3. What are the main sources of finance and types of investors for real estate investment in your jurisdiction? Does your government encourage overseas investment into real estate in your jurisdiction, for example through real estate investment legislation?
 
4. Are there restrictions on foreign ownership or occupation of real estate (including foreign ownership of shares in companies holding real estate)? Are there restrictions on foreign guarantees or security for ownership or occupation and on lending for the purchase of real estate?

Title to real estate

5. What constitutes real estate in your jurisdiction? Is land and any buildings on it (owned by the same entity) registered together in the same title, or do they have separate titles set out in different registers?
 
6. How is title to real estate evidenced? What is the name of the public register of title and the authorities responsible for managing it? Is electronic access and electronic conveyancing available?
 
7. What are the main information and documents registered in the public register of title? Can confidential information or documents be protected from disclosure in the public register of title?
 
8. Is there a state guarantee of title? Is the authority that manages the public register liable to pay compensation for any errors it makes in relation to title registration? Is title insurance available and is it commonly used?
 
9. How can real estate be held (that is, what types of tenure exist)?
 

Sale of real estate

Preliminary agreements

10. What types of preliminary agreements are typically used in the sale of real estate? Are they legally binding?

Sale contract

11. Briefly outline the typical main provisions of a corporate real estate sale contract and main real estate provisions of a typical share purchase agreement.

Due diligence

12. What real estate due diligence is typically carried out before an acquisition and what key areas does it cover? Which documents are typically reviewed? Which specialist advisers are usually involved and which reports do they typically produce?

Seller's warranties

13. What real estate warranties are typically given by a seller to a buyer in the sale of corporate real estate and what areas do they cover? What are the main limitations on warranties, for example are they typically qualified by disclosure?

Liability

14. Does a seller have any statutory or other liability to the buyer in a disposal of real estate?
 
15. Briefly outline the environmental legislation and potential liability for a buyer in a purchase of real estate. Is it common to carry out environmental surveys and searches and to obtain environmental insurance? How is environmental liability typically dealt with in the sale contract?
 
16. Can an owner or occupier inherit liability for other matters relating to the real estate even if they occurred before it bought or occupied it? Can a seller or occupier retain any other liability relating to the real estate after it has disposed of it?
 

Completion arrangements

17. What are the typical arrangements and main documents required for completion of the sale? When does title transfer and what are the formal legal requirements to execute the sale documents, transfer the real estate and register the change of title? Is notarisation required?
 
18. Is stamp duty/transfer tax (or equivalent) payable on the purchase of real estate? Who pays, what are the rates and are there any exemptions? Does it apply to the transfer of shares in a company holding real estate and at what rate?
 
19. Are any methods commonly used to mitigate real estate tax liability on acquisitions of large real estate portfolios? What is the general approach of the tax authorities in your jurisdiction to such schemes?
 
20. Is value added tax (VAT) (or equivalent) payable on the sale or purchase of real estate? Who pays? What are the rates? Are there any exemptions?
 
21. Are municipal taxes paid on the occupation of business premises? Are there any exemptions?

Climate change issues

22. Are there targets or incentives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from buildings in your jurisdiction? Is there legislation requiring buildings to meet certain minimum energy efficiency criteria?
 
23. Are provisions relating to the energy efficiency of buildings commonly included in contracts for the sale of real estate or in leases (for example, green leases)?

Real estate finance

24. Briefly outline the typical security package required by lenders in relation to real estate lending. How are the most common forms of security interest relating to real estate created and perfected (that is, made valid and enforceable)?
 
25. What other real estate related measures do lenders typically take to protect themselves against default by the borrower?
 
26. Can lenders incur environmental liability? What measures do lenders typically take to manage potential environmental liability?
 
27. Briefly outline the main remedies for lenders in relation to the secured real estate if the borrower defaults on the loan. What is the effect of the borrower's insolvency on the lender's remedies?
 
28. Briefly outline key additional issues for lenders in relation to construction and development projects.
 
29. Are other real estate finance techniques commonly used in your jurisdiction? For example, real estate securitisation and sale and leasebacks.
 

Real estate leases

Negotiation and execution of leases

30. Are contractual lease provisions regulated or freely negotiable? Which legislation applies?
 
31. What are the formal requirements to execute a lease? Does the lease have to be executed by certain parties or as a deed? How do the formalities differ for a company, partnership and for individuals?

Rent payments

32. How are rent levels usually reviewed and are there restrictions on this? Is stamp duty and VAT (or equivalent) payable on rent? Is a rent security deposit required and does it have to be managed in a certain way?

Length of term and security of occupation

33. Is there a typical length of lease term and are there restrictions on it? Do tenants of business premises have security of occupation or rights to renew the lease at the end of the contractual lease term?

Disposal

34. What restrictions typically apply to the disposal of the lease by the tenant? Can the tenant assign or sublet the lease with the landlord's consent? Can tenants share their premises with companies in the same group? What is the effect of a legal reorganisation or transfer/sale of the tenant on the lease and on a guarantee of the lease?
 
35. Does a landlord or tenant retain any liability under the lease after the lease is assigned?

Repair and insurance

36. Who is usually responsible for keeping the leased premises in good repair and for insuring the leased premises? Are there provisions for the ownership of lease improvements?
 
37. What remedies are available to a landlord for a breach of the lease by the tenant? On what grounds can the landlord usually terminate the lease and what restrictions and procedures apply? What is the effect of the tenant's insolvency under general contract terms and insolvency legislation?
 
38. Can the tenant withhold rent payments in certain circumstances, for example for serious damage to the leased premises? Can the tenant terminate the lease in certain circumstances?

Planning and development controls

39. In what circumstances can local or state authorities purchase business premises compulsorily? Is the purchase price market value?
 
40. What authorities regulate planning control and which legislation applies? Is there specific protection for special categories of buildings such as historic buildings?
 
41. What planning consents are required for building works and the use of a building?
 
42. What are the main authorisation and consultation procedures in relation to planning consents?
 

Reform

43. Are there proposals to reform real estate law and are they likely to come into force and, if so, when?
 
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