Corporate Real Estate Country Q&A tool

This tool enables subscribers to search the Country Q&A in the Corporate Real Estate Handbook by question and jurisdiction. Simply select the questions and the jurisdictions that you are interested in and click the "submit" button.

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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. Please briefly outline the opportunities for investing in real estate in your jurisdiction. In particular, consider:
  • The structures commonly used (for example, property companies and partnerships).

  • Are real estate investment trusts (REITs) available? If so, are they commonly used?

  • Institutional investors.

  • Private investors.

 

Real estate legislation

3. Please briefly set out the main real estate legislation that applies in your jurisdiction.
 

Title

4. Please briefly state 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?
 
5. How is title to real estate evidenced, for example by registration in a public register of title? Which authorities manage the public title register?
 
6. Please briefly set out the information and documents registered in the public register of title, for example a description of the real estate, the owner, matters affecting the title and any relevant documents.
 
7. Can confidential information or documents be protected from disclosure in the public register of title?
 
8. Is there a state guarantee of title? Is title insurance available? If so, is it commonly used?
 
9. How can real estate be held (that is, what types of tenure exist)?
 

Sale and purchase of real estate

10. What are the main stages and documents in the sale and purchase of real estate? In particular:
  • How is real estate marketed, when does commercial negotiation occur and what pre-contractual arrangements are used?

  • When is the sale contract negotiated and executed?

  • When are the parties legally bound?

  • When is the change of title registered?

  • When does title transfer and what are the formal legal requirements to transfer real estate (for example, in writing and signed by the parties)? Is notarisation required?

 
11. Does a seller have any statutory or other liability to the buyer in a disposal of real estate, for example to disclose real estate information, or in relation to title?
 
12. Please briefly outline the real estate due diligence that is typically carried our before an acquisition (including title investigation and searches of public authorities).
 
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?
 
14. Can an owner or occupier inherit liability for matters relating to the real estate even if they occurred before it bought or occupied it? For example, environmental liability, or liability under a lease.
 
15. Does a seller or occupier retain any liabilities relating to the real estate after it has disposed of it? For example, environmental liability, defects in the real estate, and contractual liability to the buyer.
 
16. What costs are usually paid by the buyer? What costs are usually paid by the seller?
 

Real estate tax

17. 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?
 
18. Is stamp duty/transfer tax (or equivalent) payable on the sale or purchase? Who pays? What are the rates? Are there any exemptions?
 
19. Are any methods commonly used to mitigate real estate tax liability on acquisitions of large real estate portfolios?
 

Holding business premises

20. Are there targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from buildings in your jurisdiction? Is there legislation requiring buildings to meet certain minimum energy efficiency criteria? If yes, please give brief details.
 
21. Is it common for companies to manage their real estate portfolios and their accommodation needs by using third parties, for example through outsourcing transactions? If yes, please give brief details.
 
22. Are there restrictions on foreign ownership or occupation of real estate, or on foreign guarantees or security for ownership or occupation?
 
23. Does change of control of a company affect its holdings of real estate?
 
24. In what circumstances can local or state authorities purchase business premises compulsorily? Is the purchase price market value?
 
25. Are municipal taxes paid on the occupation of business premises, for example business rates? Are there any exemptions?
 

Real estate finance

26. How are acquisitions of large real estate portfolios or companies holding real estate generally financed?
 
27. How is real estate commonly used to raise finance?
 
28. What are the most common forms of security granted over real estate to raise finance? How are they created and perfected (that is, made valid and enforceable)?
 
29. Is real estate securitisation common in your jurisdiction? If yes, please give brief details.
 

Real estate leases

30. Are contractual lease provisions regulated or freely negotiable?
 
31. How are rent levels usually reviewed and are there restrictions on this? Is VAT (or equivalent) payable on rent?
 
32. 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? If yes, please give details.
 
33. What provisions or restrictions typically apply to the disposal of the lease by the tenant (for example, can the tenant assign or sublet the lease with the landlord's consent)?
 
34. Can tenants usually share their business premises with companies in the same corporate group? If yes, on what terms?
 
35. Who is usually responsible for keeping the leased premises in good repair?
 

Planning law/zoning

36. Who is usually responsible for insuring the leased premises?
 
37. On what grounds can the landlord usually terminate the lease? Please briefly outline any restrictions or procedure that applies. Can the tenant terminate the lease in certain circumstances?
 
38. What is the effect of the tenant's insolvency (under general contract terms and insolvency legislation)?
 

Planning law/zoning

39. What authorities regulate planning control and which legislation applies?
 
40. What planning consents (for example, planning permission or building permits) are required and for which types of development?
 
41. In relation to planning consents:
  • Which body grants initial planning consents?

  • Do third parties have the right to object? If yes, please give brief details.

  • In what circumstances is there a public inquiry?

  • How long does an initial decision take after receipt of the application?

  • Is there a right of appeal against a planning decision? If yes, please give brief details.

 

Reform

42. Please summarise any proposals for reform and state whether they are likely to come into force and, if so, when.
 
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