European influences on real property law

Schmid, Christoph U.

In the wake of the establishment of the internal market and the common area of freedom, security, and justice, European citizens, businesses and capital have become ever more mobile. Real estate transactions with cross border elements have, therefore, become increasingly frequent, with immovables being acquired both for personal use and for investment purposes. That notwithstanding, real property law is to date one of the few legal branches which have remained essentially national, and in which differences among national laws remain greatest. Thus, real property and real securities (mortgages) are defined differently; the registration of real property serves different purposes and requires different forms and procedures - ranging from declaratory to constitutive publicity, with some mixed systems (which require constitutive publicity for mortgages only). In some countries such as France, Italy and Spain, the transfer of real property ((conveyancingg) depends on the validity of the sales contract, whereas, in Germany, it is valid even when the underlying sales contract is invalid (abstract system). Other differences are related to the legal instruments used. Whilst in Scandinavia, Great Britain and Ireland, private documents or deeds can be registered, in most continental countries, the transfer of property or other rights to be registered in the land register requires a notarial deedd (acte authentique) - which, in turn, may be a substantive validity requirement or only a formal requirement for the registration procedure.

Event: 2nd EULIS Seminar on Conveyancing

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Document type:European influences on real property law (219 kB - pdf)