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Architectural law

Building is hardly possible without architects. The architect takes over the planning of a building, this on the basis of an architect contract between the client, i.e. the builder, and him. In this contract, the architect's services are defined and the architect's fee is agreed upon. In most cases, architects work for the client from the planning stage through the construction or conversion to the acceptance of real estate.

Private building owners in particular should seek advice from a lawyer on all questions of architect law, the architect's fee (HOAI) and the architect's liability before concluding an architect contract.

We advise on:

We advise on:

  • Architectural contracts and contract design (also engineers)
  • Architectural services
  • Architect's fees
  • Architect's liability
  • Warranty
  • Construction and planning defects
  • Defects in execution
  • Extended construction time
  • Official Scale (of Fees for Services by Architects and Engineers)
  • Professional Law
  • Copyright Law

Architectural services

Individually negotiated architect contracts that are specifically related to the respective real estate project are of great necessity. Not only the creativity of the architects must be given room, but also the legal safeguards of architectural services, such as fees and copyright, must be taken into account in relation to clients and users.

Straight one in the architect right is to be co-ordinated the precise description of the architect achievements, the achievement goal, absolutely before conclusion of a contract clearly. This not only saves later disputes with the client and the recourse to possible warranty questions at the building, but also grants the architect an adequate remuneration. This is especially true in times when the Fee Structure for Architects and Engineers (HOAI) is a recurrent subject of legal disputes. JR offers the architects a legally secure contract design and the greatest possible guarantee that in the end the agreed fee can actually be enforced.

These architects' fees quickly reach five or six-digit amounts. Nevertheless, many contracts are still concluded with the help of old sample forms without taking the individual interests of the client into account. There is a need for advice here, especially before the architect is awarded the contract, for example by commissioning the architect only in stages.

Key areas

Damage management for construction and planning defects

The architect is the client's custodian. But he should not only plan the building. The architect must also ensure that the construction costs (cost ceiling) and the construction period are adhered to and supervise the contractors in order to avoid execution defects. However, this often fails from the perspective of the client. In such cases, clear contractual basis and legal skills are necessary in order to assert claims of both parties quickly and effectively.

Fees and Compensation

Not only since the legal dispute about the effectiveness of the German Fee Structure for Architects and Engineers (HOAI) compensation claims of architects are the focus of our work. Flat-rate fees, conversion surcharges, surcharges due to extended construction time and additional costs are only some of the recurring questions of architects with which we are involved both in and out of court.

Effective enforcement of warranty claims

In addition to disputes about the architect's remuneration, notices of defects by the client are often the subject of our work. The builder complains about planning errors, not given permissions, exceeding the construction costs and the construction time as well as the lack of supervision of the executing companies by the architect and demands compensation or the termination of the architect's contract. We advise and represent the client in the enforcement of such claims.

FAQ on architectural law

What applies if an "architect contract according to HOAI" was concluded?

HOAI is the abbreviation for the regulation on fees for architectural and engineering services. However, the HOAI itself does not contain any statements about the content or scope of the architect's contract. In this respect, the formulation "Architectural contract according to HOAI" leads to wrong conclusions. Which services the architect owes and whether he can claim a fee for them is regulated exclusively by the underlying contract.

What proxies do architects have?

This question very often arises during the execution of cost-causing additional measures or changes to the contractual construction work. By the pure conclusion of an architect contract the builder does not lend usually any powers of attorney to the architect, unless it is agreed upon explicitly something else. In principle, an architect is therefore not authorized to issue change orders with significant cost increases or additional orders or supplements, to convert a unit price contract into an hourly wage contract, to agree an arbitration clause or to reserve a contractual penalty claim for the client. But be careful, these questions could again become an issue in the case of a so-called toleration and/or apparent authority. Here there is a great need for legal advice.

What can a client expect from an architect? What is owed?

According to § 650p (1) sentence 1, an architect is obliged by an architect's contract to provide the services which, according to the respective status of planning and execution of the building or outdoor facility, are necessary to achieve the planning and supervision objectives agreed between the parties.
Due to the private autonomy, in principle what has been agreed between the parties applies. It should be noted that an architect owes a variety of intellectual services and not the construction of the building itself. In addition to this so-called principal obligation, however, there is also the contractual accessory obligation for the architect to advise the client technically and economically, to carefully protect his interests, to inform him about his rights and to point out imminent disadvantages (the client's trustee).

Your experts in real estate law in Dusseldorf, Essen & Wuppertal

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