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Parties to rental contracts for commercial premises often agree priority rental rights. In practice, this concept is used to cover a whole series of legal structures. These range from fixed options for the tenant to a promise made by the landlord as a business policy that if any additional premises become available, they will be offered to the tenant. In 2010 the Berlin Court of Appeal issued a ruling on such priority rental rights in insolvency; the decision has recently been published.
Equity currently appears easier to obtain than bank financing. Due to the changes in the financial sector, the financing of real estate acquisitions or project developments is more difficult than before the financial crisis. Banks are now requesting more equity. In addition, following Basel III (a new international regulatory framework for banks), the demand for equity will grow.
On 23 March 2007, the German lower house (Bundestag) passed a bill governing the creation of public limited real estate companies in Germany with listed shares (REIT Act). The draft bill was presented in detail in our last Newsletter. Following partial realisation of the amendments requested by the German upper house (Bundesrat), the REIT Act was approved by the latter at a meeting held on 30 March 2007. It now only requires execution by the German President and publication in the Federal Law Gazette to take retroactive effect as of 1 January 2007.