Real estate

Real estate law, an area of law that explores the connection between ownership and legislation, is the cornerstone of the real estate and construction industry. It covers a wide range of legal aspects related to real estate, ranging from purchase and sale to rent, leasehold, and construction law issues. The real estate sector is very diverse and increasingly regulated. The accomplishment of a real estate project involves a lot of legal complexities. Case specific legal guidance for both private individuals and companies is therefore not a superfluous luxury.

The practice of our Real Estate unit therefore covers a broad range of matters, including:

  • Advising, conducting negotiations, mediating disputes and conducting proceedings in all aspects of private building and construction law
  • Advising on real estate transactions, including negotiations and conducting proceedings regarding contracts for purchase – sale, lease, commercial lease, pledge, etc.
  • Advice and dispute resolution regarding rights in rem such as ownership, possession, usufruct, easements, leasehold, superficies, etc.
  • Advising on co-ownership structures to project developers, co-owners associations (VMEs), individual co-owners, managing agents, etc.
  • Assisting managing agents and estate agents with regard to disciplinary law for the BIV regulatory body and liability claims
  • Drafting and reviewing various agreements such as compromise, mutual purchase and sale promises, rental agreements, construction and architects’ agreements, constitution, etc.

Where possible, we aim to settle disputes amicably in the first instance, but if there is no other option, we will turn to the court where we will strenuously defend your legal interests.

Private building and construction law

When building or renovating a property, you don’t take want to take risks. It pays to be prepared.

As a builder, in addition to your day-to-day tasks, there are the legal aspects surrounding the construction of a building, such as drawing up correct general terms and conditions and contracts that meet the current legal standards.

As a private individual, you are often not familiar with the legal regulations surrounding the construction or renovation of a property.

So have your contracts drawn up and/or checked by someone with knowledge of these matters so that you are not faced with unpleasant surprises later on because you are confronted with the “small print” that was overlooked when the agreement was concluded or with clauses that are written into your general terms and conditions and that the legislator considers null and void, so that you cannot invoke them.

What if you, as a builder, are confronted with a client who stops making their payments? What if your contractor insists on obtaining advances when this has not been agreed? What if your contractor/client pulls the plug while on site or prevents work from continuing due to their attitude? What happens if defects are found in the structure after it has been erected?

In the event of a conflict, you can rely on a dynamic and professional team of real estate specialists who can provide you with legal assistance, bespoke advice and, where necessary, defend your interests in court proceedings.

Apartments and real estate law

We advise private individuals, owners, developers and real estate agents relating to rental, lease, purchase-sale, brokerage assignments, exercise of rights in rem such as mortgage, superficies, leasehold, easements, usufruct, planting easements, common ownership and demarcation.

We also assist property managers and estate agents with disciplinary law for the BIV Institute and liability claims. We provide advice and assistance to associations of co-owners and their managing agents, as well as individual co-owners, in disputes concerning settlements, scope or interpretation of the constitution, disputes over decisions of the general meeting, liability of the property manager, disputes with promoters and builders, insurance matters and suchlike.

Buying real estate

Buying or selling a property is an exciting, but often challenging endeavour.

Whether you are an entrepreneur involved in a business transaction or a private individual who wishes to purchase or sell a property, our team of skilled lawyers will be happy to help you with this. We can assist and advise you both prior to the execution of the contract and during the further course of the process.

In the event of a dispute, we will look after your interests, whether it concerns hidden defects in the asset you have purchased, a failure of performance or a breach of contract. Our focus is on achieving a positive outcome, first and foremost through the initiation of negotiations, but if necessary, we will represent your interests in court proceedings.

Feel free to contact us today for a personal consultation so that we can assist you with your buying and selling issues and protect your rights.

Tenancy and commercial lease

As a branch of law, tenancy law comprises various tenancy regimes consisting of common tenancy, residential tenancy and commercial lease. If the special regime of residential or commercial tenancy does not apply to a tenancy agreement, the general tenancy law applies. Since each rental regime has its own specific rules, bespoke guidance and advice is important.

Our Real Estate unit provides legal assistance to both tenants and landlords at every stage, starting with the drafting of the rental agreement, further with the handling of rental disputes during the course of the tenancy and finally with the termination of the lease.

If legal proceedings are required for the (early) termination, extension of renewal of the lease, or for securing an eviction, a dispute about the rent or lack of maintenance of the property, Reyns Advocaten will defend your interests as a tenant or landlord in court.

Rights in rem (Property law)

In addition to ownership as the most complete right in rem, there are several limited rights in rem that affect a person’s right to property. More specifically, this includes easements, usufruct, superficies and leasehold.

Usufruct is a right in rem that often arises in wealth planning, probate and real estate transactions. It relates to the right to use and reap the benefits of a particular property. Whether you are considering granting a usufruct or want to protect your rights as a grantee of a usufruct, our team of experts can assist you.

Easements may arise due to the natural location of immovable property, by prescription or by an agreement between the parties. It is not uncommon for the existence or non-existence of easements to give rise to disputes between buyer and seller or between neighbours. Our real estate specialists can advise, mediate and litigate for you in such disputes.

Moreover, due to their flexible nature, rights in rem such as easements and superficies, in addition to apartment co-ownership, are increasingly being considered by project developers as alternative legal structures to give a real estate project a particular form. If you have any questions about such structures, you can always contact us.

Finally, we can help you negotiate leasehold agreements, review existing agreements, and resolve leasehold disputes.

Legal certainty for your Spanish dream

At Reyns Advocaten you will find a reliable partner who you can turn to in order to ensure that the fulfilment of your Spanish real estate dream also runs smoothly from a legal point of view.

We can advise and assist you in your own language and from the comfort of our offices in Belgium in the purchase and sale of real estate. In this way, you not only avoid long journeys, but there is also no language barrier, which means that obtaining advice and having conversations are much easier.

You can also contact us for advice on estate and succession planning and all tax obligations. That way, you don’t have to look for assistance in Spain yourself where you are dependent on local agents and where the reliability factor as well as the personal touch are often lacking.

We have a partnership with the Spanish law firm FONTAN y ZUBIZARRETA. This firm, based in Marbella, enjoys an excellent reputation and has many years of expertise in Spanish real estate law. Together, we guarantee a correct and efficient handling of your case and save you the unpleasant consequences that the many legal pitfalls can bring.

Real estate transactions

In a real estate transaction in Spain, it is absolutely essential to be guided by a specialist lawyer. Make no mistake, unlike a Belgian notary, a Spanish notary only has a very limited duty to check.

Not only can we be responsible for the legal assessment of your real estate transaction, we can also check whether all urban planning and tax permits are in order. In addition, we will provide you with transparent information about the various costs you need to take into account.

As part of our service, we will also take the necessary steps to obtain the obligatory NIE number required for every foreigner who wishes to buy property in Spain.

Furthermore, we supervise the legal validity of the purchase agreement and are at your disposal to represent you by power of attorney in the private agreements and the execution of the notarial deed.

Tax issues

We provide guidance with your tax obligations and returns as a non-resident private individual in Spain and can also advise you with regard to the declaration of your Spanish property in Belgium.

We can also deal with the tax obligations of a Belgian or Spanish company owning real estate in Spain and offer a complete localised accounting service.

Furthermore, we also offer full tax assistance in the context of the rental of Spanish real estate.

Estate & Succession Planning

We can provide assistance to our clients with a view to organising inheritance matters and avoiding conflicts in a family context. It needs to be borne in mind that when a foreigner dies with property in Spain, several national and international legal rules come into force.

Calling on our services in advance is the best way to avoid problems. Stay informed about all the administrative and tax aspects associated with a death, the applicable inheritance laws, any inheritance tax to be paid, the necessity for drawing up a will or not and the country where it is best to have it registered.

We can represent your interests and provide concrete solutions.


You can contact us to handle general disputes regarding your property and your stay in Spain:

  • disputes with promoters, builders and estate agents
  • rental disputes
  • disputes with banks and financial institutions
  • traffic offences (road traffic accidents, traffic violations, etc.)
  • criminal matters (fraud, theft, robbery, etc.)

In addition, we can offer legal guidance in developing trading activities in Spain:

  • incorporation of companies and other legal entities
  • acquisitions of companies
  • dissolution and liquidation of companies
  • disputes with suppliers and customers

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