Denmark Chapter – The Real Estate Law Review
Advokat Torben Mauritzen har forfattet kapitlet om Danmark i The Real Estate Law Review – Edition 8. Det fulde kapital kan læses ved at klikke på ovenstående link, mens der kan findes et kort uddrag af afsnittet “Introduction To The Legal Framework” nedenfor:
I INTRODUCTION TO THE LEGAL FRAMEWORK
i Basis and scope of Danish real estate law
Like Danish law in general, Danish real estate law is based on legislation rather than case law. Regulation is comprehensive covering surveying and registration of real estate; the registration and protection of rights in real estate; area planning; construction of buildings, including safety and energy efficiency; tenancies, pollution, tax valuations and real estate taxes; compulsory acquisitions and compulsory sales, etc. Moreover, real estate financing is subject to intensive regulation as part of Danish financial law, which to a wide extent reflects EU regulation.
ii System of registration
Real estate in Denmark is accurately mapped in a grid covering all Danish land that is made available and maintained by the Danish Geodata Agency. All rights in Danish real estate, including ownership, can be registered in the central Danish land registry, an electronic register that includes a section for each individual property. The land registry is administered by the Danish courts.
All substantial rights in Danish real estate should be registered in the land registry, as such a registration made in good faith extinguishes existing, non-registered opposing rights, and protects the registered rights against future opposing rights. Among the rights that should be registered are title (ownership rights), mortgages and rights of use extending the rights according to the legislation on tenancies.
Moreover, public registers regarding buildings, ascertained pollution and pollution risk, tax valuations and area plans are maintained and are sources of information about Danish real estate. Private registers of real estate for sale and hire and of real estate sold are also available.
iii Investment vehicles and choice of law
Investment in Danish real property is generally made through one or more Danish companies, normally a Danish holding company with subsidiaries each owning a single property or a group of properties. The structure creates a profit centre for each property or groups of properties and is tax efficient both when operating the property or properties and in the event of sale. This will be explained further in Section IV, below.
Direct investment in real property or investments through limited partnerships are also widely used. The limited partnership structure combines limited liability for the investor and taxation as if the investor had owned the property directly (the limited partnership is tax transparent). This will be elaborated on in Section IV, below.
Under Danish law, the parties are free to agree on any term and condition for the purchase and sale of Danish real estate, including that the transaction be governed by the laws of a country other than Denmark, or that legal proceedings be instituted before the courts in a country other than Denmark or be resolved by arbitration. However, the parties should take into consideration that a number of legal issues regarding the real property, including registration and protection of rights, tenancies and public regulation, will be subject to Danish law and venue in any case.