50 years of the Breyne law: what are the formalities to be respected?
Updated on 29.03.2022
On January 1st, 2022, the law regulating the construction and sale of dwellings to be built or under construction, better known as the “Breyne Law”, celebrated the 50th anniversary of its coming into force.
This law, which is said to have been hastily passed following the resounding bankruptcy of the Belgian developer ETRIMO, is an important milestone in the security of turnkey real estate sales in Belgium. It is still invoked every day in real estate disputes and remains more topical than ever.
This is the opportunity to come back throughout the month of January on specific questions regarding the application of this law:
- Its scope of application
- The contractual formalities to be respected
- The mandatory financial guarantee to be constituted and its release
- The particular role of the architect
This second section is dedicated to contractual formalities.
The aim of the law of July 9, 1971, better known as the “Breyne Law”, is to offer future home buyers greater protection.
1/ What should the contract cover?
In order to achieve this objective, the legislator obliges the parties to include certain mandatory information in their contracts.
Agreements subject to the Breyne law must contain, in particular, clauses relating to:
- the total price, its revision and the terms of payment;
- the suspensive condition of obtaining a mortgage loan;
- the building permit;
- the private and common areas;
- the date of commencement of the work and the period of execution;
- the method of acceptance.
2/ What are the consequences of omitting one or more details?
The Breyne law provides for a specific sanction: the buyer may opt either for the nullity of the agreement as a whole, or for the nullity of the clause that is contrary to the law. And this, until provisional acceptance!
The purchaser is well aware of this right, since the contract must mention it in a separate paragraph and in different, bold characters, and must reproduce in full certain provisions of the Breyne Act and its implementing decree.
3/ Contractual process to be adopted
The draft contract must be made known to the contracting authorities at least 15 days before it is signed.
It must also include in its appendix:
- the precise plans of the construction
- the detailed specifications,
- the conditions for granting regional public housing aid.
In order to avoid any discussion on the presence of the annexes, it is preferable to have them initialed by the purchaser.
Contracts subject to the Breyne law are subject to specific contractual formalities, failure to comply with which can lead to major pitfalls.
In order to limit the risks, have our specialists review your contracts.
You don’t have a contract yet? Download one or consult us!
Beyond the contractual aspect, experience shows how important it is that contracts be properly completed and duly signed to avoid disputes. Our team can also train your staff and advise you on the adoption of a contractual procedure that will ensure compliance with the Breyne law in every respect.