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Legal Aspects of buying a Property in Germany

In order to buy or sell property in Germany, a German notary public must be instructed to handle the legal formalities. Normally, both parties must sign the contract in the presence of the notary. If one party cannot be present, a representative can sign on his or her behalf. The representative must be authorised either before the transaction by a power of attorney (‘Vollmacht’) or after it by a declaration of consent (‘Genehmigungserklärung’ or ‘Vollmachtsbestätigung’), which the notary public can draw up for you.

Your signature on the power of attorney or declaration of consent can be certified at the German Missions in the United Kingdom.

Before visiting the legalisation department in London please contact us before your visit by phone or email to discuss your individual case. Some documents (for example powers of attorney) need to be checked in advance by the Embassy.

Click here for the contact details and opening hours of the legalisation department.

Alternatively, you can also have your signature certified at the Consulate General in Edinburgh or ask an Honorary Consul to certify your signature. No appointment is required at the Consulate General in Edinburgh, however there are certain cases where you need an appointment or have to supply certain documents. Therefore it is essential to contact the Consulate General before your intended visit Monday – Friday 9.00–11.00am, phone: 0131 337 2323.

When visiting the Embassy in London, the Consulate General in Edinburgh or an Honorary Consul, please bring the following documents:

  • your valid passport
  • the power of attorney or declaration of consent, drawn up by your notary public in Germany
  • a copy of the contract itself
  • proof of address (e.g. Council Tax bill, a utility bill or a British driving licence. Please note that we cannot accept bank statements)
  • fee in cash (credit card payment only possible in London)

We also recommend you send us a copy of the document to be signed prior to your visit by fax (0207 824 1449). If you note the property’s value on it, we will calculate the fee and inform you accordingly.

Please note that the German Missions in the United Kingdom and Honorary Consuls cannot advise you about the contents of the document you are requested to sign. If you have any detailed queries, please contact your notary public in Germany directly.