Legal Aspects of buying a Property in Germany
When buying or selling 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 by the Legalisation departments of the German missions in the United Kingdom.
Can I also have my signature certified elsewhere?
Yes, alternatively you can have your signature certified by a notary public and then get the document apostilled by the FCDO.
If you need your signature certified on a declaration of consent, you can book an appointment straight away.
If you need your signature certified on a power of attorney, you need to contact your nearest German mission prior to booking an appointment, as the document needs to be checked first. Only once you have received confirmation can you go ahead and book an appointment. There is likely to be a wait for an appointment.
Click here for the contact details of the Legalisation department, to book an appointment and fee for the certification of € 56.43 (payable in cash in Pound Sterling according to the recent exchange rate).
Alternatively, if you live in Scotland or northern England, you can have your signature certified at the Consulate General in Edinburgh. Here, too, you will need to arrange an appointment. You can book your appointment here.
If you wish to have your signature certified by an Honorary Consul, please contact your nearest one to book an appointment.
When visiting the Embassy in London, the Consulate General in Edinburgh or an Honorary Consul, please bring the following documents:
- your valid passport or identity card
- the power of attorney or declaration of consent, drawn up by your notary public in Germany
- a copy of the contract itself
- proof of your address in the UK (e.g. a Council Tax or utility bill or British driving licence. Please note that we cannot accept bank statements.)
the fee for the certification of a signature is a standard fee. (It does not depend on the value of the legal transaction.)
Please note that the German missions in the United Kingdom and Honorary Consuls cannot advise you on the content of the document you are signing or on any other aspects of buying a property in Germany. For queries of this kind please contact your notary public in Germany directly.