Over the past few years no branch of activity has been so much in motion as the immovable property sector, quite different from what its name suggests. The construction industry has gone through a frantic development during the past ten years, from explosive growth to contraction, and since 2015 to a cautious growth again. A lot of construction firms have gone bankrupt, or else had to restructure drastically as regards both personnel and means. As a consequence of the economic slump employees’ employment contracts became more flexible and many independent workers without employees entered the construction industry. By now new laws have been introduced to discourage this tendency, like the Work and Security Act and the Participation Act, through which the meaning of solidarity in the construction industry has been somewhat restated. The new social rent act has given the demand for owner-occupied houses an impulse, by which the housing market threatens to become overheated once again, because the number of newly built houses is greatly lagging behind the demand.
Also the practice of building itself is characterised by innovation. E.g. the interest in energy-efficient and building houses adaptable to meet changing needs through the course of one’s life have led to all kinds of innovative and ingenious solutions; from planting the urban roofscape to taking advantage of terrestrial heat for central heating.
The immovable property and construction industry is a most dynamic branch from the legal point of view. Each building that we see has complex legal contracts attached to it, which may vary in nature, legal area and parties involved. In addition it is a branch of activity always showing a wide range of negotiation points. This is caused by the fact that relatively few aspects are laid down by law and not much more than the most recent case law is available to fall back on. It is either the question if the owner of a property is responsible for the maintenance, a tenant in supposed default of payment, or a division of an estate after a bankruptcy, the criteria for an A location, the conditions for an invitation to tender, or the creative property of an architect. Legal squabbling is of the order of the day.
Substantial amounts of money go round in the immovable property and construction industry, quite a lot of parties are involved and the interests are tremendous. This means corresponding responsibility that requires accuracy. De Koning Vergouwen -because of the good contacts in this world- have been the firm in great demand already for thirty years, because we calculate and think along with the client. And we do not hesitate to negotiate and make a firm stand, and so without losing our good temper. Our clients also appreciate very much that we work closely together with a permanent network of civil notaries and tax specialists. And above all we are tried and tested in bringing sturdy civil proceedings, often proving to be crucial in this branch.