Property division: uneconomic part cannot simply be bypassed
The division of land is a frequent means of circumventing the closed construction method – a regulation which stipulates that land within a certain zone may only be built on in a closed manner. In the case of a land division, the land in question is divided in such a way that one part is considered to be “economic” and another as “uneconomical part is defined. The uneconomical part, which is usually too small or inconveniently located, is then to serve as a building gap on which a building can be erected that does not comply with the specifications of the closed construction method.
But is this approach also legal? The Higher Administrative Court of North Rhine-Westphalia, in a ruling dated 26. The Court of Justice ruled in its decision of September 1, 2019, that the division of a plot of land into an economic and an uneconomic part in order to circumvent the closed construction method is illegal if the uneconomic part is functionally separable from the economic part.
According to the OVG NRW, such separability exists, for example, if the uneconomic part is not necessary for the use of the economic part, or if the division has taken place in such a way that the uneconomic part has been separated from the development.
The ruling of the OVG NRW thus has implications for the practice of land and building planning and can be understood as a clear rejection of building gaps and garden house development.
The land split involves the division of an entire plot of land into two or more separate areas. In this case, the total area is divided into smaller parcels in order to sell them separately or to build different structures on them.
However, there are certain legal regulations regarding the division of land. In some countries, for example, it is not allowed to divide the land into an economic and an uneconomic part in order to avoid the closed construction method. This approach is illegal and can lead to legal consequences.
The land division must also always be coordinated and approved with the relevant authorities. It is checked whether the division of the land is in accordance with the law and whether the planned constructions are in accordance with the building law.
- Subdivision of land is a complex process that always involves appropriate legal requirements and local building codes.
- It is important to obtain sufficient information before dividing the land and, if necessary, to consult a specialist lawyer in order to avoid legal consequences.
What is a closed construction method?
A closed construction method is one in which lots are contiguous or connected by a wall or building. In this type of construction, the buildings are built closed to each other, so there are no open spaces between the buildings. This type of construction is very common in many neighborhoods as it saves space and allows for a higher number of homes and buildings on one lot.
However, there are also problems that can arise from the closed construction method. On the one hand, there may be problems with lack of lighting and ventilation, because the buildings are very close to each other, and therefore less sunlight falls on the courtyards. On the other hand, it can be difficult to comply with a fire protection ordinance in the case of a closed construction method, as there are only a few possibilities to extinguish the source of the fire.
For this reason, in some countries it is forbidden to divide land into an economic and an uneconomic part to circumvent the closed construction method. This practice is unlawful, as it can lead to non-compliance with the fire safety ordinance and cause serious accidents. Instead, it is recommended to complement the closed construction method with other models, such as e.g. due to mixed construction of residential and commercial buildings.
When is a land division unlawful?
There are certain cases in which a land division can be considered illegal. An example of this is dividing a lot into an economical and an uneconomical part to avoid the closed construction method.
In this case, the land plot is divided into two parts, with the uneconomic part declared as a garden area or open space, in order to circumvent the closed construction rules. This type of land division is illegal and is not approved by the relevant authorities.
It should be noted, however, that not all land divisions are considered illegal. If the division is made for other reasons, such as inheritance division or real division as part of a gift, it may be considered legal.
- It is unlawful to divide a plot of land if it is done in order to circumvent regulations on the closed construction method.
- Other reasons, such as inheritance or donation, can make a land division be considered legal.
In summary, a land division is illegal only if it violates applicable regulations or laws. It is important to find out about the applicable regulations before dividing the land in order to avoid undesirable legal consequences.
The consequences of unlawful land division
Dividing a plot of land into an economic and an uneconomic part in order to circumvent the closed construction method is unlawful and has serious consequences. Building code violations may result in the revocation of permits issued as a result of the unlawful division of the property. Affected parties face the loss of their investment, heavy fines and criminal penalties.
In addition, unlawful division of land may affect the development plans of the affected municipality and city. A subdivided area is considered two separate parcels of land, which means that construction projects on each part of the land must be approved separately. This often results in a double burden, which defeats the purpose of closed construction.
Further, unlawful land division limits the ability of affected parties to use or sell their property. It may be difficult to find buyers willing to purchase a divided property. However, if the entire land plot is sold without withdrawing the division, the consequences remain until the implementation is restored.
- Loss of investment
- High fines and criminal penalties
- Interference with the development plans of the municipality or city
- Double burden in the approval of construction projects
- Limitation of the possibilities to use or sell the property
It is therefore important to observe the applicable guidelines and regulations of the building law when planning construction projects and to ensure that the division of land is fully legal and approved.