Which purposes should statutory form requirements serve? Both English and German law provide form requirements for long-term lease agreements, but the underlying rationales differ. While in English law they protect the contracting parties, in Germany the main rationale is to create a written contract as a source of information for potential buyers of the property. To protect buyers from unknown lease terms, long-term lease agreements without a properly written contract can be terminated, regardless of the remaining term. In practice, this remedy is mainly used by the original parties to the lease in order to escape burdensome lease agreements. The German Federal Council (Bundesrat) has initiated a controversial legislative reform in December 2019 that places even greater emphasis on protecting potential buyers through statutory form requirements. To strengthen legal certainty, a more fundamental reform proposal is needed, and English law can provide guidance.
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