January 2021 – Germany – Putzier – Attorneys-at-Law

On 01-01-2021 the new Fee Structure for Architects and Engineers (HOAI 2021) came into force.

The most important changes to the HOAI are:

  1. The fee is freely agreed, there are no longer minimum and maximum rates for the fee.
  • The fee regulations of the HOAI with the fee calculation parameters (in particular chargeable costs, fee zones, service phases, percentages, etc.) only serve as orientation. The fee levels contained in the HOAI 2021 are unchanged compared to the old HOAI. The former minimum rate under the HOAI is referred to as the “base fee rate“.
  • Since the fee is freely negotiable, in the future flat fees, fees based on time spent and other alternative remuneration models can be agreed with greater legal certainty.
  • If the client is a consumer, the architect or engineer must inform him of the possibility of a fee agreement outside the HOAI fee tables at the latest when submitting the bid.
  • The fee agreement must be in text form. If no fee agreement is reached in text form, the basic fee rate according to HOAI shall be deemed agreed.

The new HOAI applies to all contracts concluded from 01-01-2021. What is important for your contract practice is above all:

  1. The fee must be agreed on the basis of the new legal situation. An independent fee agreement, e.g. a flat fee or a fee based on time spent, can be agreed. Alternatively, a fee in accordance with the HOAI can still be agreed.
  • The contractual conditions for architect and engineer contracts used by you, in particular the fee regulations contained therein, are to be adapted to the new HOAI.

This general information does not replace legal advice in individual cases.

For more information on the above or in other matters, please contact Eckart Putzier