The English version of our terms and conditions is a courtesy translation – only the German version is legally binding.
1. General provisions
1.1 Crowdhouse AG (Lerchenstrasse 24, 8045 Zurich, Switzerland, hereinafter referred to as “Crowdhouse”) offers a digital platform for the purchase and sale of real estate located in Germany to sellers of real estate on the one hand and interested investors on the other. For this purpose, Crowdhouse operates a service platform (hereinafter “platform”) under the internet address www.crowdhouse.com online, which is aimed at both consumers and merchants within the meaning of the German Commercial Code as users (hereinafter also “users”).
1.2 The platform enables users to offer properties for sale, search for properties and submit offers for properties advertised on the platform. For the purposes of this agreement, “property” means developed and undeveloped land and/or buildings, whether in sole ownership or in non-material part, whether in the form of part ownership or residential ownership or similar, whether for residential or commercial purposes.
1.3 Crowdhouse is merely the platform operator. Crowdhouse’s role is limited to bringing together supply and demand in the property market in a timely manner. The content, documents, contracts and data made available by Crowdhouse on the platform constitute neither an invitation nor a recommendation to conclude a legal transaction. Crowdhouse does not make any investment recommendations. Crowdhouse does not accept deposits from the public or other third-party assets in connection with the services offered, nor does it hold them in safekeeping. Furthermore, Crowdhouse does not provide any services in connection with the management, safekeeping and distribution of collective investment schemes. Crowdhouse assumes no responsibility for the accuracy of the information provided by users or for the timeliness of the data, in particular in the case of storage of data on a mobile device, the performance of contracts between users and the willingness and ability to perform or creditworthiness of users.
1.5 Upon admission to the platform in accordance with section 2 below, a contract of use for an indefinite period of time is initially concluded between Crowdhouse and the respective user in accordance with these terms. At the same time, the users accept these terms and conditions in the version valid at the time of admission as authoritative. Deviating general terms and conditions of the users are not accepted, unless Crowdhouse expressly agrees to their validity in writing.
1.6 Services of Crowdhouse that are subject to a fee are marked as such.
1.7 Possible changes to these terms and conditions (hereinafter referred to as “changes”) will be communicated to the users by Crowdhouse in text form or by e-mail in due time before they come into force. If users do not object to such changes within four weeks after receipt of the notification, the changes are deemed to be agreed. Users will be informed separately of any right to object and the legal consequences of silence, if required.
1.8 Users are prohibited from using or exploiting the intellectual property of Crowdhouse or other users (in particular logos, trademarks, designs, business names, utility models, know-how, photos etc.), unless and as long as they are entitled to do so on the basis of these terms and conditions or other agreements with Crowdhouse or the relevant right-holding user.
1.9 Users are given the opportunity to access other platforms operated by Crowdhouse outside of Germany with their login (but not with possible offers for sale). However, this requires the acceptance and observance of the terms and conditions of use or terms and conditions applicable to the respective other platform. Crowdhouse is entitled to treat violations of such requirements of another platform as violations of these terms and conditions.
1.10 Crowdhouse is entitled to use subcontractors to fulfil contractual obligations at any time.
2. Registration, admission, login
2.1 In order to use the services of Crowdhouse, users need a modern computer system with internet access and a common web browser. A further prerequisite for the use of the platform is the admission of the users by Crowdhouse through a registration procedure described below. There is no entitlement to admission to use the platform.
2.2 Users must first register on the platform with, among other things, their e-mail address, telephone number, full name and a password of their own choice and accept the validity of these terms and conditions. Before users can publish an offer for sale via the platform, Crowdhouse will verify the identity of the users. For this purpose, the respective user shall provide Crowdhouse via the platform with an electronic image of a valid identification document by which the user can be identified (for example passport, identity card or residence permit) and, if required, other information and documents necessary to prove his/her identity. Crowdhouse aims to complete the verification of the identity of users within three working days.
2.3 Immediately after successful registration on the platform, users will receive a corresponding message about the verification. With their login data (e-mail address and password, hereinafter also referred to as “login”), users will then be granted access to their personal user area, as well as to the services of Crowdhouse.
2.4 Crowdhouse is entitled to restrict access to the platform in whole or in part, temporarily or permanently, due to maintenance work, capacity issues and other events beyond its control, in order to enable a trouble-free operation of the platform.
2.5 All logins are individualised and may only be used by the respective authorised user. Users are obliged to keep login and password secret and to protect them from unauthorised access by third parties. If Crowdhouse becomes aware of unauthorised use, Crowdhouse can block the access of the respective user. Crowdhouse reserves the right to change logins of users; in such a case Crowdhouse will inform the respective user immediately.
2.6 All declarations of intent made using the respective logins of a user are effective for and against this user, unless the recipient of the declaration is positively aware of the declarant’s lack of authority to represent.
2.7 Crowdhouse is entitled at any time to withdraw the admission of users or to block access to the platform, furthermore to block or delete individual contents, in particular if there is sufficient suspicion that these violate applicable law, these terms and conditions or the rights of third parties.
3. Offers for sale
3.1 Users may offer properties for sale that meet the minimum requirements set by Crowdhouse to other users of the platform in accordance with the conditions defined by Crowdhouse (hereinafter also referred to as “offer for sale”, the user submitting an offer for sale hereinafter also referred to as “seller”). Sellers must enter the content, information and documents required for the publication of the offer for sale of their property, including images and videos, via the platform, after which the offer for sale is checked by Crowdhouse in accordance with the following clause. If users have been authorised by the owner of a property to offer it for sale on the platform, users must also provide Crowdhouse with proof upon request that the respective user has actually been authorised by the owner of the real estate investment.
3.2 The offered property must be located in Germany. If the property is not owned by the seller, the corresponding power of attorney for the offer for sale of the property must be proven, for example in the form of an individual power of attorney or a brokerage agreement. The data requested when preparing the offer for sale, such as the year of construction of the property, the annual net rental income, the development standard, technical equipment and condition of the property, must be recorded by the seller. In addition, a land register excerpt and a tenant directory as well as further documents defined by Crowdhouse must be uploaded.
3.3 Only the offering of properties by private sale is permitted. Properties which are to be sold by way of compulsory auction may not be offered on the platform. Sellers are prohibited from offering several properties with one offer for sale or from offering the same property in several offers for sale at the same time. Sellers are also prohibited from directly or indirectly advertising other real estate investments in an offer for sale or from structuring the offer for sale in such a way that the presentation of the real estate investment is inappropriately overlaid by their own or third-party advertising purposes.
3.4 When preparing offers for sale, sellers are obliged to disclose, in addition to the requested data, the characteristics that are material for possible interested parties, in particular known or suspected defects of the property or other facts that have a material influence on the purchase price. The content, information and documents provided as part of an offer for sale must be truthful, up-to-date, complete and not misleading. In particular, sellers are responsible for ensuring that these contents, information and documents as well as the publication of their offers for sale do not violate any legal provisions or the rights of third parties. In particular, pictures may only be published by sellers on the platform if they do not infringe the rights of third parties. Sellers are themselves responsible for the data they transmit and the associated legal declarations of intent.
3.5 Sellers must also provide their complete address data at the latest at the time of creating the offer for sale.
3.6 When preparing the offer for sale, sellers may choose between an offer for sale with a fixed price or an offer for sale in a bidding procedure. In the case of fixed-price sales offers, sellers will receive purchase offers in the amount of the fixed price they have selected, and in the bidding procedure in accordance with the minimum price they have selected or higher.
3.7 Following the collection of the required content, information and documents, sellers can apply to Crowdhouse via the platform to publish their offer for sale on the platform. Even if the described requirements for publication are met, there is no entitlement to the publication of an offer for sale on the platform. Crowdhouse is entitled to refuse or revoke publication at any time without giving reasons.
3.8 By applying for publication pursuant to section 3.7, sellers authorise Crowdhouse to publish the content, information and documents provided by them for the offer for sale and to be published as well as the identity of the sellers on the platform and to use and evaluate them for its own purposes. Upon publication, Crowdhouse is entitled to make the published content, information and documents available to other users of the platform and third parties. Crowdhouse is also entitled to use and evaluate a summary of the offer for sale for its own marketing and other purposes as well as to distribute and publish it on the platform and on other channels (e.g. social media channels). Ownership of the information and documents provided by the seller shall remain with the seller or the respective rights holders.
3.9 The administration of offers for sale takes place online at www.crowdhouse.com. In particular, it is possible to enter, save, view, edit, pay, delete, cancel and inspect offers for sale on the platform. The deletion of offers for sale by sellers removes them permanently from the platform. Crowdhouse accepts no liability for the deletion of offers for sale by the seller.
3.10 Crowdhouse reserves the right to request or make reasonable changes to offers for sale at any time or to delete or revoke them without giving reasons. Crowdhouse reserves the right to revoke the publication of individual offers for sale or to delete them in case of reasonable doubt about the correctness of information or if there is a risk of misleading users.
4. Offers to buy
4.1 Based on the information provided on the platform, users have the opportunity to submit a non-binding purchase offer for the offered property during a period preset in the offer for sale or specified by the seller (hereinafter also referred to as “indicative purchase offer”, the user submitting an indicative purchase offer hereinafter also referred to as “interested party”). By means of the indicative purchase offer, the interested party expresses its interest in acquiring the property at the purchase price determined by it in the bidding procedure or at the fixed price demanded by the seller as well as at the conditions defined by the seller. The purchase price stated in the indicative purchase offer is the purchase price for the property free of debts. In this context, debt means the freedom of the property from financial encumbrances within the meaning of section III of the land register, i.e. mortgages, land charges, land charges by way of security and annuity debts.
4.2 Interested parties acknowledge and agree that the contents of offers for sale are created exclusively by the respective seller and that the seller bears sole responsibility for this. Crowdhouse does not assume any warranty in connection with an offer for sale (in particular no warranty for the completeness and correctness of the contents, information and documents provided therein).
4.3 By submitting his indicative purchase offer, the interested party authorises Crowdhouse to disclose his purchase offer to the seller so that the seller can send him further information relating to the object desired by the interested party. At the same time, the interested party agrees to be contacted by the seller via the messaging function provided by the platform.
4.4 Interested parties who have submitted an indicative purchase offer in due time shall be disclosed to sellers via the platform. The content of the respective indicative purchase offer will also be disclosed.
4.5 In the case of a bidding procedure, sellers can grant interested parties the opportunity to view the property offered by them during a period defined by Crowdhouse (generally three weeks) or, in the case of a purchase offer at a fixed price, during a period defined by the seller. The seller is responsible for conducting and coordinating such property viewings.
4.6 Based on the further information provided after the submission of the indicative purchase offer, the interested party may submit further offers and a final, definitive purchase offer to the seller within the set period of time or abandon its interest in the property.
4.7 Interested parties who do not submit any further offers following the indicative offer shall be eliminated from the procedure.
Where a Seller intends to accept an offer to purchase from an interested party, the further sale and acquisition process and any formal requirements will be governed by the statutory requirements, compliance with which Crowdhouse is neither responsible for nor will ensure.
5. Other rights and obligations of the users
5.1 Users undertake vis-à-vis Crowdhouse not to upload any content to the platform which by its content or form or design or in any other way violates applicable law or morality. In particular, users undertake to observe applicable law (especially criminal law, competition law and the law for the protection of minors) when uploading content and not to violate the rights of third parties (especially rights to names, trademarks, copyrights, image and data protection rights as well as personal rights).
5.2 It is an infringement of personal rights and therefore inadmissible to remove the anonymity of other users or to disclose information of other users from private messages, e-mails or chats which are not intended for the public. Users may not include in their posts or otherwise disclose any information that could reveal the identity of another user or that the user has received from other users exclusively in private messages, e-mails or chats.
5.3 Without the prior consent of Crowdhouse, users are not entitled to include links to other websites in content they publish on the platform. In case of consent granted by Crowdhouse, the publication of links is only permitted if the linked websites are free of content whose publication or dissemination is prohibited in accordance with the preceding paragraphs. To the extent necessary, users shall obtain the consent of the rights holder responsible for the respective linked websites.
5.4 The users undertake to refrain from all actions which endanger or disrupt the functioning of the platform and not to access data to which they are not entitled. Furthermore, they must ensure that the information, data and content they transmit via the platform is not infected with malware (e.g. viruses, worms or Trojan horses). The users undertake to compensate Crowdhouse for all damages resulting from the non-observance of these obligations and furthermore to indemnify Crowdhouse against all claims of third parties, including legal fees and court costs, which they assert against Crowdhouse due to the non-observance of these obligations by the respective user.
5.5 Users may not use the platform to send messages with advertising content to other users or third parties (spam messages) without the express consent of the recipient.
5.6 The users mutually undertake to maintain absolute secrecy vis-à-vis third parties about all information coming to their knowledge in the course of the cooperation using the platform, in particular the identity of the users, the offers for sale and offers or other business secrets. The obligation to maintain secrecy shall continue to exist even after the use of the platform has ended.
6. Additional (chargeable) services
6.1 Crowdhouse can, if required, offer users further additional services, which are provided by Crowdhouse or third parties for a fee or free of charge, on the basis of a separate agreement. The presentation and advertising of such services does not constitute a binding offer to conclude a corresponding contractual relationship. Unless otherwise agreed, the prices for chargeable services are based on the current price list of Crowdhouse.
6.2 If users wish to book a chargeable service via the platform, they will be shown the price for the use of this service. At the same time, users are given the opportunity to call up the current version of these terms and conditions and to accept their validity. By sending a booking via the platform, the respective user submits a legally binding offer to book the selected services, to which he is bound for a period of ten days after submitting the offer.
6.3 Crowdhouse will confirm the receipt of the booking of a service submitted via the platform by e-mail or in another form determined by Crowdhouse. A confirmation does not constitute a binding acceptance of the booking, unless the acceptance is declared at the same time as the confirmation of receipt. A contract for the booked services is only concluded when Crowdhouse accepts the booking by a declaration of acceptance or by activating the booked functions. In any case, the text of the contract (currently consisting of the booking, these terms and conditions and the order confirmation) will be sent to the users (e-mail or paper printout) or made available on a durable data medium.
6.4 The services available on the platform may also include services of third parties to which Crowdhouse merely provides access. For the use of such – accordingly marked – services of third parties, deviating or additional regulations may apply.
7. Payment modalities
7.1 Users can generally make payments by direct debit, credit card, Paypal or on account. Users can change the payment details stored in their personal user area at any time. Crowdhouse reserves the right to exclude certain payment methods at any time and/or to have the payment processing carried out by third parties and to forward users to the pages of third parties for payment processing.
7.2 Unless otherwise agreed, chargeable services are invoiced monthly in advance by collective invoice, which is sent to the users by e-mail and stored in the user area of the platform. Payments for services which are terminated in the course of a month shall be calculated pro rata temporis for the month in which they are commenced or terminated.
7.3 Payment of the agreed price is due without deduction on the fourth day after receipt of the invoice, unless otherwise agreed.
7.4. In the event of default in payment, users shall pay default interest at the statutory rate. The obligation of the users to pay default interest does not exclude the assertion of further default damages by Crowdhouse.
7.5 Users agree to the sending of invoices by e-mail and to the storage of billing data for evidence purposes and/or within the scope of the legal storage obligations.
7.6 If users are entrepreneurs and have their registered office in another EU member state, they hereby authorise Crowdhouse to carry out the reverse charge procedure and to invoice the sales under the VAT ID number to be stored in the user profile.
8. Modification and discontinuation of free services
Due to the services offered free of charge by Crowdhouse, users have no right to maintain the offer. Crowdhouse reserves the right to change or discontinue free services at any time or to offer them for a fee in the future and to inform the users about this in due time.
9. Data security
9.1 Users are obliged to:
- a) set up and maintain the necessary data security precautions during the entire contract period. This also refers to the careful and conscientious handling of login data.
- b) inform Crowdhouse immediately of any technical or legal changes occurring in his area of responsibility, if they are likely to affect the provision of services or the security of the platform including the services and functions offered thereon.
- c) cooperate in the investigation of attacks by third parties on the platform, insofar as this cooperation is required by the respective user.
9.2 The servers used by Crowdhouse are secured according to the latest technology, in particular by firewalls; however, the users are aware that there is a risk that transmitted data can be intercepted in transit. This applies not only to the exchange of information via e-mail leaving the system, but also to all other transmissions of data. The confidentiality of the data transmitted within the framework of the use of the platform can therefore not be guaranteed.
10. Accessibility and liability
10.1 The users and Crowdhouse agree on an annual average of 97% for the operation and accessibility of the platform when offering chargeable services, provided that in particular the platform is not unavailable due to disruptions within the network for which Crowdhouse is not responsible or due to force majeure. Crowdhouse shall not be liable for any further accessibility, in particular if and to the extent that only free services are offered by Crowdhouse. Users are obliged to report any inaccessibility of the platform or other malfunction to Crowdhouse without delay.
10.2 Crowdhouse shall be liable without limitation in case of intent or gross negligence, for injury to life, body or health, according to the provisions of the Product Liability Act as well as to the extent of a guarantee assumed by Crowdhouse. In case of a slightly negligent breach of an obligation that is essential for the achievement of the purpose of the contract (cardinal obligation), the liability of Crowdhouse is limited to the amount of the damage that is foreseeable and typical for the type of transaction in question. There is no further liability of Crowdhouse.
10.3 The limitations of the previous paragraph also apply in favour of Crowdhouse’s legal representatives and vicarious agents if claims are made directly against them.
10.4 Serious events, such as in particular force majeure, labour disputes, riots, war or terrorist conflicts, which have unforeseeable consequences for the performance of services, release Crowdhouse from its performance obligations for the duration of the disruption and to the extent of its effect, even if Crowdhouse should be in default.
11. Right of exemption
In the event of a claim due to an alleged or actual infringement and/or violation of third party rights, users shall indemnify Crowdhouse and its employees or agents against all claims of third parties arising from actions of users in connection with the use of the platform for which users are responsible. In addition, users agree to reimburse Crowdhouse for all costs incurred by Crowdhouse as a result of claims made by third parties (including other users). Reimbursable costs also include the costs of a reasonable legal defence.
12 Assignment and set-off
12.1 A partial or complete transfer of the user’s rights from the contract with Crowdhouse to third parties is excluded.
12.2 Users are only entitled to set-off against Crowdhouse with undisputed or legally established counterclaims.
12.3 Crowdhouse is entitled to transfer the rights and obligations resulting from the respective contractual relationship with the users to a third party without the consent of the users. In the event of a transfer to a third party, the users have the right to terminate the transferred contractual relationship with Crowdhouse without notice.
13 Duration of the contract
13.1 The contractual relationships concluded on the basis of these terms and conditions, for which users do not owe Crowdhouse any remuneration, run for an indefinite period of time, unless otherwise agreed, and can be terminated by either party with one week’s notice.
13.2 Unless otherwise agreed, fee-based services shall also be provided for an indefinite period. Subject to any agreement to the contrary, termination of fee-based service components is possible with three months’ notice to the end of the month.
13.3 Each party has the right to terminate the contract for good cause without notice. An important reason for Crowdhouse is in particular:
- a) the breach of the provisions of these terms and conditions by users, which is not remedied even after setting a reasonable deadline
- b) tortious acts of users or the attempt of such, e.g. fraud
- c) the delay of users with the payment obligation according to the contractually agreed payment by more than four weeks
- d) persistent operational disruptions due to force majeure beyond Crowdhouse’s control, e.g. natural disasters, fire, breakdown of line networks through no fault of Crowdhouse
13.4 Any termination must be in writing. Cancellations by fax or e-mail comply with the form.
14 Final provisions
14.1 The law of the Federal Republic of Germany shall apply to the exclusion of the UN Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods. The statutory provisions on the restriction of the choice of law and on the applicability of mandatory provisions, in particular of the state in which the user is domiciled as a consumer, shall remain unaffected.
14.2 The exclusive place of jurisdiction, to the extent permissible, shall be Zurich.
14.4 Should individual provisions of these terms and conditions be or become invalid and/or contradict the statutory provisions, this shall not affect the validity of the remaining provisions. The ineffective provision shall be replaced by the contracting parties by mutual agreement with a provision that comes as close as possible to the economic purpose of the ineffective provision in a legally effective manner. The above provision shall apply mutatis mutandis in the event of loopholes.