China: 合作开发房地产合同纠纷中的"继续履行"问题

Last Updated: 29 April 2019
Article by Lai Yufeng
Most Read Contributor in China, July 2019

摘要:目前,在房地产业集中度越来越高的背景下,中小型房地产企业在项目拿地环节可能尚有一定地缘优势,大型房地产企业在项目的产品定位、成本控制、融资、营销、税筹等方面优势明显,双方优势互补而采用合作开发模式比较常见。笔者结合多宗合作开发房地产合同纠纷案件经验和对相关案例梳理分析,就"法院判决继续履行合同的理由和条件"、"法院判决认定不能继续履行合同的常见理由"、"法院判决继续履行合同后的强制执行问题"等三个方面的问题进行简要论述,以供同行交流。

斗转星移,房地产行业已从"黄金时代"进入"白银时代",品牌房地产企业正在从以往的粗放经营模式转换到精细化管理模式。目前,我国中小型房地产企业在项目获取或土地取得环节上还有一定的地缘优势。但是,在项目开发过程中的建安成本端、资金端、营销端,中小型房地产企业都明显处于劣势地位。大型房地产企业尤其是头部标杆房企需要扩大项目规模和数量,利用规模效应进一步降低建安成本、融资成本和营销成本。大型房地产企业(或称资金方)与中小房地产企业(或称土地方)各取所需,采用"一方出地、一方出钱"或"一方出项目、一方输出资本或品牌"的合作开发模式也蔚然成风。

因为存在开发周期长、环节多、项目/土地价值变动、商品房销售价格波动幅度大等诸多可变因素,合作开发房地产项目产生的争议逐年增加。比较常见的情形是:在土地逐年升值的大背景下,土地方为了获得更高的超额收益打算摆脱原有合作开发合同;资金方较早介入项目之筹备和基础开发工作,已经对项目推进有大量投入并且对项目成功后的收益充满期待,所以对项目开发利益即将落空极不甘心。此时,资金方往往发现"心怀叵测"的第三方在土地方的身后若隐若现,原来亲密合作的双方之间的争议不可避免。双方诉至法院以后,资金方通常会请求"继续履行",土地方通常会请求"解除合同"。

此类争议标的额大、案情复杂,在最高法院的上诉案件和再审案件中也占据了相当大的份额。根据笔者的检索,2010年至2018年各级法院审判的"合资、合作开发房地产合同纠纷"的案件数量增长十分显著。从2012年约260件增长到2018年约2400件,数量增长约十倍。在众多案例中,笔者进一步梳理出涉及"土地方违约与继续履行"的案例。其中有大约三分之二案例法院判决合作开发房地产合同无法继续履行;有大约三分之一案例法院判决支持继续履行合作开发房地产合同或者驳回解除合同的诉讼请求。

笔者结合自己经办的多宗案件之经验和对相关案例法院判决的研究分析,就以下三个方面进行论述:

一、法院判决继续履行合同的法律依据及五个条件

《合同法》第一百零七条规定:

"当事人一方不履行合同义务或者履行合同义务不符合约定的,应当承担继续履行、采取补救措施或者赔偿损失等违约责任。"

可见,当违约发生时,立法者认为"继续履行"是维护当事人权益的首选方式。若合同确实无法继续履行,则当事人可再考虑采取补救措施或者赔偿损失等救济方式。相对于后两种救济途径,继续履行合同更加有利于维护交易秩序、更尊重当事人的意思自治。此外,《合同法》第一百一十条还规定了三种法院判令"继续履行的例外情形" 1

根据笔者的梳理,在涉及到"土地方违约与继续履行"的案例中,法院判决"合同继续履行"需要满足如下五个方面的条件:

(一)基础性条件

首先,合作开发房地产合同成立并生效,具体包括一方具有房地产开发资质、双方具有相应缔约能力、双方意思表示真实、不违反效力性强制性规定、不损害国家和社会公共利益等条件。

其次,在法律上或事实上可以履行,而且一方在合理期限内要求对方实际履行合作开发合同。

再次,合同适于强制履行或强制继续履行的费用不会过高。

(二)不触发合同解除条件

首先,合作开发房地产合同中约定的解除条件并未成就,也不满足法定解除条件。

其次,一方虽发出了解除合同通知,又因为继续履行的行为而实际撤销解除通知。

再次,双方仅有关于"解除表示"而未就解除后的清算做出具体安排,也视为未就解除达成合意。

(三)双方有履约行为

合作开发房地产合同签订后,双方均有具体的实际履行行为,包括交付土地、土地变性、注入资金、设立项目公司、股权转让或者增资、项目施工建设等等。

(四)客观上有继续履行的条件

房地产项目的合作开发客观上具备继续履行的条件,例如合作开发项目满足各项规划要求、土地已变性(若需)、土地已经取得或者完成过户、项目具备施工建设条件等等。

(五)继续履行符合原定合同目的

关于双方签订合作开发房地产合同当时之目的,法院通常会综合考量。例如查看合同鉴于条款或者其他条款中约定的合同内容、结合其他约定和行业交易习惯、履约过程来推定合同目的。法院判令继续履行合同不能够违背原定之合同目的。

除了需要考虑上述五方面以外,笔者认为不可忽视如下两点:

第一,违约方通常不享有解除权。合同解除制度旨在将解除权赋予守约方;根据合同约定,若一方在发出解除合同通知时处于违约状态,则不能享有合同解除权。如在万顺公司诉永新公司等合作开发协议纠纷一案中[最高人民法院(2003)民一终字第47号],最高法院认为:

"永新公司没有履行法律、行政法规规定的义务,其设立的公司不能视为对合作协议的全部履行,从合作协议项下己方义务的履行角度看,应当认定永新公司已经构成违约。由于合同解除制度之意旨在于将解除权赋予守约方,而永新公司发函时仍处于违约状态,故永新公司不能享有合同解除权。"

第二,无法继续履行并不意味着可以直接判决解除。在崂山国土局与南太置业公司国有土地使用权出让合同纠纷案中[最高人民法院(2004)民一终字第106号],最高法院认为:

"根据有关法律规定精神,解除权在实体方面属于形成权,在程序方面则表现为形成之诉,在没有当事人依法提出该诉讼请求的情况下,人民法院不能依职权径行裁判。该《国有土地使用权出让合同》的解除或者权利义务终止及其法律责任承担问题,需通过独立的诉讼请求予以保护。"

二、法院判决认定不能继续履行合同的常见理由

结合笔者梳理的涉及"土地方违约与继续履行"的案例 2 ,法院判决"合作开发房地产合同无法继续履行"的常见理由可大致分为"当事人问题"、"土地和审批问题"、"合同约定及履行阶段问题"等三个方面。

(一)当事人问题

当事人问题主要有如下情形:

1. 资金方违约在先,土地方再无合作意愿;土地方单独实施项目,完成土地开发;

2. 土地方与资金方交叉违约,均获得解除权;

3. 土地方与善意第三人的案外人另行签订合作协议,并且进行项目土地进行物权处置,舍弃与原资金方的合作;

4. 双方各自表达了解除合同意愿,或者双方以其他形式达成解除合同的合意;

5. 土地方进入破产清算或者重整程序等。

(二)土地及项目审批问题

判决"合同无法继续履行"涉及土地和项目审批问题,主要呈现如下情形:

1. 项目土地被政府征收/收储;

2. 应当进行土地变性的划拨土地未完成变性;

3. 未付清地价或者土地闲置原因,土地被政府收回;

4. 土地被转让给案外人、土地证被办理到第三人名下、或者土地权属被案外人提出权利主张;

5. 土地被抵押给第三人,导致项目无法推进的;

6. 土地被法院查封或者拍卖;

7. 约定的合作开发用地所在地块中,有一大部分被其他人取得;

8. 土地出让方式变更,拿地和开发成本明显增加且严重影响项目收益;

9. 城市规划变更,地块与另一地块功能互补需综合统筹开发,另一地块没能拿下;

10. 土地出让后四至/边界有争议,土规、总规、控规冲突,无法顺利办理开发报建手续;

11. 因为规划技术问题,无法办理权属转让和分证手续;

12. 土地开发方案与政府规划不符,无法获得审批;

13. 政府规划临时调整/项目用地的用途变更失败/土地二次调规,土地规划指标与合同约定的开发条件不一致;

14. 原有项目报建的政府批文失效,土地方坚决不配合;

15. 在建工程被认定为违法,面临被政府清理。

(三)合同约定及履行阶段问题

法院判决"合同无法继续履行"涉及合同约定及合同履行阶段问题,主要呈现如下情形:

1. 合同部分或全部无效;

2. 合同未满足约定的生效条件;

3. 合同已满足约定的解除条件;

4. 合作开发的核心条款约定不明,权利义务过于简略,双方无法达成新的有可操作性的合作协议;

5. 处在合同履行的初期即无法合作,多种合作条件并不具备,事实上不能履行或不适于强制履行;

6. 合同继续履行还需要解决征收拆迁等诸多障碍;

7. 合同签订后多年,双方都没有积极履约行为,在合理期限内双方均未要求履行。

三、法院判决继续履行合同后的强制执行问题

房地产合作开发好似在跳"双人舞",需要合作双方共同履行的义务和交互配合的事务很多。此外,还涉及诸多政府行政审批事项,一个项目"要盖一百多个政府部门公章"。法院若判决"合作开发房地产合同继续履行"后,一方不履行或者不完全履行合同义务,抑或政府部门拒不采取相应措施予以配合时,另一方申请法院强制执行也将面临诸多问题。

在司法实践中,民事判决主文对此通常仅表述为"继续履行某合同",具体履行内容往往在诉讼请求和判项中语焉不详。事实上,当事人客观上难以将合作开发房地产合同之后续履行步骤作为诉讼请求罗列完整。该类判决能否强制执行、如何推动强制执行等问题,在司法实务中一直存有争议。不少执行法官存在"畏难"情绪,对于"继续履行判决"的处理方式和态度也大相径庭、因案而异。

根据最高法院执行局编写的《执行工作指导》和最高法院的批复内容,执行法院应当维护判决权威性和可执行性,积极能动去执行"继续履行"判决,主要包括以下几个方面:

第一、该类判决原则上具有执行力。《合同法》第一百零七条规定了继续履行、采取补救措施、赔偿损失等不同的违约责任形式。既然审判业务部门判令"继续履行",从维护民事实体法律制度、尊重生效判决以及确保债权实现的角度,强制执行部门应当承认该类判决具有执行力,当事人据以申请法院强制执行的,法院应予受理强制执行立案申请。

第二、注意准确落实执行内容。关于继续履行合同类判决,有的履行内容是单方给付,如单方交付一个特定物或者完成一项行为,依通常方式强制执行即可。有的继续履行内容则比较复杂,比如当合同约定双方合作开发,某个具体事项需要双方协作才能完成,执行内容较难以确定。对此,强制执行部门可以结合合同条款与房地产项目开发实务,在充分听取当事人意见的基础上,确定具体的执行内容;执行内容确实无法确定或当事人双方存在较大分歧的,也可以考虑提请做出判决的审判庭予以解释。

第三、注意强制执行与新的审判程序相衔接。有些继续履行合同的判决隐含着履行条件,判决生效后由于客观情况发生变化,这些履行条件可能会消灭,或者出现难以履行的法律、事实障碍,导致合同确实无法继续履行,执行程序在客观上也无法继续进行。对此类案件,执行法官应及时裁定终结执行,并告知当事人另行提起合同解除或者另行提起损害赔偿诉讼。

在此情形下,对法院执行部门的要求则主要有以下几个方面:

1. 执行法官不得以"判决结果无给付内容,执行标的不明,不能强制执行"作为理由擅自"终本"。

2. 必要时,执行法官可直接裁定合作开发合同项下土地使用权或合作开发之项目公司的股权过户到一方名下。退一步讲,执行法官也可尽量促成执行和解。

3. 执行法官须认真核查房地产项目合作开发的情况,应当穷尽强制执行的工具和手段。例如涉及项目合作开发中需要办理项目土地使用权过户,对已符合《城市房地产管理法》规定过户条件的地块,应直接裁定将土地使用权转移,并通知土地管理部门协助办理过户手续;对不具备法定过户条件的地块,应当用足法律规定的各种强制执行措施,促使义务方履行使土地达到法定过户条件的义务。

4. 若确有无法逾越的困难,可告知另行起诉。

强制执行申请人可以根据上述规定和司法精神,与法院强制执行部门和审判业务部门积极沟通,引导和辅助执行法官结合项目实际情况进一步落实生效判决的强制执行内容和强制执行之具体方式。

四、结  语

在合作开发房地产合同中一方违约的情况下,另一方可以尝试借用司法的力量将违约方拉回合同中来,即诉请继续履行合同,从而实现合作开发的目的。正如本文所展示的,一方诉请继续履行将遭遇重重困难。如果一方提供的不是二级开发的净地,而是土地一级开发和二级开发联动开发项目、抑或"三旧"改造和城市更新项目,其中涉及合作开发实施流程和法律关系变动就更为复杂。审理法院在考虑是否判令违约方继续履行合同之时需要考虑的因素也就更多。

在此类争议的处理过程中,律师工作也必须面临极大的不确定性和极高的难度挑战。房地产律师若想要完成案件诊断、方案策划和执行跟踪等一系列代理工作,不仅需要其对法律制度有深入研究、具备丰富实践经验,还需要精通房地产项目开发实务。守约方要求继续履行的努力一旦获得成功,不仅可以使双方商业利益均获得救济、原定合同目的得以实现,也可以适时挽救一段即将破裂的合作关系。

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In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.

Disclaimer

The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.

General

Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions