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Legal Details

Selling in Portugal

Having listed many properties in the Algarve we never cease to be amazed by how ill prepared property owners are prior to instructing an Estate Agent to list their property. A little preparation before hand will stop a lot of unnecessary suffering in the future.  It is always better to be in a position to supply copies of all the relevant information required and a little research will enable you to do so easily.  Let's initially discuss the paperwork required by the Estate Agent.

 

Under Decree Law 77/99 all Government Licensed Estate Agents are required to obtain the following documentation from the Vendor thus enabling them to establish that the property has a full legal status.  No Agent can officially list a property without receiving the necessary paperwork.  As all Licenced Estate Agents are liable to periodic inspection by their Governing body, IMOPPI, they must ensure copies of these documents are in place. 
The required documents are as follows:

 

Checklist:

 

DEEDS/ESCRITURA NOTARIAL DE COMPRA E VENDA:-

 

This document indicates the title of acquisition of a property.  The originals are held by the Notary Office where they were signed.
 

FINANCE DEPARTMENT REGISTRATION/

CADERNETA PREDIAL:-

 

 

This document shows the description of the property in the Finance Department and it's fiscal value on which rates are charged.

 

REGISTRATION CERTIFICATE/

CERTIDÂO DE TEOR REGISTRAL:-

 

 

This document confirms as to whom the property is registered to and also gives a description of the property with the size of the land and the house and will show any existing charges on the property.

The description on the "caderneta predial", failing which one of the 2 is not correct and should be rectified.

 

 

HABITATION LICENCE/LICENÇA DE UTILIZAÇÃO :-

 

 

This document confirms that the property was built according to the (Camara) Local Council plans and specifications and that the property has been inspected for habitation upon completion.

 

 

PLANS/PROJECTOS DE ARQUITECTURA:-

 

 

It is worthwhile obtaining a set of approved plans from the Camara (Local Council) to check that what has been built is in accordance with the originally approved plans.  It is very easy to add on a bedroom or garage without permission!

 

 

BORE HOLE LICENCE/LICENÇA PARA CAPTAÇÃO DE AGUA:-

 

 

This document confirms that the borehole is registered with the relevant authority.

 

PERSONAL PAPERS:-

 

 

Agents will require copies of your Fiscal Number, Passport/residencia.

 

 

As most Owners do not hold updated copies of these documents in their possession you are well advised to consult your Lawyer BEFORE you instruct any Agents and ask them for updated copies of these documents OR if you have the energy and knowledge visit the Camara and Finance Departments yourself and make the necessary requests as this normally takes several days for the updated documents to be produced. The registration certificate and caderneta predial should have been obtained or validated less than 6 months ago. The other documents do not have a validity date.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is one important issue which must be looked at in some depth and this is the question of Habitation Licences, especially for older properties. Recent changes in legislation has caused problems as to whether a Habitation Licence is required for a property. A house either has a Habitation Licence or a Certificate, issued by the local Camara, confirming that it does not require one. Only the Camara can certify this situation. The requirement of Habitation Licences was introduced by Decree - Lei 38/382 dated 7th August 1951 therefore houses built before that date are not required to have Habitation Licences.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As the current building regulations become stricter the Notaries were advised that they should require an updated Certificate from the Camara to ascertain that there were no unlicensed alterations to the properties being sold. Historically the system had been badly abused in that the method of proving that a house did not require a Habitation Licence was flawed. Many people purchased houses still registered as old cottages which in fact had been improved, renovated and sometime completely rebuilt  - without proper licences.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Algarve Property Group