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Buying a Property in Portugal

BUYING A PROPERTY IN PORTUGALThe conveyancing process in Portugal starts with obtaining a Portuguese Tax Number (NIF) for the buyers – this will always be the first step. After the NIFs are issued by the Tax Authority and a suitable property is found, a reservation agreement may be required, in order to take the property off the market, which is usually accompanied by the payment of a reservation fee. It is advised to ensure that the payment is refundable, should the buyer not proceed.

The next stage for the purchase of a property will be to analyze the relevant property documentation, which will include the analysis of the Land Registry and Tax Authority Certificates, the Utilization License and Energy Certificate. Additional documentation can be required, such as the Property’s Technical File, Condominium Minutes and others, depending on the specific case.

It is common to have a Promissory Contract signed before completion, to set the terms of the business and define the deadlines for delivery of necessary documentation for the deed and other relevant conditions. At this stage the payment of a deposit is due. It is necessary that the formalities required for this type of contract (certification of signatures and confirmation of utilization license) are observed, in order to grant security to both parties in case of breach.

The final completion deed can be signed before a Notary, Solicitor or at the Land Registry by the parties or their representatives. At the date of the deed, which is a formal act, the effective transfer of ownership takes place. The remaining purchase price will be due, as well as the payment of taxes, namely IMT (transfer tax) and Stamp Duty, as well as Notary fees and registration fees. The change in ownership is then registered at the Land Registry and the Tax Department.

In Portugal, the original title deeds are always kept by the Notary/Solicitor who executed the deed, and the parties are only provided with a certified copy. You can therefore always request a further copy at any time and it is not possible to lose the original deeds.

For more information, or advice, please contact Teresa Patrício & Associados, Sociedade de Advogados / Law Firm on:

Lisbon - Avenida Almirante Gago Coutinho, n.º 96, 1700-031 Lisboa
T:  +351 217 981 030

Loulé - Urbanização da Boa Entrada, Rua Natália Correia, n.º 2, Loja A, Edifício Atlântico Plaza, 8100-724 Loulé
T:  +351 289 143 189

W: www.tpalaw.pt

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