By Óscar Alberto Madureira – Lawyer Lektou Advogados, Portugal

Although Macau and Portugal are separated by more than 10 000 miles, both jurisdiction share the same legal framework background which means that legal treatment for several different kind of human activities and procedures is often similar. Despite some recent changes in Portuguese legal framework covering real estate acquisition processes, mostly related with simplification and reduction of bureaucracy and paperwork, one may say that the main steps to follow to purchase or sale a real estate are generically the same.

We will provide our readers a breakdown of the major steps to take whenever you’re considering investing in Portugal, starting with Property Due Diligence.

Once a property is targeted, there is one critical step to take before advancing with any offer or contract execution concerning the targeted real estate. We refer to a rigorous and deep Due Diligence over the property and eventually over the owner itself. In principle, the relevant documentation shall be provided by the owner or by the real estate agent/agency in charge promoting the property.

Critical documents to be reviewed at this state are the following:

  • Real Estate Certificate (Certidão Permanente);
  • Tax Certificate (Caderneta Predial);
  • Occupation License (Licença de Utilização) 2 ;
  • Energetic Certificate (Certificado Energético);
  • Technical Certificate (Ficha Técnica da habitação) 3 ; and
  • Non-debt certificate 4 .

In case the real estate is owned by a legal person (company, association, foundation, etc.) it will be also critical to confirm the binding requirements of that entity as well as the identity and powers of the individuals representing it in the future transaction.

The outcome of the due diligence process is usually produced in the form of report that indicates the general situation of the targeted real estate, and of course, validating or not the purchase transaction from a legal and risk mitigation prospective.

It is highly recommended to hire a Portuguese qualified lawyer familiar with real estate transactions and registration procedures who can ensure every aspect of the deal is done in favour of the investor.

The due diligence checks prevent several problems before and after the acquisition of the
property.

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