Buying property in Portugal – part 1

By Dra Cristina Marcelino features@algarveresident.com

In her monthly column, lawyer Cristina Marcelino will be presenting legal advice to readers of the Algarve Resident. In 2004, she set up her own legal practice in Lagos and since then has been dealing with different areas including private law, property matters and company and business taxes.

Once you have chosen that special property you have been looking for, you need to make sure that your dream is not going to turn into a nightmare.

Buying a property in Portugal should always be done with the help of a lawyer acting on your behalf.

One lawyer representing both parties may result in a conflict of interests and it is definitely not what we would recommend.

Though real estate agents offer a wide range of information and services, there is more than just checking whether the vendor is the registered owner.

It is often necessary to check other liens and charges, present or past, which may affect future owners.

Just as important is to simulate all possible taxes, both on the purchase of the property and in future transfers of the property.

As buyers, you should never forget that when selling or transferring the property to your loved ones, the purchase option may be reflected on the taxes that will have to be paid in the future.

In the very beginning, even before making a decision on a certain property, legal advice should be considered. There are many things to consider and check, depending on each particular case.

Your legal representative can check not just the property itself but whether new buildings are planned for the surrounding area and what type and height, if there are any establishments allowed in the nearby buildings that may disturb you with noise. In Portugal, a neighbour cannot object to another neighbour’s construction project, but he can, and should, obtain all the information beforehand.

This subject will have to be addressed in several parts, but any questions/comments can be addressed through our e-mail at algarvelegaladvice@hotmail.com