A number of bureaucratic companies, assistants and advisors have stepped in to help foreign residents deal with the new licensing laws regarding water resources.
Land owners and tenants of properties that have unlicensed water resources must declare these to the government department ARH by May 31 so that they can be legalised or face fines of between 25,000 and 2.5 million euros.
The registration of water resources such as boreholes and septic tanks is free, with a small stamp duty charge for the forms, but filling these out is proving difficult for property owners who are currently abroad or do not speak Portuguese.
According to a spokesman from the Faro-based bureaucratic assistance company DX-Portugal, in the case of boreholes, the water has to be tested at a cost of 96 euros and the result of the test, or proof of test request, has to accompany the registration forms together with an up-to-date certificate from the finance office and a notification of the exact location of the house on the property with the coordinates.
They added that even if a present borehole and septic tank have permission in a building licence, the registration still has to be done and it is the property owner’s responsibility.
For further assistance with the water resources declaration paperwork, please refer to our advertisers throughout the newspaper. Alternatively, please contact the ARH department in Faro directly with your queries, where members of staff who speak English will be found to deal with your enquiry if you are unable to converse in Portuguese.