Property deeds to be allowed to be executed electronically

In a bid to make property deals faster and less bogged down by bureaucracy, the Portuguese government is planning to allow deeds to be executed electronically.

The idea was due to be discussed at the Council of Ministers last Thursday (April 30) but no official announcement has been made about it since.

In a nutshell, the measure would allow deeds to be completed much more easily with the aid of virtual tools.

For example, notaries and real estate agencies would be able to directly access a property’s description and important information such as if it has a mortgage or has been seized, according to Jornal de Negócios.

This would avoid trips to registries to pay for information about a deal which might not even be completed, the paper adds.

Meantime, property website Idealista reports that “making the long-distance purchase and sale of properties viable has been a goal for a long time” but has now become a priority for the government as a means of keeping the economy alive digitally.

The website adds that the project is coordinated by the Secretary of State for Justice, Anabela Pedroso, although it also involves input from the National Tax Authority, the Institute of Registries and Notaries, the Institute of Public Markets, Property and Construction as well as representatives from the property sector and the Association of Notaries.

This would be yet another measure that would facilitate transactions in the property sector, which is already allowed to carry out long-distance rental deals and sales and purchase agreements.

The digital authentication of signatures is another measure that is reportedly on the table, although when all these measures will be implemented is still unclear.

What’s certain is that Justice Minister Francisca Van Dunem has said the measures will remain in place even after the country emerges completely from its lockdown.

michael.bruxo@algarveresident.com