In this article we list the main documents necessary to sell a property in Portugal. Roughly speaking, these are also the documents that a real estate agent will always request from you to be able to draw up the real estate contract and to be able to advertise the property to potential buyers.
For any question you may have about the documents listed below, don’t hesitate to contact us.
Land Registry Certificate (Certidão de Registo Predial)
This document can be requested at any Land Registry Office (Conservatória de Registo Predial) and contains important information about the property. For example, the Land Registry Certificate lists the owner(s) of the property, identifies the nature of the property (urban, rustic or mixed), shows the areas that are registered and also shows if there are any encumbrances (mortgages, liens, etc) that may be registered on the property.
For the sole purpose of drawing up the mediation contract, a so-called “simple copy” will suffice, which has less associated costs when issued at the Land Registry Office. The Certificate must be not be expired. The Land Registry Certificate can also be requested online at www.predialonline.pt
Tax Registry Certificate (Caderneta Predial ) (Urban and/or Rustic)
This document can be requested by the owner either online (www.portaldasfinancas.gov.pt), or at any Portuguese tax office. For urban properties there is an urban caderneta, for rustic properties there is a rustic caderneta. An appartment, for example, will generally only have an urban caderneta. A rural property without a registered house, ruin or warehouse will in principle only have a caderneta rustica.
In cases where the property is described in the Land Registry Certificate as “mixed”, this means that the property has an urban part and a rustic part. In this case, it will be necessary to present the respective cadernetas.
Obtaining the Tax Registry Certificate is usually free of charge.
Utilization License (Licença/Alvará de Utilização)
The local municipality (Câmara Municipal) where your property is located is responsible for issuing the Utilization Licenses for all buildings; this License certifies if a building can be used as a residential building or, for example, as a building for industrial use. A property without a valid Utilisation Licence cannot be sold nor let.
If you no longer have the Utilization Licence in your possession, you can request a certified copy from your Câmara Municipal.
There are however exceptions: properties in Portugal that were built before the legislation came into force that requires the issuing of Utilization Licenses do not need such a license. In most municipalities that year is 1951, but there are municipalities where the law came into force later. For these properties the Câmara Municipal can issue a Declaration that certifies that the property was built before the above mentioned legislation came into force, thus exempting your property from having an Utilization License.
In short: you will need to present either the Licença de Utilização or the Declaration from the Câmara Municipal that proves the dispensation of the Licença de Utilização,
Housing Technical Data Sheet (Ficha Técnica de Habitação)
This document summarises the main technical and functional characteristics of a residential property and contains for example various specialty drawings (electricity, water and sewage, etc). As a general rule, this document is only compulsory for residential properties and also only for residential properties which were built after the 30th of March 2004.
When the construction of a property is completed, the person responsible for the construction has the obligation to deposit a copy of the Housing Technical Data Sheet in the Municipality (Câmara Municipal) and the Municipality will issue a receipt confirming the deposit of this document.
If you want to sell your property and you don’t have in your possession a copy of the Ficha Técnica de Habitação, you can request a certified copy at the Câmara Municipal.
For the purpose of setting up a real estate contract, providing the stamped receipt confirming that the Câmara Municipal has received the Technical Sheet will be sufficient.
Energy Certificate (Certificado Energético)
Since 2009, this certificate is a mandatory document for new buildings as well as for existing properties. With this certificate any buyer can see if the property has any deficiencies and what measures could improve the energy performance of the buidling. Estate agents in Portugal are not allowed to advertise properties without an energy certificate. Energy certificates are usually valid for 10 years.
There are some exceptions, for example for ruins. In these cases, a declaration is issued which exempts the property from the Energy Certificate.
The Energy Certificates are elaborated by specialists properly trained and authorized. You can consult the list of technicians closest to your property at: https://www.sce.pt/pesquisa-de-tecnicos/
Both the Energy Certificates and the declarations of exemption from the Certificate are prepared by these technicians. The costs vary depending on the size of the property and its complexity. You can choose to request quotes from two or three different technicians to compare prices.
If you have any further questions regarding the mandatory documents for selling your property, please contact us, we will gladly speak to you.