In this article, we list the main documents needed to sell a property. In a nutshell, these are also the documents that a broker will always ask you for in order to draw up the brokerage contract and to be able to advertise the property to potential buyers.

If you have any questions about the documents in question, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Land Registry Certificate

This document can be requested at any Land Registry Office and contains important information about the property. By way of example, the Land Registry Certificate lists the owner(s) of the property, identifies the nature of the property (urban, rural or mixed), shows the areas that are registered and also whether 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 fewer associated costs when issued at the Registry Office. The Certificate must be up to date. The Land Registry Certificate can also be requested online at

Property Tax Certificate (Caderneta Predial) (Urban and/or Rural)

This document can be requested by the owner either via the internet (on the tax portal) or at any tax office. For urban properties there will be an urban certificate, for rural properties there will be a rural certificate. An apartment, for example, will generally only have one urban certificate. Rural land without a registered house, ruin or warehouse will, in principle, only have a rural certificate.

In cases where the Land Registry Certificate describes the property as “mixed”, this means that the property has an urban part and a rural part. In this case, you will need to present the relevant certificates.

Usually, obtaining these Property Tax Certificates does not bear any associated costs.

Use License/Permit

The City Council of the municipality where your property is located is responsible for issuing Use Permits for buildings; this Use Permit certifies whether a building is to be used as a residential building or, for example, as a building for industrial use. A property without a valid Use Permit cannot be sold or leased.

If you no longer have the Use Permit to your property, you can request a certified copy to the City Council.

There are, however, properties in Portugal that were built before the General Building and Urbanization System came into force, which is a system that requires the issuance of Use Permits. For most municipalities, that year is 1951, but there are some municipalities where the law came into force later. For these properties, the City Council can issue a Declaration certifying that the property was built before the General Building and Urbanization System came into force, thus dispensing with the need to submit a Use Permit.

In short: you will need to present either a Use Permit or a Declaration from the City Council releasing you from the obligation to present it.

Technical Housing Form

This document summarizes the main technical and functional characteristics of a residential property and contains, for example, various specialist drawings (electricity, water and sewage, etc.). As a general rule, this document is only mandatory for residential properties built after March 30, 2004.

On completion of the construction, the person responsible for the works is obliged to deposit a copy before the City Council, which will then issue a receipt confirming the deposit of the Technical Housing Form.

If you want to sell your property and you don’t have a copy of the Technical Housing Form, you can request a certified copy to the City Council.

For the purposes of drawing up a brokerage contract with a real estate agency, proof stamped by the City Council that the Technical Housing Form has been deposited will also suffice.

Energy Performance Certificate

Since 2009, this certificate has been a mandatory document for new buildings as well as for existing properties. With this certificate, the buyer can see if the property has any deficiencies and what measures could improve energy performance. Real estate agents in Portugal are not allowed to advertise properties without an energy performance certificate. Energy Certificates are usually valid for 10 years.

There are some exceptions, for example for ruins. In these cases, a declaration is issued exempting the property from the Energy Performance Certificate requirement.

Energy Performance Certificates are drawn up by trained and authorized specialists. You can consult the list of technicians closest to your property at:

Both Energy Performance Certificates and Certificate Exemption Declarations are drawn up by technicians. Costs vary depending on the size of the property and relevant complexity. You might choose to request quotes from two or three different technicians to compare prices.

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