Buying a property in Portugal is relatively simple, yet there are some matters to consider:
a) Necessary Documents
– Title Search or Land Registry Certificate
Document issued by the Registry of Property bureau (Conservatória) that contains the description of the property and its owner. With this certificate is also possible to verify if there any mortgages, debt attachments or any other legal issue concerning the property.
– Title Certificate
Document issued by the Tax Office (Repartição de Finanças) that provides the fiscal information of the property. With this document is also possible to vouch the owner, the taxable value of the property, as well as the owners of the surrounding properties.
– License of Use or Housing
Document issued by the City Hall that certifies the property was built according the law and the purpose of the property.
– Technical Housing Document
Identifies the structure of the property and it’s mandatory if the License of Housing was issued after March 30.
– Energy Certification
Since January 2009 all properties, whether for housing or commercial purposes, must have na Energy Certificate.
b) Promissory Contract
Once all documentation is in order and the price is settled, it’s time to prepare the Purchase and Sale Agreement or Letter of Commitment. When both parties sign the contract, the buyer will pay a fraction of the agreed price, usually between 10 and 30%, as advance payment.
According to Portuguese law, if the buyer should decide not to proceed with the acquisition will lose the advance payment, and if it is the seller to decide not to carry on, he is obliged to reimburse double the amount of the advance payment to the buyer.
c) The Deed
The Purchase and Sale will be concluded once the deed is signed. At this point the buyer should pay the remaining of the agreed amount.
d) Formalities after the Deed
Once the deed is concluded, will proceed to the registration of ownership in buyer’s name at the Registry of Property bureau and Tax Office.
– Municipal Transactions Tax (IMT)
This tax must be paid before the deed and can reach up to 6%, depending of the price of the property .
– Registries and Notary
In addition to the payment of IMT, the buyer will have to pay other costs like stamp duty, registration and notarial fees. These charges represent approximately 1% of the property’s price.
– Municipal Property Tax (IMI)
IMI is an annual tax levied on taxable value properties situated in Portugal and it varies between 0.2 and 0.8%, depending of the location, typology, age and valuation date. Is payable by the property owner or the building lease holder on 31 December of each year.
If the tax value is higher than €250.00, is divided in two installments to be paid in April and September.Otherwise, the full price will be paid on April.
– Real Estate Income
The income in real estate is stated by economic advantages, either financial or in kind resulting of assets or property rights, including its modification, transfer or termination, not included in other forms of profit.
– Added Value
The sale of a property could generate income subject to tax. This happens when there is a gain between the price of purchase and the price of sale, or in other words, an added value. If the seller applies the income generated to buy another property for intended permanent residence, a portion or even the total of the added value will not be taxed.