Residents abroad, as well as those who, although resident in Portuguese territory, leave for more than six months, should appoint a representative residing in Portuguese territory for tax purposes.
If you are a resident or if you are leaving for a member state of the European Union or the European Economic Area, the designation of this representative is merely optional.
The place of residence for tax purposes is the place of habitual residence or, in the case of citizens resident abroad, the place of residence for tax purposes corresponds to that of the tax representative.
In order to finalise the purchase of your house, you must check various documents that identify the property and that confirm the legitimacy of the owner and the buyer:
1 – Land Registry Certificate (Certidão do Registo Predial)
The information made available by the land registry tells you about the composition of a certain building, the legitimacy of the person intending to sell the property and the types of encumbrance that may affect it (mortgages, collateral, etc).
The land registry certificate may be requested in the following ways, in hard copy or in digital format:
- In person, at any land registry office (Conservatória do Registo Predial). This entity holds full descriptions of properties;
- It is possible to request a permanent land record certificate and simplified land information through the Predial Online website.
2 – Title Certificate (Caderneta Predial)
This document may be requested from any tax office. It contains information about the property’s tax situation and can be used to find out which entity is responsible for meeting fiscal obligations related to the property.
- Property owners can get the title certificates for their properties from the tax authority website;
- A title search of an article in the land registry may be requested instead of a title certificate (this is only valid for one year);
3 – Use Permit (Licença de Utilização)
The purpose of the Use Permit is to certify the intended use of the property, and that it is suitable for its licensed purpose. This licence must be requested from the City Council of the district where the property is located. However, proof of the licence request may be submitted along with the purchase agreement if the licence is yet to be issued.
4 – Energy Performance Certificate
The EPC, which is valid for 10 years, will give you an idea of how expensive the property will be to run, in terms of your gas and electricity bills.
It’s good to know as much as possible about your new home’s energy efficiency before you move in – it will give you a good idea the amount of money you might need to spend on the house in future, whether it’s on energy-efficient measures or on your energy bills.
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