Property Acquisition

Legal information needed to buy a house in Portugal

Purchasing property in Portugal


This request is subject to the tax payment and is obliged to register with the tax authorities to obtain their Tax Identification Number (NIF - Número de Identificação Fiscal);

Residents abroad and those who, although living in the national territory, if absent for more than six months must, for tax purposes, designate a representative residing in the domestic country.

Real Estate in Lisbon

For a resident or a member state of the European Union or the European Economic Area, the name of this representative is merely optional.


The fiscal residence is the place of habitual residence, or, in the case of citizens living abroad, the tax residence corresponds to the fiscal representative.


To fulfill the purchase of your home, you need to submit some documents that identify the property and confirm the owner's and the buyer's legitimacy:


1. Land Registry Certificate (Certidão do Registo Predial)

Through the information provided by the Land Registry you can find out what the composition of a given building is, check the legitimacy of those who want to sell the property and learn what kind of charges can relate to it (mortgages, property attachments, etc.).


The land registry certificate, in paper or digital version, may be required:


  • At any Land Registry Office in person (see list), it is an organization that has the complete descriptions of the property;

  • On the site Predial Online you can apply for a permanent certificate of land registration and simplified land information.


2.Legal Description (Caderneta Predial)

This document can be requested from any tax office, there you can obtain the information on the fiscal state of the property and on the establishment of the entity responsible for complying with tax obligations relating thereto.

On the Finance Portal web-site, the owners can get the legal description book of their properties. Instead of legal description book, a content certificate from cadastral register (which is valid for one year) can be issued.


3. Usage Permit  (Licença de Utilização)

The Usage License aims to certify that the use of the property is intended and that it is fit for the respective purpose. This license must be requested from the Municipality of the county (Câmara Municipal do concelho), where the property is located. In the case of buying and selling you can however present only the proof of the request to issue the license, if it has not yet been issued.


4. Property Technical Record (Ficha Técnica de Habitação)

The Housing Technical Data Sheet is a document describing the main technical and functional characteristics of the property. It must be requested directly to the Municipality of the county where the property is located.


 5. Energy Certificate

It must be submitted by the owner, in the act of buying and selling.


6. Proof of the prior payment of the municipal tax that was due, following the sale and purchase agreement 


7. Photocopy of the identity card (or equivalent identification document) and payer's tax card number


8. Presentation of the power of attorney document in case of being presented by a  authorised representative.

Note that there may be situations, where on the property in question falls within the so-called legal right of preference, which may be exercised by the City Council or the General Directorate of Cultural Heritage, in case of sale of classified properties or being classified, or classified properties located in protected areas.


In these situations, you must obtain proof of renunciation of the City Council or the General Directorate of Cultural Heritage to the respective legal right of preference.

Learn where and how the purchase or sale of the property can be carried out:

  • In any Notary Office ( Cartório Notarial ) - Through signing of a public deed, then send mandatory for registration in the Land Registry (Conservatória do Registo Predial)

  • In 'Balcão Casa Pronta' - a one stop shop - you can perform all operations relating to the purchase and sale of real estate - pay taxes, enter into the respective contracts, make immediate registrations, ask for exemption of the property tax payment; change your fiscal (tax) address, etc. On this web-site you can find an updated list of registry offices and registration services, where the "Balcão Casa Pronta" is available.

  • Other Ways- using lawyers, Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Câmaras de Comércio e Indústria) or solicitors; with the Association of Professionals and Real Estate Companies (Associação dos Profissionais e Empresas de Mediação Imobiliária) Porto, Coimbra, Lisbon and Vilamoura, provided that the service is requested by an associated company; with the real estate companies that have joined the service Balcão "Casa Pronta”.



The property acquisition is completed with the registration at the Land Registry (Conservatória do Registo Predial). With this entry a certificate of ownership of the property is issued.