Our legal partners are adept at handling all the necessary procedures – from obtaining your NIF tax number and opening a bank account to conducting thorough due diligence on property documents. They are skilled in negotiating and signing both promissory and final deeds on your behalf. This means that you don't even need to be present in the country; our trusted lawyers can manage everything with a power of attorney.
This synergy between our real estate expertise and our legal partners not only saves you a significant amount of time and effort but also ensures peace of mind. Our partners are known for their competitive rates and exceptional service, ensuring that your journey to owning a home in Lagos is as enjoyable as it is successful.
Tax ID & Bank Account
1/ Legal Requirement
Having a NIF tax number is a legal requirement for anyone engaging in property transactions in Portugal. It is mandatory for both residents and non-residents. Without a NIF, you won't be able to complete the purchase process, as it is needed for various official documents and transactions related to property acquisition.
2 / Opening a Bank Account
To buy property in Portugal, you will need to open a local bank account. Obtaining a NIF is a prerequisite for opening this account. A Portuguese bank account is necessary for various financial transactions related to the property purchase, such as mortgage payments, property taxes, and utility bills.
3 / Tax Identification
The NIF serves as your tax identification number in Portugal. This is crucial for ensuring that you are correctly identified and taxed for your property ownership. It is used in all your dealings with the Portuguese tax authorities, making it an integral part of your legal obligations as a property owner.
4 / Utility Connections
When setting up utilities for your new property, such as water and electricity, you will be required to provide your NIF. This ensures that utility bills are properly linked to the property owner for billing and tax purposes.
5/ Transaction Documents
Throughout the property purchase process, you will be required to present your NIF on various legal documents, including the promissory contract and the final deed of sale. It is an identifier that ties you to the property in the eyes of the law.
Property Due Diligence
1 / Extract from the land register
The land registry extract can be requested at any land registry office (Conservatória de Registo Predial) and contains important information about the property. In it, you will find information about the owners of the property, the type of property (urban, rural, or mixed), the registered areas, and possible encumbrances such as mortgages or liens. A less expensive "simple transcript" is often sufficient for the preparation of the brokerage contract. It is advisable to keep the land register extract up to date.
2 / Tax register
The "Caderneta Predial", for urban properties and rural properties, can be applied for online at any tax office. For example, a flat usually has an urban caderneta, while a rural property without a registered building usually has a caderneta rústica. If the land registry extract describes the property as "mixed", meaning that it has both an urban and a rural part, the relevant cadernetas must be submitted. Requesting the cadernetas prediais is usually free of charge.
3 / Certificate of Use
The "Licença de Utilização" is issued by the municipality (Câmara Municipal) where any property is located. This document provides information on whether the property can be used as a residential building or for commercial purposes. Without a valid certificate of use, the property cannot be sold or rented. However, there are exceptions for properties built before the General Building and Town Planning Regulations came into force in Portugal in 1951. In these cases, to make a long story short, consult a trusted solicitor and don't buy a cheap ruin, which might not get a habitual license.
4 / Technical Housing Certificate
The "Ficha Técnica de Habitação" summarises the main technical and functional characteristics of a residential property, including technical drawings for electricity, water, and sewage supply. This document is normally only required for residential properties, especially those built after 30 March 2004. Stamped proof from the municipality that the Ficha Técnica de Habitação has been deposited is also sufficient for drawing up a brokerage contract with an estate agency.
5/ Energy Performance Certificate
Since 2009, the "Certificado Energético" has been mandatory for both new and existing buildings in Portugal. With this document, buyers can detect possible deficiencies and identify measures to improve energy efficiency. Real estate agents are not allowed to advertise properties in Portugal without an energy certificate. Energy certificates are usually valid for 10 years. There are exceptions for ruins, for which an exemption from the energy certificate can be issued.