Documentation for purchase of Property



New Member
I?m so pleased to have found a forum with so much expertise and good counsel, which appears to be experience driven for the most part? obviously the best kind.

May I therefore request some opinion on the following situation?

Back in the end of July, we found, made an offer and put down the usual deposit on a lovely little cottage in the Algarve near Portimao.
Because the property is quite old, ( pre 1959 ?) the seller had to approach the local camara architect for plans etc, before the final deed could be concluded.

After a full 5 months, (bearing in mind that the promissory contract ran for 90 days ),and various excuses ranging from cancellations of appointments at the local camara, sickness etc, we have finally received the ? good news ? that the architect will finally produce this particular document which will enable the final deed to be concluded.

This document we are told, which is to be requested at City Hall, apparently states that when the house was built the requisite license didn?t exist. This document is supposed to replace the said license, as the house was originally not provided with one.
This will apparently allow us to complete the final deed.

Has anyone any knowledge of a similar circumstance? Navigating the legal minefield in purchasing a property in Portugal is always daunting, and we want to ensure nothing goes wrong.

Any comments gratefully received

Many Thanks


New Member

Properties built before 1951 are exempt from the requirement of presenting a habitation license on the day of escritura, and do not need a habitation license.
However, if built after 1951, and habitable (i.e. not a ruin) a habitation license must be presented.
It is normal to ask the finances and/or the camara to declare the date of construction. On the caderneta predial (financas) you can see the date the property was added to the register. Unfortunately, as the land registry is a fairly new idea, there are no records on the land registry of date of construction for old properties.
I have had a similar situation, where we have sold a property built after 1951, which is no longer habitable, and we have submitted plans and photos to the Camara, asking for a declaration that the property is not habitable.
This is all fairly normal, and as long as the property is shown on the caderneta as being before 1951, nothing to worry about.
Oh by the way, (in the central algarve) the camara's are not too rapid, so probably a genuine delay.

James Glassbrook

I don´t know why plans were required. If the property is pre 1951 the question of plans doesn't arise.
I hope that you used a lawyer before signing the prom.contract - in which case he will explain the situation to you and sort out any problems.


New Member
Hi Jim, bit of an old post this one, 2 years ago! they probably bought it, done it up and sold it by now...:D