Legal advice for purchasing property in Portugal
When buying in a foreign country, getting good legal advice is THE most important thing. Besides the language barrier, you will have a wall of bureaucracy and paperwork waiting for you if the property is not 100% legally registered. It can happen that the property still has mortgages/financial debts/etc., which a lawyer can research for you.
If you have lawyers recommended to you, make sure to do some research before engaging their services. Ask around and speak with him/her to make sure you are comfortable with the lawyer you are going to hire. Your real estate agent can likely recommend lawyers.
In which ever case you as a buyer need to choose the lawyer you would feel comfortable with and work with
- In Portugal lawyers have the responsibilities that in many other countries the notaries have. They will check the following:
- Is what you are buying all 100% legally registered?
- Is the property registered according to the floor plans submitted to the council
- If the floorplans and registration up to date in accordance to how the property is today ? i.e. have no structures been changed or added.
- Is the pool legal?
- Are the no outstanding injunctions?
- Does the property has financing or other financial debts?
Promissory contract Portugal
Once all these items have been checked and approved, the promissory contract can be drawn up. Within the promissory contract, all terms & conditions need to be approved by the buyer and the vendor before it can be signed.
The contract is a legal binding document between the 2 parties, obliging the vendor to pay the deposit back in double in case the contract is breached. If the buyer wants to cancel the contract he/she loses the deposit.*
*contracts can be altered and set up to better include your needs, speak to your lawyer about any questions you have.
In between the promissory contact and the deeds, the financing can be arranged if necessary and any remaining (legal) issues can be checked and resolved.
Then, the deeds are normally done 4/8 week after the promissory contact. This term is not fixed and can be shortened or extended to suit the buyer/vendor and both have to agree upon a suitable date.