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Legal representation and assistance is particularly necessary in Portugal when purchasing or selling property. This process demands different degrees of participation by the various parties involved:

  • the seller;
  • their legal representative;
  • the real estate agent;
  • the public notary;
  • the land registry;
  • utility companies;
  • the city hall where the purchase is being made;
  • the banks; and in some cases,
  • the local courts (in an insolvency or executive judicial process);
  • regional authorities (mainly in rural assets);
  • the seller’s neighbours (they may even have something to say in some legal rights of first refusal).


The lawyer will ensure that all parties are appropriately coordinated and followed up, and will perform an investigation to ensure that the property is purchased without any previous charge or liability that could incur additional costs or reduce the property’s value.

We provide all the services to clients who are buying and/or selling property in Portugal, to help clients all the mandatory elements necessary to a safe transaction (calculate budget from the outset; assist clients in putting them in touch with local estate agents, local banks and mortgage brokers, etc).




  • Obtain the Portuguese NIF (taxpayer’s number);
  • Complete all necessary searches on the legal status of the property and the developer/vendor, informing the buyer/s of any issues discovered that may influence the decision or conditions of the purchase.
  • Liaise and agree with vendor/s and/or lawyers in respect of the terms and conditions of the purchase, ensuring compliance with current laws. In the event that the vendors are non-resident in Portugal, a lawyer ensures that any amount paid prior to completion is lodged safely.
  • Make preparations at the Public Notary (or Land Registry, considering in Portugal they can perform similar services) for completion of the purchase or any further preparations required relating to the purchase such as:

– preparation of the power of attorney for individuals abroad (duly legalized and translated) which give authority to a physical person/s to act on behalf of the buyers;

– securing previous payment of the relevant taxes associated with the purchase;

– securing payments are made within the time and in the necessary form (in Portugal you usually complete the purchase by way of a bank check that secures real payment; you also pay directly to the vendor in the moment you buy); 

  • Assist in the completion process and ensure title deeds are properly registered in the appropriate local Land Registry, and that the property (ies) is free from all charges and encumbrances, free from occupants and tenants;
  • Assist in locating, negotiating and obtaining a mortgage loan to finance the purchase of the property. The obtaining of the mortgage may be in the form of an approval in principle prior to the signing of the private purchase contract and is understood without prejudice to any other mortgage facility provided by the developer or the vendor (this is something that should me made no less than 02/03 months before completing the purchase; a promissory contract can be made before securing any loan, but requires very specific legal representation securing protective “conditional clauses” to the buyer).


Tip: If you are thinking of moving to Portugal or spending large amounts of time there, you may want to consider if you could apply for Portugal’s Non-Habitual Resident Tax program which could eliminate your income tax liability!

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