Expats Still Concerned About Portuguese Property Law

By ExpatBriefing.com Editorial 15 May, 2014

Expat owners of waterfront properties in Portugal have expressed continuing concern over a law that requires some owners to find old documents to prove their homes were constructed legally.

A Water Resources Law was re-introduced in 2005 to protect coastlines and riverbanks. In its original form, it required the owners of all properties built within 50 meters of the sea or a cliff-top edge, or within 30 metres of a riverbank to produce land-ownership documents dating back to 1864.

A group of owners local to Ericeria led efforts to amend the law. A July deadline for producing the documentation was scrapped, and properties built in or before 1951 are now exempt. The head of the group, Manuela Netto Rocha, recently told the media that the group was "satisfied" by the concessions. However, some British expats remain unconvinced. Changes have not yet been finalized, and one expat told the Daily Telegraph he and other owners had spent "hours and much money" in a fruitless quest to find documentation in Government archives.

The UK paper confirmed that, although the July deadline would not be enforced, authorities are entitled to ask for these documents at any time. There have been complaints that the issue will make it difficult to sell property.

In cases where documentation cannot be found, the Government can reclaim the land, impose additional taxes, or offer a 30-year lease.

Tags: Portugal | Law | Legislation | Expats | Investment | Property Investment | Invest | Lifestyle | Investment | Lifestyle |


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