Buying and selling real estate: what's new in Simplex of Urbanism

Buying and selling real estate: what's new in Simplex of Urbanism

Over the years, excessive bureaucratization has become one of the most controversial features of the development of economic activities in Portugal. It was even criticized from the European Union, as this excessive bureaucratization harms the country's competitiveness and the attractiveness of national and foreign investment.

Buying, building, and selling a property in Portugal was, then, a real bureaucratic labyrinth, full of endless requests for documents and unintelligible procedures.

Thus, Portugal, in the incessant search for investment, included in the famous Recovery and Resilience Plan (PRR - Plano de Recuperação e Resiliência) and under the controversial "Mais Habitação" Program, the Simplex of Urbanism, simplifying procedures in the area of urbanism and territorial planning and increasing the fluidity of the internal (and external!) real estate market.

But in practice, what changes?

With the phased entry into force of the new law (Decree-Law no. 10/2024, of January 8), since January 1, 2024, the formalities related to the purchase and sale of real estate have been simplified, among others, by eliminating the need to show or prove the existence of a housing technical file and authorization or the need to prove that it is unenforceable.

In other words, when you sell a property, you will not need to demonstrate that the technical data sheet and the authorization for use exist or present them, it will be enough, as a general rule, to present the land registry certificate, the property registry and the energy certificate. These documents can be obtained without going to public services and thus saving time and money.

In addition to this amendment, the legislator also eliminated some bureaucratic barriers in the construction of real estate, namely: i) the need to obtain urban permits or to carry out prior communications, identifying new cases of exemption or dismissal from prior control by municipalities; (ii) the need to obtain some licences, creating new cases where only prior notification is required; (iii) the building permit, which has been replaced by the receipt of payment of the taxes due; (iv) the authorisation of use where the work has been subject to a prior inspection, replacing such authorisation with a mere delivery of documents relating to the project; and (v) adopted the regime of tacit approval for building permits.

In short, acts relating to real estate have been reduced from bureaucracy and have become more transparent and accessible. Now, effectively, it is easier to flow in the real estate market in Portugal. It remains to be seen whether, ultimately, this will result in more affordable homes for residents in Portugal or an increase in the acquisition of real estate by foreign funds for real estate speculation. Let's wait, the procession is still going on in the churchyard.

Telma Vieira Barbosa

Dower Law Firm


Source: Diário Imobiliáro