License to live – The most common confusion

Does this house have a habitation license?
This is by far the most asked property question. As many people get confused about the building registrations in Portugal, I decided to shed some light on it for you.

First of all, you need to know that there are two different types of building registrations here in Portugal.
1. Urban
2. Rustic

On any registered building, the property paperwork also indicates a usage for that building. These are mainly: habitation, storage, rural construction, agricultural outbuilding. This is for the finance department to base the calculation for the property tax.

The buildings with an urban article have to have a license for usage (licença de habitação / utilização) which is what you call the habitation license. However, there are exceptions. Buildings that are built before the year that this license law was introduced, are exempt of this license. It means you don´t need one. Now, this cut-off year differs from council to council, but for most of the district of Castelo Branco, this year is 1951.

The registered buildings on a rustic article like rural constructions and agricultural outbuildings are not subject to a license. These buildings were built as agricultural support for the farmer to stay during the weekends and buildings for animals and equipment. These buildings are mostly found on a large farm of several hectares or as extra buildings next to the urban living house. Can you use these buildings as your living house? Yes. These buildings are very popular among foreign buyers because of the value and their remote and beautiful location. However, if you purchase such a property don´t expect to get a habitation license, tourism license or a mortgage, as these are only given to buildings with an urban registration.

Do you need a property documents check? If you would like to know what the situation is with the property you are buying or already bought, we can find it out for you!

Text from Home Key´s newsletter of November 2020

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