Planning permission in Portugal
“Reality denied comes back to haunt.” ― Philip K. Dick,
We work with clients from all over the world and very often a client says something about planning permission, Iva(Vat) or other areas pertaining to building in Portugal that are not just miss informed but absolutely wrong legally.
Let me make myself clear. I do understand that there is a lot of fog surrounding the Truths Rumors and Lies and the “miss information gleaned from the internet, property vendors, people who were met in a cafe, overheard conversations and so on.
Very little of this accrued knowledge however has any relation to reality.
Then of course there is the language barrier and also the fact that it’s easy to misinterpret something if it sounds like something you want to hear.
Please be aware that “Reality denied comes back to haunt.” and normally at a time when the person who originally told you what to do is long gone.
As a result we as builders are often left in a position where we have to address these Truths Rumors and Lies.
There is definitely a wish by most people to save some money when they are building, extending or refurbishing a property in Portugal. Perfectly understandable but make sure that you save it in the right areas. The areas that are not going to get you into trouble and great expense in the future.
When you view a property with a view to buying. NEVER ask the estate agent how much it will cost to build, refurbish or extend. The answer that you hear will be just words. You will have no comeback at all. You can ask the estate agent to organize 3 written builders quotes for the work so that you can compare them. NB: You must write a full list of what you want doing so that the builders can use that to form their quotes.
Never ask the estate agent or seller if the work requires planning permission. Assume that it does and allocate 3,000 to 4,000 for this in your budget. If it doesn’t need permission you have added to the buffer you will need for unseen costs and will be able to finish the project more comfortably.
The truth about planning permission. Every Camara (council) interprets the rules differently. We work from the Algarve in the south to Porto in the north so believe me we have learned the hard way.
For example one region or council area will require a full design project to be submitted and planning permission for a swimming pool anther just wants a letter sending to them stating that you are building a swimming pool.
There are very strong laws about raising roofs, opening new windows and doors or changing the facade of a property.
However quite often we can get permission with a simple face to face meeting.
As a foreigner coming into a new country you can’t possibly have those relationships or understanding of the various processes before you buy your property in Portugal.
Our advice is to build time into your purchase. For instance make it a condition of the purchase that you must have received construction quotes and written response to planning permission questions before the sale can be completed. These things are easy to add to a promissory contract.
If you thought the above was confusing my next post will be on how to pay only 6% Iva (vat) on your building project in Portugal
If you have any questions regarding building in Portugal or refurbish a property contact Castelo Construction on firstname.lastname@example.org
“Reality denied comes back to haunt.”
― Philip K. Dick,