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WHAT ACTS OF DUE DILIGENCE ARE GENERALLY CONDUCTED WHEN BUYING A PROPERTY?

Due diligence is the act of an investigation of a business or person prior to signing a contract. When buying a property there are minimum checks that you must do.

Real estate registry
The registry has a record of property ownership, with a complete description of each property on a material, economic and fiscal level, being able any citizen to require information regarding an enrolled building in the Registry. Thus, to analyze the “history” of the property, it is necessary to require the emission, of a document certificate of the full record of the title and dealings regarding the property.

For that purpose the registration record number or the property's full address is required. Mainly the register is consulted to check whether:
- the property is registered in the name of the person or company claiming to be the owner;
- there are any liens;
- any seizure as been registered.

The land registry is where you can obtain copies of land registry certificates.

Tax office 
It is also common to seek information on the tax office of the property's area, to check if it is registered and if so, to obtain the following information:
- the property registration number;
- the estate value;
- to know if any rental contract has been declared (although there is a possibility that the owner did not submit a copy to the local tax office).

The properties are enrolled in accordance with a number. These numbers, assignment of articles, are called "matriciais". The document that demonstrates the fiscal situation of the property is named "Caderneta Predial". In Portugal the property is either rustic, urban, or mixed (rustic and urban).

Check whether the details on the "caderneta predial" are consistent with the land registry certificate - a final deed can not be signed without it.

City Council
It is also possible to go to the City Council in order to check if the property is licensed (housing, commerce or other) or if development is planned or what type of land are surround by and the likely level of building to take place in future.

Unit-holders Association 
If it is a flat you are about to buy, the following information could be obtained from the unit-holders association:
- the management and service cost;
- if there are any outstanding payments;
- the unit-holders association's regulations.
You will have to pay community fees for the maintenance of communal areas. The charges are calculted on the basis of each owner's share.
It is also wise to obtain the rules of the condominium.

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PORTUGAL MAKES TOP TEN OF RETIREMENT DESTINATIONS

The Annual Global Retirement Index places Portugal as the seventh best destination in the world to retire. The top three destinations listed by International Living are Costa Rica, Mexico and Panama. Spain has listed two positions below Portugal in ninth and is the only other European nation on the list.

According to International Living’s report, “the third-safest country in the world in the 2017 Global Peace Index, Portugal is not only secure but beautiful.” It adds that “if Portugal’s attributes have convinced you to give it a try, here’s a tip: Begin your test drive in the capital. Lisbon is easy to reach, with direct flights from major cities around the world.”

NUMBER OF NEW COMPANIES RISES

Business formation with new businesses having been started in Portugal went up in 2017. Over 3,687 new companies were registered in Lisbon (14.5% more than in 2016), while Porto registered 7,107 new firms (5% up on the previous year).

On the other hand, business failures in Portugal fell 12.7% in 2017 compared with 2016 to 6,284, while the number of new companies being set up rose 9.1%, to 40,465. Lisbon and Porto saw the highest number of bankruptcies – 1,683 and 1,330 respectively, but these were still 2.4% and 15.4% lower than in 2016.

NUMBER OF UNEMPLOYMENT DROPS

According to a monthly report on the employment market released by the Institute of Employment and Professional Training (IEFP), the total number of unemployed people was lower than the number registered in the same month of 2017 (-85,169 or -17.5%), and higher compared to the previous month (788 or 0.2%).

The Government expects the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to grow by 2.2% next year, the unemployment rate to hit 6.3% and public debt to drop to 118.5% of GDP, while promising civil servants higher pay and raising social benefits.

Portugal has seen strong recovery since the 2011-2014 financial crisis, with the economy supported by foreign investment, tourism and rising exports.