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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.”

WHAT IS THE MOST COMMON FORM OF SECURITY TAKEN OVER REAL ESTATE IN PORTUGAL?

There is three standard security taken over real estate: voluntary mortgage, retention of title and seizure. Concerning mortgage, it should be formalised through public deed or by a certified private document. To produce its legal effects, a mortgage must be registered at the land registry office. As for the retention of title, it should be incorporated using a duly authenticated contract or public deed and is also subject to registration at the land registry office so it can be used against any third parties. Finally, a seizure is done through a lawsuit and is not subject to specific conditions. The mortgage is by far the most widely used security.

WHAT IS THE NIF NUMBER?

"NIF" stands for Número de Identificação Fiscal Tax (tax identification number). It is a 9-digit unique personal identifier used for tax purposes. This tax number is needed for most relevant legal acts carried out in Portugal, such as the opening of a bank account or the purchase of a property. You can ask for a NIF in person at any Portuguese tax office, or other designated offices. The number itself is issued on the spot, totally free of charge. However, there may be fees involved if you ask for an official card with the NIF or if you need a fiscal representative. You need a representative when you are not a Portugal or European Union resident. The tax representative is responsible for complying with the tax obligations of the represented person and can be a natural person or a company.  Anyone with a fixed residence in Portugal who accepts the responsibility is eligible, regardless of nationality, so you could ask a friend or someone who knows you in Portugal. It is also

I AM AN E.U. CITIZEN, HOW CAN I REGISTRATE IN PORTUGAL?

To make your registration in Portugal, you only have to apply for a Certificate of Registration of Citizen. The Certificate of Registration of Citizen of the European Union must be requested by any citizen of the European Union, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Andorra and Switzerland, wishing to remain in Portugal for a period exceeding three months. The request can be made to the City Hall, in person by completing a statement and delivering the necessary documents. The application can also be made by a lawyer, as long as he has the necessary powers to act on your behalf.

GARANTEES AND SEGURITIES IN PORTUGAL

In an open economy model, it is more important than ever to know what the legal risks are and how to minimise and overcome them. The better you know, the better you perform. In this article, we will summarise a clear and updated understanding of law and practice regarding guarantees. Guarantees and securities As a general rule, the debtor is liable in respect of his obligations. This rule affects all the debtor's assets, including future ones. The breach of an obligation, such as a payment, means that the debtor is liable to pay compensation. Personal guarantees By the contract, the parties may request additional guarantees besides existing assets to ensure the fulfilment of the obligation. One of these guarantees is "fiança." By entering into this kind of guarantee, a guarantor undertakes to pay on behalf of a third party in the event of this party not complying with the obligation of paying. The obligation depends on a principal debt and cannot exist without a val