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New registration system suspended until September ⚖️

Mar 28, 2024

The legal framework for the land registry (RJCP) approved by Decree-Law no. 72/2023 of August 23, in force throughout the country since November 21, 2023, is, from the legislator’s perspective, an indispensable tool for knowledge of the territory, for the development of public policies for territorial enhancement and for decision-making on the use, occupation and utilization of land by public entities, companies and citizens.


This is because, in Portugal, there is still a high degree of lack of knowledge of the geometry and ownership of existing buildings in the national territory, not only on the part of the territorial administration, but also on the part of a large number of owners who are far from actively using their land, especially those who live outside the national territory.

The land registry is the instrument that enables the geographical and geo-referenced representation of the land units that make up the national territory, making it possible to know how the land is divided into buildings, their location, geometric configuration and delimitation. With this tool, citizens and organizations can know the exact and rigorous geographical location of their buildings and, as such, officially confirm their rights over them with greater security, thus being able to better protect their interests and defend what is theirs.

However, the regime in force provides for the creation of a computer platform to support the Cadastral Information System, which is currently inoperable and whose unavailability particularly affects seven municipalities in our country – Loulé, Oliveira do Hospital, Paredes, Penafiel, São Brás de Alportel, Seia and Tavira. For this reason, it is no longer possible to register legal transactions related to real estate in these counties, namely purchases and sales, donations, mortgages and partitions, and it is expected that this trend will extend to the entire national territory, which would result in the paralysis of the legal commerce of transactions titled by the aforementioned public acts.

The Government of the Republic has decided to suspend the entry into force of two rules of the new land registry law, the application of which depended on the existence of this computer platform, which is still unavailable.
The measure was approved by the Council of Ministers on March 14. This decision consists of the temporary suspension of building regulations until August 31, with retroactive effect to November 21, 2023.

With the measure now in force, real estate purchase and sale transactions and other legal transactions, after they have been concluded either by public deed or by authenticated private document, can be submitted for registration. However, the measure has a very limited time frame, since as of September 1, the land registry will once again be dependent on the new platform, which the incoming government is expected to take steps to make operational, or to extend the suspension period.

Judith Teodoro,