This law entered into force on 2nd November 2023 and subjected the Land Registry Code, Law no.78/2017, of August 17th[1] e a Law no.65/2019, of August 23rd[2] to various amendments and alterations.

VCA has prepared below a brief summary of the most relevant changes to these legal regimes:

  1. Regarding the Land Registry Code, and with the entry into force of the aforementioned Decree-Law, it is now mandatory to submit the identification of vacant land public domain properties to registration. The Board of Directors of the Universo de Compartes, ESTAMO, Participações Imobiliárias S.A. and the Authorities of the Autonomous Regions and Local Authorities are responsible, respectively, for registering vacant land  and public properties. It is also important to emphasize that:
    • Vacant properties and properties in the public domain are now identified in the land registry by opening the respective description;
    • The purpose of the descriptions is to identify physical characteristics and, in the case of vacant land, tax information. The opening of these descriptions depends on geo-referenced graphic representations or geometric configurations registered for the property, and, in the case of vacant land, also on identification in the property matrix.
    • The Board of Directors of the Universo de Compartes is authorized to request the opening of descriptions for common land, while the authorities of the autonomous regions and local authorities have this authorization for public properties and may also make requests to amend or rectify the respective descriptions.
  2. Regarding Law no. 78/2017 of 17 August and Law no. 65/2019 of 23 August, it is important to highlight some relevant alterations:
    • The special procedure for registering rural and mixed properties has been created. This special procedure is the responsibility of the registry offices with powers to carry out land registry acts.
    • The special procedure for registering rustic and mixed omissive property can be promoted at the initiative of the interested parties or ex officio, provided that:
      • They have a document proving their ownership rights;
      • It follows the RGG (geo-referenced graphic representation), in the case of a rustic building registered in the non-cadastral matrix, or the CGP (Geometric Configuration of the Property), when the building is registered in the cadastral matrix;
    • The special procedure for the justification of rustic and mixed property can be carried out by the registry services with competence to carry out land registry acts, or by the interested party who does not have the documents to prove their ownership, as long as this is verified by consultation of the BUPi:
      • The existence of an RGG, in the case of a rustic building registered in the non-cadastral matrix; or
      • The existence of a CGP, in the case of a building registered in the land registry.
    • Regarding the geo-referenced graphic representation, it should be noted that the information resulting from the geo-referenced graphic representation of rural or mixed properties that is validated by all the owners of the adjacent properties takes on the nature of a land registry for all legal purposes as soon as it is communicated, via data interoperability, to the Directorate General for Territory (DGT) for the purpose of integrating the building’s geometric information into the cadastral map, with reference to the NIP[3];
    • The property identification number includes the following information:
      • Description and Land Registry Inscriptions;
      • Land registry inscription, if applicable;
      • RGG (Georeferenced Graphic Representation) of the building, if not registered, or CGP (Geometric Configuration of the Building) from the cadastral chart;
      • Other data and elements related to characterizing the building and identifying the owners that can be provided on BUPi.
    • Assets in the public domain are now subject to geo-referenced identification in BUPi, including buildings or permanent constructions that belong to natural or legal persons and have economic autonomy in relation to the land on which they are located.
    • If the building to be geo-referenced confronts other buildings in the BUPi, buildings registered on the cadastral map or geographical/artificial features, the drawing of its boundaries must be done so as to coincide with that of the neighboring buildings, in order to avoid overlaps or gaps in the geographical representation. In situations where the overlapping area falls on a registered building, the conservation procedure of the Legal Framework of the Land Registry applies to that area.
    • Public entities, such as the Directorate General for Territory, now have the legitimacy to carry out geo-referenced graphic representations of properties. In addition, in accordance with the new powers conferred upon Public Entities with the entry into force of the aforementioned law, they must ex officio promote the geo-referenced graphic representation of rural or mixed properties whenever, in the exercise of their powers, they are involved in a procedure involving the delimitation or alteration of the delimitation of land parcels in their systems.
    • Combination of the registry with the Georeferenced Graphic Representation (RGG):
      • The area shown on the geo-referenced graphic representation of the building is considered for registration purposes if the interested party expressly declares it.
      • In the case of a described building, if there is a discrepancy between the description and the geo-referenced graphic representation as to the area of the building, within the percentages set out in the Land Registry Code, the description can be updated with the area that appears in that geo-referenced graphic representation.
      • In the case of a described building, when there is a divergence of areas between the description and the title above those provided for in the Land Registry Code, the geo-referenced graphic representation replaces the plan provided for in Article 28-C of the aforementioned law.
    • In acquisition registries, in the administrative procedures provided for in Law no. 65/2019, of 23 August[4], and in administrative procedures requested before any public entity that have the effect of altering the geometric configuration of rural or mixed properties, it is mandatory to indicate the number of the geo-referenced graphic representation, except in cases where an unofficial consultation of the BUPi reveals that it has already been delivered or that the property is already registered on the cadastral chart.
    • It is now possible to create a single georeferenced graphic representation that includes several property descriptions or matrix articles corresponding to different properties, when the interested party wishes to annex the georeferenced buildings.

Real Estate Department

Marta Valadas Coriel | Rita Tigeleiro Afonso | António Vieira | Cláudia Silva de Lima | Sofia Batista Linguiça

[1] Creates a simplified cadastral information system;

[2] Maintains in force and generalizes the application of the simplified cadastral information system.

[3] Identification number of the Property.

[4] Articles 7.ºD e 7.ºE