Precautions when opening a new land registry file

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1. Are there any special precautions at the land registry services in order to avoid errors when opening a new file?

Land registry service must check the indexes on cadaster and tax information and on previous owners. The applicant must provide identification on previous cadaster or tax identification numbers, on previous owners and co-owners, but can also declare that he is not aware of that information – article 42nd of LRC.

2. If an error occurs and a land registry file describes the same immovable for a second time, what is legally determined to do?

Article 86th of the LRC establishes that if one file opened totally repeats a previous one, it will be cancelled and the rights and burdens therein are transcribed to the other file, no matter if they are conflicting. Then different transmissions may continue to be performed.

Is there a different procedure depending on whether the new file repeats totally a previous file or only a part of a previous file?

If one file repeats another one only partially none of them is canceled, but an annotation is done in both as an “alert” with no legal effects.

3. Once the error is identified what happens to the rights and the charges registered in both files? And what about subsequent entries?

LRC does not determine what to do. There is a Supreme Court case law (acórdão 1/2017), determining that both entries will not any longer be considered accurate for any effects.

4. Is there any internal (intra-system) land registry procedure to solve this sort of problem or does it require judicial intervention?

No, although the registrar is responsible for the accuracy of the information and has a legal obligation of correcting any errors detected (article 121st of the LRC)