Why register?

1.  Is it compulsory to register all transactions relating to land/property in your system?

In Portugal the registry is compulsory to the large majority of rights and burdens over immovable property and the registry must be requested within the deadline of two months. If the registry is requested latter the interested part will have to pay a fine in addition of the land registry fee. This fine as the same value as the registration fee.

2. If not, are there any circumstances under which is it compulsory to do so?

Not applicable.

3. If not, and registration is voluntary, what are the benefits of registration?

Not applicable.

4. What percentage of land/titles is/are registered in your system?

The large majority of the land is registered in the Portuguese land registry (over 80%) because it is mandatory and also because the contracts resulting transfer of rights or constitution of charges on immovable property cannot be legally performed without the ownership being definitely inscribed in favour of the person who transmits or encumbers it.

The conveyancer has to mention the number and date of the ownership entry at the deed.

5. What types of legal rights in property are capable of being protected by registration?

In general, are capable of being protected by registration all the rights over rem (such as ownership, usufruct, right to build or use building over another person’s property, condominium, mortgage, etc), judicial decisions and pre-trial and trial procedures (such as attachment, seizure, judicial claims and decisions) and also some public burdens (such as urban allotment and other public restrictions).

6. Are there other rights, legal situations, judicial decisions affecting property rights or owner’s powers capable of registration?

See previous answer

7. What are the effects of registration of a transfer of ownership?

The land registry is a condition of enforceability of the rights and charges subject to it. The facts subject to registration only produce effects against third parties after the date of the respective register.

8. What are the effects of registration of a mortgage/charge? What powers or rights are available to the registered owners of charge in order to enforce their security?

By Portuguese law a mortgage only is valid once it is registered at the land registry. This is the sole case in which the land registration is constitutive of a right and not only a condition of its enforceability.

9. Is the title guaranteed by the State/Registrar? If so, to what extent and under what circumstances?

The Portuguese land registry, as public service, assures the guaranty by the state that the inscribed right exists and belongs to its registered owner, in the precise terms set in the land registry. This presumption however may be rebutted by evidence, in court of law, to the contrary.

10. What remedies are available to land registry information users who may have relied on register information and suffered loss as a result of reliance on that information?

Portuguese Land registry protects all of those who inscribe their rights and those who trust in the information publicized in the land registry

On one hand, according to Portuguese law (article 291 Civil Code), the declaration of nullity or annulment of a transmission inscribed in the land registry does not prejudice the rights acquired on the same property by third parties acting in good faith (Bona fides), if the registration of the transmission is prior to registration of the judicial claim of nullity or annulment. However, the rights of third parties are not protected if the judicial claim is filed and registered within three years after the invalid transmission.

One the other hand those who trust in the information publicized in the land registry, if this information proves to be wrong, may claim for compensation, acting the civil liability of the State.

11. How does a party who has suffered loss make a claim for compensation if applicable?

Any compensation must be requested to the court through a judicial claim.

12. What are the risks involved where property transactions are not registered?

As the land registry is mandatory and all the transactions over immovable property imply the prior entry of the property in the land registry in favor of whom transmits or encumbers it, there are very small risks concerning transactions which are not registered.

13. Are there any penalties for non-registration?

In Portugal the registry is compulsory to the large majority of rights and burdens over immovable property and the registry must be requested within the deadline of two months. If the registry is requested latter the interested part will have to pay a fine in addition of the land registry fee. This fine has the same value as the registration fee.

14. Is cadastral/mapping information included in the title registration process? If so, is it guaranteed? If yes, by whom?

The cadastral information must be considered by the conveyancer to perform the deed and the registrar must check if the cadastral number stated at the deed matches with the one mentioned at the land registry. The registrar also has to verify if the area of the plot in the cadastre matches the one stated at the land registry. For this purpose every registry requests imply the consultation of the cadastral/tax administration database.

This cadastral information, however is not guaranteed.