Real estate crowdfunding is becoming more European with the implementation of a European passport for all platforms in the sector. Raizers is also going after new countries such as Portugal. As this is a new market, it raises many questions. Zoom on the building permit in Portugal and the specificities, step by step for a developer.

Pedidos de Informação Prévia (PIP) - Preliminary Urbanism Certificate

Most of the time, prior to a permit application, an operation is subject toa request for prior information(pedidos de informação prévia - PIP). This request for information corresponds to the French Certificat d'Urbanisme. This request is much more frequent in Portugal than in France, but it is not compulsory, as in France.

Two types of PIP are possible: the simple PIP and the reinforced PIP:

  • The simple PIP corresponds to a simple request on the capacity of a land to receive a real estate operation.
  • The reinforced PIP corresponds to a real request, including all the information included in the permit (volume, layout, architectural project, networks...). Obtaining this reinforced PIP is a first decisive step in the framework of a real estate operation in Portugal, even if it is not mandatory.

The administration has 20 days (30 days for a reinforced PIP) to respond to this request. It should be noted that, in Portugal, the deadlines given to the administration are so-called "order deadlines". This means that there are no legal consequences for not meeting this deadline. The silence of the administration within the above-mentioned deadlines does not mean acceptance, unlike in France. This means that these deadlines can be exceeded by the administration without legal consequences. On the other hand, the operators must respect the deadlines given to them for each step, otherwise the existence of the authorizations previously obtained would be called into question.

Obtaining this PIP alone, even if it is reinforced, does not provide sufficient reassurance for the operations proposed on Raizers, which is why no project will be financed on the platform solely on the basis of the PIP, even if the latter is said to be "reinforced".

Projecto de arquitectura - Architectural project

The application for a town planning permit begins with the submission of the architectural project(projecto de arquitectura), which includes all the visual information about the operation (location, external appearance of the building, urban and landscape integration, use of the building, etc.). This is the most decisive stage, since it is the one that is most subject to hazards from the Portuguese administration.

The administration has 30 days from the date of the application. If the application is accepted, the operator has a period of 6 months to submit the project of specialties, which is the next step in the Portuguese administrative process.

Projecto das especialidades - Specialties project

The specialties project is a technical phase that does not affect the architectural project. It is mandatory but not determinant for obtaining the final permit. The administration has 45 days to deliberate and approve the project.

The project of specialties(projecto das especialidades), includes all the technical information of the project (technical studies, materials, foundations...). This request is very rarely refused. However, it may be subject to a request for modifications.

Alvara de construçao - Obtaining the final permit

The operator then has one year to request the issuance of the final permit ("alvara de construçao") after obtaining the specialties project. The final permit combines the first two permits into one document and is similar to the French construction permit. It is the document that finalizes the administrative procedures for a real estate project in Portugal.

If the two previous authorizations have been accepted, obtaining the alvara is only a formality.

The administration has 30 days to respond to such a request.

Autorização de utilização - Authorization for use

At the end of the operation, the operator must apply for a final urban planning authorization, theauthorization of use(autorização de utilização). This last authorization, which occurs at the end of the operation, certifies that the project has been successfully completed, in accordance with the different authorizations listed above (architectural project, specialties project and final permit).

This document ratifies the closing of the operation, and allows the operator to transfer ownership of the lots. Without this authorization, the purchasers would not be authorized to occupy the property. Before this authorization is obtained, the occupation of the building is prohibited.

This information gives you the keys to analyze the Portuguese operations presented on Raizers.


Learn more about financing a real estate transaction in Portugal

Learn more about the VAT regime for real estate transactions in Portugal

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