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What are the restrictions of renovating properties purchased for my Golden Visa application in Portugal?

I purchased a 50-year-old house located in Lisbon’s old town district and would like to renovate it. The seller once told me that this house was of historic significance, but I could not verify this claim. I know in many countries there are special restrictions on the renovation of historic properties. What should I do before I start the renovation to make sure I will not violate any relevant policies? Could any violations impact my Golden Visa status?

  • NEXT/Gali Macedo & Associados
    January 03, 2019

    The concession of a licence for construction work is subject to the General Regulation of Urban Buildings and to specific regulation (called PDM) of the city hall where the property is located, in this case, Lisbon. In general terms: There are specific restrictions to the height of the buildings; to the construction of windows (these need to be 3 meters apart from the neighboring house); regarding the appearance of the building these need to respect the appearance and aesthetics of the location they are integrated in (this means that constructions that can compromise the appearance of the locality or architecture, of places and buildings with historic/artistic value are not allowed). Now, what we advise, first of all, is to confirm whether the property is considered to have historic value and/or if the area it’s located in is a protected area (since your referred it is in an old area of Lisbon) because if it is, it can be subject to more specific restrictions. For this, ideally, hiring an architect would be a good idea because he can, at city hall, confirm this information, confirm if the building is licensed (and which parts are licenced) and finally, if it is in fact a protected property, an architect can prepare a project for the reabilitation works and present it to city hall for approval. Therefore, like in other countries, if in fact the property is considered as historic property/located in a protected area, the construction on facades need approval from city hall and must preserve the appearance of the facade of the building. On the other hand, the fact of the building being considered of historic value or located in a protected area can provide some benefits, such as some tax exemptions if reabilitation works are carried out on the property. Regarding the Golden Visa application: If you in fact choose to apply for a Golden Visa through the purchase of real estate property, with construction dating back more than 30 years or located in urban regeneration areas, for refurbishing, for a total value equal to or above 350,000 euros, you must submit all the relevant documentation (personal to the applicant, as well as all the relevant documentation regarding the building and its refurbishing) as well as a sworn statement by which the applicant declares to comply with all the minimum quantitative and time requirements (five years) for the investment activity in the national territory.