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What are the restrictions of renovating properties purchased for the purpose of a Golden Visa application?

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. For instance, one could not touch the facade but could redesign the interior. I am wondering if Portugal has similar rules. 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?

  • Caiado Guerreiro
    November 15, 2018

    Portugal, like other countries in the world, also protects the facade of some buildings in some areas. Our advice is to request a communication from the municipality of Lisbon regarding this property. Nevertheless, regarding the Golden Visa application, we believe that as long as you keep the investment (the 500,000 or 350,000 euros in real estate that you purchase) for the period of five years, your Golden Visa would not be affected.

  • NEXT/Gali Macedo & Associados
    November 15, 2018

    The concession of a license 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 construction 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 the 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 rehabilitation work and present it to city hall for approval. Therefore, likewise in other countries, if in fact the property is considered a historic property/located in a protected area, the construction work on facades need approval from the 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 rehabilitation work is carried out on the property.

  • March 21, 2019

    According to the Decree 207/2009, the buildings classified as real estate historical heritage cannot be totally or partially demolished without previous and express authorization from the Cultural Heritage Administration Bureau.