While purchasing a proparty in Portugal it is very important to get legal help. Make sure you get a lawyer before you sign or pay anything. If something is wrong and you've already paid (a part) or signed a contract, legal advice will be too late.
During a purchase in Portugal the legal rights (for the property and/or buildings) always have to be checked. By Portugese law, possible debts on a property will be transferred along with the ownership. For example, it is possible that some of the building on the property is illegal or that a debt still remains on the property. If you don't check this beforehand, it can cause a lot of trouble and high costs. This is easily avoided if you let your lawyer check the legal rights. The documents are probably too complex to check them yourself. Plus they're in Portugese. But you can check if the name of the owner matches the name of the seller. Besides, you can check if all the legal documents required are present and valid:
- Certidão permanente predial
- Certificado energetico
- Licença de utilização
- Caderneta predial
If you buy directly from the owner of the property, they possibly ask you to pay a part of the purchase price in black. This way, the seller has less tax to pay. However, this is completely illegal and can cause high costs for you when reselling the property later. Don't agree to this!