Legal framework of buildings without a known owner
Decree-Law no. 149/2019, of October 9, establishes that the procedure of identification, recognition and registration of rustic or mixed buildings without a known owner, pursuant to Article no. 1345 of the Portuguese Civil Code, is subject to three different stages (i) the identification, announcement and recognition of the building without a known owner; (ii) the provisional registration of the building without a known owner; and (iii) the definitive registration of the building without a known owner in favour of the State.
According to this diploma, is presumed to be a building without a known owner a building that, due to lack of description in the land registry or registry in the matrix, does not integrate the public or private property of the State, Autonomous Regions and local authorities, or the property of individuals, or legal persons of private law, public or associative, cooperative or community nature, and is not subject to any personal right of use (direito real ou pessoal de gozo) (e.g. not subject to any tenancy agreement).
The main change introduced by the Decree-Law concerns the provision of several announcement phases aimed to inform the stakeholders of the identification of a building as a building without a known owner and to give them the opportunity to comment it.
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