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What is the role of a lawyer in Portugal? 

If you buy a property in Portugal, it is recommended to have a lawyer. In Portugal it is the lawyer who represents the legal interests of yourself as a buyer when purchasing in Portugal. The reason that you need a lawyer in Portugal is mainly due to the fact that the role of the notary in Portugal is limited. The notary in Portugal does not work out of the interest of the buyer and seller and does not hold and pay out funds. As a result, the lawyer in Portugal has the legal responsibility for you as a buyer and therefore we recommend you appoint a lawyer when buying in Portugal.  



A lawyer checks the legal documents of the property, as every property needs to have a habitation license. The lawyer also checks who the lawful seller(s) is/are, but they will also check if there is a mortgage or any other debt on the property which is highly important as otherwise you could take over this debt or mortgage from the seller. All these registers are accessible online for lawyer`s which means they always have the most up to date information when requesting it. The lawyer will also make the promissory contract and do all necessary preparations necessary for the title deed. In the case of a condominium the lawyer should also check the minutes and financial papers of the condominium and in the case of a new construction project the lawyer has to check the building license and solvency of the seller.

The lawyer will charge 1% excluding VAT of the purchase price. It is important that you can communicate with your lawyer, so that no important information gets lost.

It is possible to give a power of attorney to your lawyer while being in Portugal. This power of attorney allows a lawyer to sign the promissory contract for you so you do not have to fly back within 2-3 weeks after the verbal agreement on the purchase. The lawyer can also sign on your behalf on the title deed if you wish.

Such a power of attorney is structured specifically for the purchase of the property and of course the lawyer will be able to do this only if he also has received the funds to purchase from you. The lawyer can therefore only act after your approval on the contents of the contract, because only then we advise you to transfer the money for the 10% deposit on promissory contract. With the power of attorney the lawyer can also act on your behalf, after the purchase, to connect water, gas and electricity in your new property.

Since we, at Divine Home, have more than 12 years of experience in the Portuguese real estate market, we have built up a network of some reliable law firms in the Algarve. If you are about to purchase a property in the Algarve, we advise you to contact us so we can inform you which lawyer can assist you in the purchase.

If you have additional questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at 00351-289 501 664 or send an email to