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Property buying – address issue

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Posts: 8
 JayB
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Topic starter
Joined: 2 years ago

Hello

We are in the process of purchasing a property and noticed all the official documents has a different street name than the current one i.e. on Google Maps. When we asked the estate agent they said probably in the past the street name was different and that it appears in the records of the house. According to them, it happens a lot and it is normal.

Is there a document from Freguesia or land registry that has a record of the change of the street name which we can verify or request?

And, if we have to get our address changed on our bank accounts, or even getting electricity or water supply in our name, based on the property deed which has a different street name then will it cause any issues? Or is there any process we need to follow to get all the official documents to reflect the current street name before we sign the property documents.

If anyone has come across such scenario would appreciate your advise.

Thanks

Jay

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5 Replies
5 Replies
Hon Member
Joined: 7 years ago

Posts: 218

@jayb As you note, this is not uncommon here, as streets get renamed, sometimes as zones develop, requiring formalisation, and sometimes in honour of someone…

The three key documents, which should ideally line up, are:

  • The Caderneta Predial Urbana – this is the fiscal document
  • The Certidão Permanente – this is the land registry document
  • The Escritura – this is the equivalent of the deeds, the document you and the sellers will sign when the transaction completes

The first two will exist, with current details (ie those of the sellers) – some sellers/agents are unhelpful about sharing them with buyers, but your lawyer should certainly have access to them.  If they show two different addresses, speak to your lawyer about resolving any implications.

If they align, then the issue is ensuring that the Escritura accurately reflects those (which a notary should do as part of their normal work) but perhaps that a newer version of the address is incorporated as well.  

That newer address, if applicable, should not be sourced from Google Maps etc – they are often wrong or incomplete.  You should see what the sellers currently get formal bills sent to; and cross-reference this with what CTT (the post office) has on record.  Hopefully there will be one common or very close version.

CTT is key, as you need mail to arrive!  The electicity and water companies will primarily rely on their meter/delivery coding, which can be found on the sellers’ bills (they don’t generally change between owners), and you may mainly get communications by email in any event.

When setting up contracts (utilities, banks, etc) it’s common for them to require a copy of the Escritura, hence the importance of that containing the information you require.  Such setup processes don’t usually need the other two documents mentioned above, but they remain relevant as legal, land registry and financial documents.

Beyond the above, please get your lawyer to resolve any remaining doubts or issues, as there’s a small chance that a formal process would need to be undertaken with the câmara, land registry or the tax authorities in the event of a more complicated discrepancy.

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 JayB
Community Member
Joined: 2 years ago

Posts: 8

@thomasribatejo Thank you very much for your comprehensive response. First two documents the fiscal and land registry have the same address which has the old street name. We have asked the estate agent to check the utility bills to confirm the address. A very good point about the Escritura – we will get the new address incorporated. 

We were thinking of not engaging a lawyer but having come across this address issue we think we may have to. 

Many Thanks

Jay

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Hon Member
Joined: 7 years ago

Posts: 218

@jayb I would always advise using a lawyer, regardless of this specific issue – you need someone who only works for you, checking the legalities, compliance, financial ties, etc. that you can’t rely on a seller or agent to know or tell you about.  Additionally – and perhaps not relevant in your case, I realise – legislation related to land boundaries and registration changed recently, and is affecting many sellers – and issues they fail to resolve become your problem.  My point is not to worry you, but please do get independent advice.  

Back to your issue, if the first two documents have the same information, that’s a good start.  It would be helpful to identify what has changed, when/why, and cross-reference with CTT.  This link may be of use – it’s a postal code search, but effectively it can also help verify CTT-recognised addresses.  It has three tabs, the third of which is for PO Boxes so not likely to be helpful.

The notary who processes the final paperwork should be able to advise, too – but perhaps only if approached prior to the date, as they often work with back-to-back processes, with little time to dig into things.  They’ll want to be sure it’s right in any event, but may need your, your lawyer, or the seller’s help.  Custom and practice has it that the buyer selects the notary; but this is often ignored for foreign buyers, with the agent and seller deciding.  Regardless, the notary is likely to be identified some days/weeks before, and so someone who speaks Portuguese and represents you could engage with them on this point.

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 JayB
Community Member
Joined: 2 years ago

Posts: 8

@thomasribatejo Thank you again for great points. Much appreciated.

We have now engaged a lawyer to go through the documents for us. So hoping any other issues are highlighted and resolved before we sign any documents.

We had tried the online CTT address checker but it didn’t return the result we wanted. We will go to a CTT counter and see if we can get the address verified.

Kind Regards,

Jay

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Hon Member
Joined: 7 years ago

Posts: 218

@jayb Yes, the CTT checker is only patchily useful, I fear.  If possible, try the CTT counter connected with/nearest to the delivery/sorting office – you may already have thought of this – as other locations are likely to have no idea!

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