Land registry explained

Property documentation

Two of the key documents that you need to consult when selling or purchasing a property in Portugal are the land registry (registo predial) and caderneta predial.

It is important to note that the two entities responsible for these documents are separate from each other, and do not cross-reference information. For this reason, there may be differences between the two sets of information.

We will explain the basic format of the land registry certificate, so that you will have an understanding of the information and contents of the certificate.

Land registry

The land registry document contains a number of pieces of useful information in relation to your Portuguese property, and these have been noted in blue. 


Land registry

1. This section describes the location of the property (council and freguesia (parish)). On the right hand side there is a set of numbers. The numbers are in the following format XXXXX/YYYYYYY. X is the unique reference number of the certificate. Y is the date that the certificate was first created in the land registry.


2. This is the code which is generated when a land registry certificate is created. It allows you to check online that the certificate is valid, and obtain updated copies


3. Within this section you have the following information:

  • Type of property (in this case urbano, or urban)
  • Area/name of location
  • Matriz number-this refers to the reference number of the caderneta predial, which is the document describing the tax office´s records in relation to the property
  • Description and boundaries. A general description of the property, and details of the boundaries with neighbouring properties

4. This section of the land registry certificate contains details of purchases, transfers, mortgages and charges on the property. "Sujeitos ativos" relates to people who currently have rights in relation to the property (in this case it is the current owners). 


5. "Sujeitos passivos" are those who have previously had rights in relation to the property but no longer have any involvement (in this case it is the old owners)


6. If there are any pending registrations then these will be noted in this section. If an application has been made for a charge on a property and it has not been finalised at the point the certificate is issued it will show up here.


Hopefully you have a basic understanding of the information contained on a land registry certificate in Portugal. If you have any questions at all, or  would like some assistance please contact us via email