To improve living conditions in Portugal the Portuguese government
passed a law on 7th August 1951 stating all properties constructed as a
habitable dwelling after this date have to conform to a basic habitable
Properties constructed prior to 1951 do not need to have this document.
However they must have a certificate from the Câmara stating they were
constructed prior to 1951. If a property, originally constructed before
1951, is renovated an application must be made by the council for a
Licença de Habitação and a licence of use (Licença de
Recently the Portuguese government have made more changes to the law and
any properties constructed after 2004 must also have a Technical File
(Ficha Technica de Habitação) which details the construction method and
materials of the property.
Anyone looking to purchase a property in Portugal should take care to
check the property has a Licença de Habitação or the equivalent pre-1951
certificate. Any properties without these documents have never been
intended as a habitable dwelling.
Properties without these documents can, even after restoration work, be
difficult to get change of use licences.