The Portuguese Government is taking seriously all measures it can apply to address housing problems in areas of urban pressure. With this in mind, the President just passed a new bill that makes possible for the municipalities to worsen the municipal taxes on vacant buildings.
After the second year of abandonment of the buildings, the autarchies can charge up to 6 times more than the current taxes, plus add 10% more each year, till a maximum of 12 times.
This takes special force in areas like Lisbon and Oporto, where housing problems abound.
This way, municipalities start having further powers to act on vacant and in poor condition buildings, making unbearable for the owners to continue having derelict buildings in areas of high urban pressure. These areas are supposedly the ones where demand overcomes supply or where the financial capacity of the population is far below the market values.
This current year, the owners of vacant buildings are already paying property taxes 3 times higher than they used to, because of attempts made to fight the unoccupancy of real estate in Portugal.
According to the Portuguese Confederation of Construction and Real Estate, there are more than 450 thousand uninhabited properties in the country and 26 thousand vacant buildings in Lisbon alone, since the taxes for these vacant properties used to be really low.
With the new measurements, autarchies can even carry construction work on these buildings and, if they are not reimbursed by the proprietaries, rent them compulsory till they are totally reimbursed for the improvements made.
With the intent to put more properties on the market, the actions are being held to buildings that are unoccupied for a year, considering the lack of active contracts on water, gas, electricity and telecommunications, excluding just buildings with ongoing construction works, houses for sale or seasonal homes.
There are also several support programs for private entities that wish to rebuild or recover these vacant buildings, like “Reabilitar para Arrendar” or “Reabilita Primeiro, Paga Depois”.
Do you own an unoccupied building and want to give it a new life? Contact us and we can help you recover your vacant property!