Unowned land could fall under Portuguese state control as early as 2024

The measure applies to special cases.
estivillml/Envato Elements

Land without any declared owner can now pass into Portuguese state hands. The process should begin in 2024.

According to the Público newspaper, quoted by the idealista portal, a partner of H URB, a legal change has been made to the regime governing the Balcão Único do Prédio (BUPi), a simplified and free registration process that has been extended to several municipalities.

Free registration has been extended (now until 31 December 2025), whereas until now the state could only take possession of land whose ownership had not been declared as of 2026.

However, the legal amendment that has now been introduced changes this date, creating an exception: the state can take over land as early as this year in priority territorial intervention areas, such as integrated landscape management areas, for example, speeding up the process. The amendment was published in the Diário da República in October 2023, but is not expected to begin until this year.

Thus, a procedure will be initiated to identify these lands, “following the public consultations to be held” .

By the end of 2023, BUPi had enabled the identification of two million properties, which corresponds to more than 300,000 owners signing up.

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