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Q & A Building on a Neighbouring Plot

Member’s letter to Ursula at

I am writing regarding a neighbour’s abandoned plot.  We have heard that a house is to be built there but to date, and we have been given no official notification of this. We, therefore, do not know what is to be built? When it will start and how much inconvenience and noise there will be.

In England all neighbours would be given notice of proposed building plans in advance; is this not so in Portugal? How can I find out without knowing the name of the owner of the plot or any other details?

Regards, Paula

Dear Paula,

Written notices to the neighbours are not sent out here. Before any building can start, the builder has to place a sign at the property stating the type of project being undertaken, this will say either “sob avaliaçâo” – being evaluated or “licenciada, no.…” licensed.

You could speak to your City Hall and ask for the “Obras Particulares” department. They should have the request and the building license. To help them identify the plot, you might want to bring a map of your neighbourhood and your “Caderneta” (Tax Office) and registration number (Land Registry).

Once the planned building is under evaluation, every citizen has the right to have a look at the plans in the City Hall.

Regards, Ursula

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