This right is provided for by law and obliges the seller to give preference to people or public entities in certain circumstances – a pre-emption right.
What is the pre-emption right? The pre-emption right is regulated in the Civil Code, which defines it as the agreement by which someone assumes the obligation to give preference to another in the sale of a certain property.
Besides the bond that results from the will of the two parties, such as the buyer and seller, there are also situations in which the law imposes the pre-emption right. In the case of the purchase and sale process of your property, it is important to verify if the property is located in a place where it is required the announcement in order to exercise the pre-emption right.
In this article, we will only address the pre-emption rights, regarding rustic lands and the pre-emption rights of public entities.
Pre-emption rights regarding rustic lands: When the sale regards a piece of land, which is classified and registered with the Tax Authority as rustic land – Prédio Rústico -, your neighbours that own other attached land have the pre-emption right to buy your land in relation to third parties, but only if the total area of one of the lands is inferior to the so-called unity of culture or crop unit, or if it is destined for another purpose than agriculture.
A crop unit is understood to be the minimum area of rustic land so that it can be managed in a sustainable way, using the normal and adequate means and resources to obtain a satisfactory result, taking into account the characteristics of that land and the geographical, agricultural and forestry characteristics of the area where it is located. It is defined by the ordinance published in 19/2019, of January 15th, that the crop unit - UMC - for the district of Faro land under irrigation is 2.5 hectares. Dryland land or forest land is 8 hectares.
Therefore, if you intend to buy or sell rustic land, the UMC of your land has to be verified, as well as the bordering land, to verify the legal obligation of the pre-emption right.
Also, some public entities can exercise the pre-emption right, such as the City Council, Autonomous Regions, and Government. These public entities have priority in the purchase and sale of certain properties, by the same terms, prices, and conditions agreed with another buyer, i.e. they have the faculty to exercise the right of preference, in certain situations:
· Properties located in areas of urban pressure;
· Classified Properties or in the process of classification;
· Properties located in a protected area;
· Properties located in urban rehabilitation areas;
The announcement for the exercise of the pre-emption legal right is an obligation of the seller. It can be placed online by the owner of the property, or by the solicitor, and should indicate who makes the request, identification of the seller and the buyer, identify the property and respective location, the price of the purchase and sale, and inform the foreseeable date of the sale.
After placing the announcement, public entities with the pre-emption legal right may express their intention to exercise this right or not within a period of ten days. If they don’t do that, the owner may proceed with the sale.
If you are not able to attend all bureaucratic procedures, your Solicitor can represent you, analysing all the legal aspects of the purchase and sale process.