Buying a property in Cape Verde
When you plan to purchase a property in Cape Verde you should have a Cape Verdean lawyer. All documentation has to be in Portuguese. You will need to grant the lawyer Power of Attorney unless you are present in Cape Verde to sign documents. The power of attorney must be witnessed and certified by a Notary. You can do this in your home country, but a Portuguese translation is always required.
Both vendor and purchaser have to sign a promissory contact (Contrato promessa de Compra e Venda).
The lawyer will require a number of documents, including:
- The Certidão do Registro Predial (land registry certificate);
- Planta de Localização (official location plan for the property); and
- Certidão Matricial (tax information certificate).
If the property is not registered then a Certidão pela negativa has to be obtained.
The purchaser pays a deposit when the Contrato promessa de Compra e Venda is signed. The deposit is normally between 10 and 30% of the purchase price.
You will need a NIF (Número de Identificação Fiscal) a tax number. This is needed for any official business or transactions in Cape Verde, including opening a bank account. Your lawyer can obtain the NIF on your behalf.
The Notary on the island where the property is located has to witness the signing of the Public Deed. This is the final stage in the process. You will also need to pay relevant taxes at this point. The property is finally registered with the local land registry. You are then responsible for paying the annual IUP (Council Tax).
Always consult a Cape Verdean lawyer at the outset and agree fees. Procedures do change from time to time.