Right of preference: what it is, to whom it applies and how to proceed

The right of preference establishes priorities between potential buyers in conducting a business in equal circumstances.

Right of preference: what it is, to whom it applies and how to proceed

At the time of purchase and sale of a property. Find out what it means, who applies and how to proceed.

What is the right of preference?

The right of preference establishes priorities between potential buyers in conducting a business in equal circumstances.

For example, if you want to sell a house that has been leased for more than two years, you will have to give priority to the tenant if that person is willing to accept the same terms they had already negotiated.

In addition to tenants, the right of preference also has public implications. That is, it gives priority to a public entity in the purchase and sale of a property, maintaining the value and the same conditions agreed with another buyer.

Among the entities that can exercise the right of preference are the State, the municipal councils, the autonomous regions, and the Directorate-General for Cultural Heritage.

The right of preference serves as an instrument for intervention and implementation of public policies. For example, it is used by the Central State and local authorities for land use reorganisation, heritage protection and urban rehabilitation.

Does the right of preference apply throughout the country?

The right of preference applies to public entities in so-called “urban pressure zones”. These are the areas of cities where there is a difficulty in accessing housing because there is a shortage or inadequate housing supply in the face of existing needs.

So far there are at least three municipalities that have defined areas of urban pressure: Lisbon, Setúbal and Cascais. To make this classification, the municipalities used indicators related to house prices, household incomes or housing shortages.

On the other hand, the right of preference also applies to urban rehabilitation areas, locations where structural rehabilitation works are needed. For example, in terms of the degradation or obsolescence of buildings, infrastructure, collective equipment and urban and green spaces for collective use.

How do I know if your property is covered by the right of first care?

To find out if the house you want to sell is on a preference list, you should refer to the city council’s respective location page. The address may be on the list of other entities, such as the Directorate-General for Cultural Heritage.

If you want to sell a property that is inserted in a situation that requires you to give preference to a public entity, you must place an online advertisement with the agreed conditions for the business.

The business data must be communicated in an online portal created for this purpose, the page of Casa Pronta. This is a service made available by the Ministry of Justice that allows to carry out immediately all the formalities necessary for the purchase and sale, including transactions using housing credit.

If you need help running the ad, it can be placed by someone else or a company, such as the real estate agency.

What data is needed to place the ad?

To place the ad for the exercise of legal right of preference, you will need to fill in the following data:

  • Who makes the request.
  • Seller or sellers.
  • Buyer or buyers.
  • Identification and location of the property.
  • Purchase and sale value;
  • Predictable completion date.

Running the ad costs 15 euros. You must pay for the service by ATM. After placing the ad, public entities have 10 business days to respond. In case there is no response to the advertisement, you can proceed with the sale of the property.

Who has access to the details of the deal?

The advertisement has restricted access, so only entities with a legal right of preference, registration services, the applicant and the persons or entities to whom they provide their access code will have access.

After the announcement has been submitted, you can consult the status of the request on the Casa Pronta website. This is also where you will receive all the communication to the subject.

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