Office Dr. Rathenau & Colleagues: Portuguese Property Law 2016

Rights of Preemption

At the conclusion of a promissory contract or a sales contract the parties often neglect preemption rights of third parties. The disregard of a right of preemption can have very adverse consequences for the vendor and the vendee, because the preemptor can conclude the contract with the vendor under the same conditions as the vendee. He just needs to invoke his right. In some cases the parties agree on a purchase price below the market price to save on taxes or to give an advantage to relatives. In these cases the preemptor can conclude the contract to this more favorable price. He can enforce the conclusion by court action.

When the preemptor takes note of the sale, he has six months to take legal action against it. After filing the suit he has 15 days to lodge the purchase price at court.

When the parties give notice to the preemptor, he only has 8 days to go to court. Therefore it is important to inform the preemptor about the sale.

A preemptor can be the state, the neighbour, the co-owner or the lessee. Have your lawyer check on existing rights of preemption!