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Land without an owner can now be transferred to the State

The state will only be able to start taking possession of land without an owner in 2026, but there is one exception: land in priority areas.

According to the law, rural land is only considered ownerless if it is not identified in the Balcão Único do Prédio (BUPi), a simplified registration system process that started in 2017 and whose free access has been prolonged and extended to more municipalities. The deadline was extended until December 31, 2025, that is, the State will only be able to start taking possession of land without an owner in 2026. But there is an exception: land without a known owner that is located in priority areas. In this case, the land in question could change hands this year.

At issue is a recent change to the BUPi legal regime, applied only in exceptional cases, writes Público. Cited by the publication, the Ministry of Justice (MJ) states that a legal standard was introduced “to allow the procedure for buildings without a known owner to begin in priority territorial areas for intervention”, following a public consultation process.

This is an amendment to the BUPi legal regime that was published in Diário da República in October 2023. It allows declaring that a land has no known owner in priority territorial areas of intervention, such as integrated landscape management areas .

“It is expected that in 2024 it will be possible to begin” the procedure for identifying land without an owner, “following public consultations to be carried out”, says the MJ.

Proposals to stop land division awaiting new Government

Meanwhile, according to the same newspaper, the proposals to stop the division of land will remain fallow, waiting for the new Government – the legislative elections will take place on March 10, 2024.

The Socialist majority Executive created the Working Group for Rural Property (GTPR) in 2021, to make a diagnosis, study possibilities and propose measures that would facilitate the management of rural land. In the last months of last year, the team coordinated by Rui Gonçalves delivered the final report with proposals to help solve the problem of division by inheritance of already small rural properties and promote their land consolidation, as well as inducing greater dynamism in a dormant market and which “invites to immobility”.

A situation that often results in land abandonment, making it difficult to apply territorial planning and forest fire prevention policies. The truth is that with the fall of the Government and the dissolution of the Assembly of the Republic, the set of measures contained in the report is on “stand by”, with the new Executive having to take up the topic again.

According to Rui Gonçalves, the working group submitted the report to the supervisory authority and ceased activity, as there were no longer political conditions to discuss and approve the proposals.

Read the full article here!

Source: Idealista


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