Low-density GV rules for ruin rehabilitation - how much of structure must be kept?

Hello, I’m planning to renovate a property that’s eligible for the 280k ARI discount. I’m wondering if anyone has knowledge of how this program works if you rehab a total ruin. There are plenty of great plots of land with either a small stone structure or sometimes just walls. I’m trying to find out what the rules are for rebuilding them – can you build a whole new house that just incorporates the old walls? Or does the rehabbed property have to match the footprint of the original structure? The realtor I’m working with has no clue (I’m also looking for a good realtor in the Douro area). Thanks for any info, even anecdotal :slight_smile:

Hello. I believe that ‘how’ you rehab the property is not regulated by SEF, but by the planning permission rules applicable for the plot type (i.e. rustic or urban) and the area.
So I guess once you have found an interesting plot, you’d need to look up the corresponding plans in the local municipality (camara) to find out what’s already permitted vs. new stuff that you’d need to request the planning permission for.
Here are some links for further reference.

  1. building regulations:
  2. a useful forum on house building/improvement matters:

Thank you!

Hi, I have done it in the Minho region.
You can usually rebuild the ruin to a larger size. Not excessive, but yes you can. What you are not allowed is to build more than one house if you have one ruin.

Hi, first of all, you need to check if the property is in the low-density and interior region. Second, there must be an official building in the documents (Registro Predial). There is no minimum value for the building but you should invest enough in the renovations. A client will for example purchase for 90k and will do renos for 190k. In this case, you need to check the VAT for the business cases as the VAT is more expensive (6-23%) than the transfer tax (0 in this case). You need an official quotation and contract from the construction company that needs to be registered at the IMPIC. You also need proof from the bank not just for the purchase but also for the renos otherwise the SEF / APMA will contact you with a 10 days deadline to turn the documents. The contract with the renovation company can not include all kinds of services or products.

Thank you, that’s really helpful. Do you know if all the renovations must be done by the same licensed contractor? Ive heard you can sometimes reduce the VAT by breaking a project into stages of work with separate invoices. I’m guessing the SEF would only approve one big contract though, so I can see that the VAT becomes significant. And the tax is not counted towards the required 280k total, right?

I can’t answer the rest of your questions, but I can confirm that, according to my lawyers, the investment needs to be 280k before any taxes are paid.

You do not need a single contractor, but you must document the various ones.
However, my advice would be to chose a local construction company that can run all the docs in the camara, and get it done expeditiously