Decree-Law nr. 10/2024, published last 8th of January, was adopted to endure the housing crisis, and bring several provisions to our legal system with the purpose of simplifying and improving urban administration procedures.

Notwithstanding the complexity of the legal document and the lack of data on the day-to-day practice since its very recent adoption, the following measures are worth to be highlighted:

  1. Changes to the list of projects subject to the Town Hall prior approval.
    Not only the list of projects subject to the prior control but also the respective procedure has been changed.
    Some examples of operations no longer requiring the prior approval the include demolition works, in the event the respective constructions are illegal, the planning operations preceded by a Prior Information Request (“Pedido de Informação Prévia – PIP”) and the parceling operations in an area with a detailed plan with registration title.
    Provisions applicable to the planning operations exempt from prior control are in force since 1st January 2024.
    The remainder will entry into force on the 4th March 2024.
  2. An electronic platform will be developed and allow that all planning procedures are submitted and dealt with online.
    Entry into force on January 5, 2026.
  3. Tacit approval of construction licences.
    As the municipalities’ decisions regarding construction licences are now subject to legal deadlines, failure to meet those will entitle the applicant to proceed with the project.
    Entry into force on the 4th March 2024, but the procedures submitted before the entry into force of the present decree-law are expressly excluded.
  4. Extension of the validity of the PIP from one to two years.
    Entry into force on the 4th March 2024.
  5. Elimination of the construction and use licence whenever works have been subject to prior control. The use licence is replaced by the receipt evidencing payment of the charges due to the municipality.
    The use licence is replaced by the statement of liability of the director of works or by the works’ inspection director, in which it is stated that the works are completed and has been executed according to the project, and the final drawings, in the event there have been changes to the project.
    Entry into force on the 4th March 2024.
  6. Possibility of extension of the deadline for the execution of the works.
    The provision which forbade more than one extension of the deadline to complete the works has been eliminated. Thus, it is now possible to apply for the extension of the construction deadline provided it is duly justified.
    Entry into force on the 4th March 2024.
  7. Exemption from authorization from the owners of the other units to change the use of a unit to residential. The respective owner has, thus, the power to unilaterally change the title deed of horizontal property. For such purpose the owner must also apply for the change in the respective Town Hall.
    Entry into force since 1st of January 2024.
  8. Elimination of the obligation of presenting the use licence and the housing technical sheet upon the execution of the transmission of the property of urban properties. Nevertheless, the notary (or the equivalent entity) must inform the parties that the property may not have the required construction or use licences.
    Entry into force since 1st January 2024.

Without prejudice to the dates specifically aforementioned, and except for the rules regarding tacit approval, the remainder provisions of the diploma apply to procedures initiated before it comes into force on the 4th March 2024 and which were already pending by then.