British expats in Portugal facing home loss grab by government

Published:  6 May at 6 PM
Want to get involved? Become a Featured Expat and take our interview.
Become a Local Expert and contribute articles.
Get in touch today!
A new water resource law introduced by the Portuguese government gives the state the power to confiscate homes built on former public land.

Expats in the popular retirement destination country are now facing an anxious wait to find out if they are to lose their retirement homes or holiday villas along Portugal’s coastline, much of which has been built up over the last few decades. Although the new law has not yet been ratified, expats living along the coastline are angry and confused.

A new clause has been introduced to the bill, exempting homes built before 1951 and giving a welcome reprieve to their expat owners, but newly-built villas in the many popular resort towns are still at risk. The situation is expected to take months to resolve before it’s known exactly which developments will be affected.

Government spokesmen are denying the move is simply a land grab, saying the law is to protect reservoir, river and coastal regions from overdevelopment and insisting that it complies with EU law. Many expat residents in the resorts are recent arrivals, tempted by Portugal’s special, lower tax rates for foreign incomers.

One worried expat, Paul Abiati, owns a beachside villa on the Portuguese holiday island of Madeira, and is furious about the new law. He considers it’s in breach of EU and international human rights laws, saying that owners of private property have the right to certainty, peace and enjoyment of their homes.
Like this news?

Comments » No published comments just yet for this article...

Feel free to have your say on this item. Go on... be the first!

Tell us Your Thoughts On This Piece:

Your Name *
Email * (not published, needs verification one time only)
  • Facebook
  • Follow us on Twitter
  • RSS feed
  • Facebook

Latest Headlines

News Links

News Archive