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Legal information for buying property in the Cape Verdes

All costs of transfer of ownership are normally paid by the buyer.

Deposit and registration of interest

A deposit is paid which is not reimbursed unless the purchase proceeds. This is normally 20% of the purchase price. It coincides with registering the purchase interest. The Sale Agreement should be signed within one week.

Signing a Sale Agreement

A dated agreement is signed by both buyer and seller, which identifies both by name, gives the official property coding, the agreed price and payment method or schedules and any conditions that are still left to be agreed later.

Title Deeds

These are written and held by the Government notary in Espargos at a date agreed with the buyer. It can be signed by a solicitor or representative if the buyer cannot be present in person. It costs 2% of the stated value (which may be less than the price paid).

Documents Required

Sale Agreement in Portuguese
Cadastral Registry Certificate from the Camara
Land Registry Certificate from the Land Registry

Taxpayer identification number (if relevant e.g. for someone in business)


Conveyance Tax (IUP - Imposto Unico sobre Rendimentos)
This tax is paid to the Camara in Espargos at 3% of the declared purchase price. It must be paid within 30 days of obtaining title. Returning Cape Verdeans nationals are exempted. The Notary will need to see the sales agreement to calculate this levy. It is not always on the full purchase price, to allow for furniture etc.


Registration is advisable although not compulsory. It costs 2% of the declared sales value. It can be paid at the same time as the IUP and requires the same papers.

R from Belfast is understandably nervous about parting with money without paperwork,

"My solicitor was not all happy at the system of working with a developer. My solicitor contacted another solicitor in England who specialises in CV but he wanted about £5,000 to do the work. The developer assured me that this was not necessary and the deal was genuine. I hope these people can be trusted.".

B from London was not sure about which lawyer to use.

" An English lawyer wanted 4.5% of the total outlay as a fee, which seems far too high. But the Italian developer forgot to mention the 6% sales and registration fees. The only paperwork that he has sent concerns stage payments. It is in Portuguese with an English translation but I am unsure whether the translation is accurate."

List of lawyers in Praia

Property Finance

Most property is paid for in euros as many of the developers are from Euro Zone countries and the euro is more convertible than the escudo. Transfers from sterling can be organised by Nick Robinson at World First . There is no commission charge and payments are free for amounts over ten thousand pounds as the company earns its fees on the foreign exchange spread.