Well finding a house that we both really liked, being able to imagine how it could be transformed and in a fantastic location was obviously too good to be true. During the three weeks I’d been away from Portugal our architect had been to the meeting with the Camara to discuss our planning ideas and they hadn’t agreed on our improvements. Not only that but another problem had arisen.
Generally speaking the Camara are only concerned with the improvements you want to do on the outside of the property. The house we wanted to buy was quite small and with one of the larger rooms having no natural light we had asked if we could build a one story extension at the back of the property extending into the garden to use as a living room. Unfortunately the house is located very near the castle and therefore of historical interest. The Camara reserve the rights to do archaeological exploration on any land, private or public, in the centre of Tavira so any requests to extend or build additional buildings on this type of land is automatically refused.
With this news we may well have gone back to the drawing board to see if we could create a second floor (the property was single floor only) but another potential problem had arisen during my absence.
We had been told by the agent, using information shared to her by the owner, that an adjoining courtyard which gave a second access to the property was jointly owned with the neighbour. The neighbour however claimed it was completely owned by herself. Our architect had asked the Camara what ownership was recorded on the legal records. Unfortunately the properties were once under single ownership and no records could be found declaring the ownership of the courtyard.
Part of our improvement plan was to make the courtyard access to the property the primary entrance therefore maximising space inside. This was impossible to do with a boundary dispute.
Our plans to buy and transform this house had now been made impossible and we were back to square one. The only silver lining, again, was the amount of knowledge we had learned from this experience.
Time for another house hunting trip to Tavira……