• Joana Wheeler

Is it mandatory to have a license for pool construction?

Updated: Jul 14

As the hot season approaches many people have questioned about whether a pool construction requires a license or not. In fact, many who enjoy the heat, sunbathing, and cool dives in the solitude of their own homes love this area.


We have gathered all the pertinent information to take into account when building a swimming pool and whether or not a license is now required.


Does pool construction lack licensing project?


Are you adamant on constructing a pool in your home? It is advised that you are fully aware of the Portuguese law on private pools before taking any action. The license for building swimming pools is no longer required in accordance with the new urbanization and building law, law number 60/2007 of September 4, 2018. Another criterion, relating to the earlier disclosure of the work, has since taken its place.


The execution of urban operations is subject to a license, previous communication with a deadline (referred to as a preliminary by prior communication or communication in the following), or authority to use, in accordance with and subject to the exceptions set forth in this section. (Article 4: Permission to Use, Prior Notification, and License)


That is to say, the Town Hall (Camara Municipal) of the area where your house is located should have been notified in advance of the installation of the swimming pool. Regardless of design, this requirement applies to all forms of pool building systems.


The Town Hall is required to respond upon communication within 20 days. If there are no objections you can continue with the pool construction project.


Pool building licensing: What documents are needed?


The Town Hall must be notified in advance of the work being done on swimming pools, which may involve the submission of a data form. The following documents are essential for the work's previous communication:


  • A prior communication form with a digital signature of authenticity;

  • The applicant's eligibility and property registration: citizen card, identity card, or passport, NIF - taxpayer number, and content certificate of building description;

  • The plant at the construction site of the pool;

  • Project responsibility and authorship must be acknowledged by the project's authors in order to adhere to local planning regulations;

  • An estimate of the work's overall cost;

  • The construction project's timing;

  • Photographic survey: collection of recent images for building construction, modification, reconstruction, or expansion;


You can ask for all the information immediately at the public service desk of your Town Hall because this is a very bureaucratic matter.


Should I ask pool building companies for help?


There are various swimming pool construction businesses in Portugal that offer assistance throughout the process, from early communication of the job to project completion, in addition to the assistance you might request from the Town Hall. You can easily locate a construction firm or one that is solely focused on installing swimming pools close to the property because it is something that is highly valued.


So that you can finally have the pool of your dreams, ask for technical assistance. He/She will be in charge of handling the documentation and other more complicated issues that frequently cause pool lovers to have questions and concerns.


Pool construction increases IMI?


A home with a pool is truly on another level, both in terms of the comfort and quiet it offers and the degree of solitude you may enjoy. The IMI - Municipal Property Tax, which rises with the construction of a swimming pool, must not be overlooked, nevertheless.


But in actual use, how much does IMI rise with a pool? According to Article 43 of the IMI Code, aggravation coefficients will have an impact on the construction of swimming pools in residential buildings (from 0.06 for individual pools and 0.03 for private pools).


After all:


Take into account the 0.35% IMI rate for a 150,000€ property. In this instance, multiplying the Tax Asset Value (Valor Patrimonial Tributário) by 150,000€ and the IMI rate of 0.35% results in an annual IMI payment of 525€. IMI increases with the building of pools because:


The Tax Asset Value (VPT*) goes from 150,000€ to 159,000€ (multiplying 150,000€ x 1.06 of the coefficient).


Then multiply 0.35% (IMI rate) x 159,000€ (VPT* with swimming pool) = equal to 556.5 € per year (IMI), INSTEAD of €525 per year.


This means that you would have na increase of 31.50€ per year.


In actuality, the explanations for the rise in IMI among people with pools are not particularly complex. You can discuss any inquiries you have with your accountant or at one of the assistance desks operated by the tax office (Finanças).


Things to consider before building swimming pools


As previously stated, building swimming pools is not subject to license requirements. However, if you want to have this leisure area at home, you can't forget about a few things:


  • Property type: to determine whether or not the land can support the construction of a swimming pool and whether or not garden maintenance is required. Additionally, you should be aware of whether the location of the pool will receive sunlight and offer a sufficient level of seclusion;

  • Pool dimensions: Depending on what you want to do in your home, the optimal pool size will vary. The cost of building and maintaining a larger pool increases with size, however if you have a huge family or enjoy having guests around, it might be worthwhile;

  • Pool type: There are various types of pools. Those with greater courage appreciate sand pools that can transport them closer to the ocean, while others prefer traditional swimming pools;

  • Pool maintenance: particular equipment and materials that are needed to maintain and clean a pool can be obtained in some businesses that provide home decor;

  • Safety: You should consider safety even while building private swimming pools. To offer the best experience for everyone, including children, factors like access, depth, signage, corner design, protective covers, tile types, etc. cannot be overlooked.

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