Translations of these materials into languages other than Portuguese are intended solely as a convenience to the non-Portuguese-reading public.

Any discrepancies or differences that may arise in translations of the official Portuguese versions of these materials are not binding and have no legal effect for compliance or enforcement purposes.

Decree Law No. 130/2017

Publication: Republic Diary No. 194/2017, Series I of 2017-10-09
  • Issuer: Environment
  • Diploma Type: Decree Law
  • Number: 130/2017
  • Pages: 5618 - 5620

Summary in plain english

What is it?

This decree-law makes it easier to do reconstruction work on buildings that can no longer be used due to damages caused by a disaster.

What will change? Making building reconstruction in areas affected by disasters easier

1. In the event of a disaster, municipal assemblies may establish emergency reconstruction areas and list buildings that are seriously damaged or destroyed in those areas.

Buildings that are seriously damaged or destroyed will be considered for reconstruction so they can be used again.

2. Owners of buildings included in the list approved by the municipal assembly may rebuild them without asking for the municipal council's permission, but must submit prior notice. This only applies to buildings that complied with the law before being affected by the disaster.

Prior notice is a simplified procedure that allows building work to begin without a response from the municipal council. The law allows this because the technicians responsible for the projects will assume responsibility for compliance with the applicable rules.

3. In residential buildings, prior notice may be used for reconstruction, modification or conservation of buildings included in the list approved by the municipal assembly. The building work cannot increase facade height, number of floors, plan areas (area of occupied ground) or construction areas (the sum of floor area below and above the ground).

Exceptionally, the facade height and building area can be increased by up to 10% if it is essential for correcting poor health and safety, thermal efficiency or the accessibility of the building.

4. In buildings used for business purposes (shops, workshops or offices), prior notice can be used for reconstruction but not to increase facade height or building area.

5. For the reconstruction of existing buildings, it will not be necessary to consult with entities outside of the council, but the municipal council my require such consultations whenever it is considered essential for risk prevention.

A special system will be created for risk prevention

If the reconstruction violates risk prevention rules (or if the risk assessment reports of official bodies are not respected), the municipal council will be forced to stop the building work.

In such cases, the owners of residential buildings may submit a new prior notice to ensure compliance with these rules (for example, reconstructing the building on another part of the plot, if that solves the identified risk).

This reconstruction cannot increase facade height, number of floors, plan or construction area. In addition, the area previously occupied by the building must be cleared of debris and left in its natural state.

Municipal councils can exempt fees for reconstruction

Municipalities can exempt fees on requests for buildings that can no longer be used due to damage caused by a disaster.

What are its benefits?

This decree-law is intended to create conditions for the quick reconstruction of buildings destroyed by disasters, especially in the case of residential buildings, allowing people to resume their lives without compromising environmental protection and land use planning.

When does it come into effect?

This decree-law comes into effect the day after being published.

Original Version


  • Legal translator is the translation of texts within the field of law


Legislative consolidation integrates the various amendments and rectifications made into an original legal diploma in order to make its consultation more accessible to the citizen.