Regulations / Compliance
A new law was introduced in March 2008 affecting holiday letting in Portugal. All holiday home owners who rent out their property in Portugal to paying guests should be aware of the regulations.
Holiday accommodation in Portugal is now split into two main categories, classed as either an Empreendimento Turístico (tourist establishment), or an Estabelecimento de Alojamento Local (Local Lodging Establishment).
What classifies as an Empreendimento Turístico?
The following types of accommodation fall into this category:
- Conjuntos Turísticos – non residential complexes and their on-site accommodation (where the complex is solely used for tourism purposes and people cannot buy property)
- Public campsites
- Other types of commercially owned establishments that provide temporary accommodation to paying guests, such as guesthouses, apartment complexes and holiday villages
What classifies as an Estabelecimento de Alojamento Local?
A property must have an Alojamento Local licence if it meets all of the three criteria below. Private holiday home rentals will fall into this category.
- It has a Licença de Habitabilidade (habitation licence), which is provided by the local authorities. It proves that the property has been inspected and meets the required legal standards for occupation.
Any property built from 1951 onwards as a habitable dwelling must by law have a Licença de Habitabilidade. If the property was built before 1951, you must have a certificate from local authorities stating this. If a property built before 1951 is then renovated, an application for a Licença de Habitabilidade must be made. (Source: gekkoportugal.com)
- It provides temporary accommodation to paying guests
- It is not considered an Empreendimento Turístico (as above)
What does the Alojamento Local licence mean? What conditions have to be met?
Properties with an Alojamento Local licence must:
- Be in good order externally and internally
- Be connected to mains water (or bore hole)
- Be connected to mains sewer (or septic tank)
- Have hot and cold running water
- Have adequately furnished rooms
- Have sufficient ventilation
- Have a system in place to block natural light when necessary (blinds/curtains)
- Have suitable locks for security and privacy
- Have at least one bathroom for every three bedrooms, with toilet, sink and bath (or shower)
- Have sufficient fire extinguishers and blankets for the size of the property as well as first aid equipment and instruction manuals for all appliances
- Display the international emergency phone number 112 in a prominent position
- Be regularly cleaned with towels and linen changed at least once per week
- Have an official complaints book
Most of these measures are considered standard and expected by guests even if your property does not legally require an Alojamento Local licence.
Where do I get a licence?
Talk to us first. We have a range of professionals who are constantly updating their knowledge on the Alojamento Local program. We can arrange for the submission of the application and all the necessary adjustments and enhancements required to fulfil your obligations under the Law.
If you wish to prepare your own property for rentals, you will need to submit an application at your local town hall, who will stamp it. By stamping the application, the town hall permits you to start renting out your property.
In the following 60 days, the town hall may order an inspection of your property to check all the conditions are being met.
What happens if I don’t obtain a licence when I need one?
Owners of properties found not to have have a licence when they need one risk fines ranging from €2,500 to €3,740. This can rise to €25,000 for companies.