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001-E Introduction : Home
011-E Property Management Contract : 010-E-Our activities
101-E Short term Rentals : 100-E-Lettings & Rentals
022-E Translations : 010-E-Our activities
012-E Tax Returns : 010-E-Our activities
129-E Price list : 120-E-Other services
123-E Assistance with the sale : 120-E-Other services
124-E Assistance with purchase. : 120-E-Other services
002-E More about Us : Home
032-E Garden Maintanence : 030-E-Your Home
031-E Swimming pool maintanence : 030-E-Your Home
020-E Valuations : 010-E-Our activities
103-E Long term rentals : 100-E-Lettings & Rentals
014-E Taxation on Rental Income : 110-E-Tax services
041-E Electricity : 040-E-Utilities
043-E Water : 040-E-Utilities
042-E Gas : 040-E-Utilities
044-E Telephone : 040-E-Utilities
131-E Car Issues : 130-E-Transport
132-E Renting a car : 130-E-Transport
061-E Multi Risk House Insurance : 060-E-Insurances
065-E Insurance staff : 060-E-Insurances
053-E Social Security staff : 050-E-Staff
111-E Rates : 110-E-Tax services
045-E Alarm system - House protection : 040-E-Utilities
035-E Repair and Maintenance : 030-E-Your Home
071-E Borehole or Well : 070-E-Water issues
073-E Water softenors and other : 070-E-Water issues
074-E Purification system : 070-E-Water issues
081-E Central Heating : 080-E-Heating & Cooling
084-E AirCo : 080-E-Heating & Cooling
046-E Log fire or woodburning stove : 040-E-Utilities
091-E Internet & Broadband : 090-E-TV-Sat-Communication
093-E Satelite reception : 090-E-TV-Sat-Communication
092-E Cable television : 090-E-TV-Sat-Communication
131-E Own car : 130-E-Transport
033-E Cleaning lady or company : 030-E-Your Home
046-E Logs : 080-E-Heating & Cooling
104-E Tax on Rental Income : 110-E-Tax services
105-E The whole picture about rentals : 100-E-Lettings & Rentals
102-E License for Rentals : 100-E-Lettings & Rentals
034-E Condominium rules : 030-E-Your Home
062-E Health Insurances : 060-E-Insurances
141-E School system in Portugal : 140-E-Education
063-E Car Insurance : 060-E-Insurances
064-E Travel Insurance : 060-E-Insurances
151-E ECOVIA - Cycling track - : 150-E-Miscalleneous
019-E Project Management : 010-E-Our activities
015-E The Marketing of your property : 010-E-Our activities
106-E Holiday Letting Licenses : 100-E-Lettings & Rentals
041-E Electricity : 040-E-Utilities
113-E Fiscal Representation : 110-E-Tax services
101-E Application AL License : 100-E-Lettings & Rentals
021-E Fiscal Representation : 010-E-Our activities
112-E Tax Returns : 110-E-Tax services

001-D Introductie : Home
017-D Permanent naar Portugal verhuizen : 010-D-Onze activiteiten
123-D Assistentie bij verkoop : 120-D-Andere Diensten
Erfbelasting : 110-D-Belasting diensten
002-D Meer over ons : Home
013-D Verplichtingen bij Huur en Verhuur : 010-D-Onze activiteiten
093-D Satelliet televisie en posities : 090-D-Com-Sat-TV
021-D Belastingvertegenwoordiging : 010-D-Onze activiteiten
101-D AL Vergunning : 100-D-Huur en Verhuur
020-D Bemiddeling bij verhuur : 010-D-Onze activiteiten
019-D Bouwbegeiding : 010-D-Onze activiteiten
011-D Onroerend goed beheer : 010-D-Onze activiteiten
015-D Marketing verkoop o.g. : 010-D-Onze activiteiten
016-D Aankoop van O.G. : 010-D-Onze activiteiten
121-D Assistentie bij maken testament : 120-D-Andere Diensten
113-D Belastingvertegenwoordiging : 110-D-Belasting diensten
042-D Gas : 040-D-Nutsvoorzieningen
043.D Water : 040-D-Nutsvoorzieningen
041-D Electriciteit : 040-D-Nutsvoorzieningen
014-D Jaarlijkse Assistentie : 010-D-Onze activiteiten
124-D Assistentie bij aankoop : 120-D-Andere Diensten
112-D Belastingaangiftes : 110-D-Belasting diensten
122-D Vertalingen : 120-D-Andere Diensten

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print article105-E The whole picture about rentals


1 Background – raids on rentals

THIS IS the first in a seven part series on licensing requirements for holiday lets.

  1. Background – raids on rentals

  2. Tourist lodgings – A casa turística
  3. Licensing requirements – presenting a plan
  4. The guest house – A hospedagem
  5. Renting – o arrendamento urbano
  6. Compliance – getting it right
  7. Conclusion – not so bad after all

In the summer of 2005, Inspectors from the Inspecção-Geral das Actividades Económicas (IGAE) raided rental agencies in the Algarve, demanding to see letting permits. These permits/licences should have been issued by the local council in order for the accommodation to be rented to tourists, as required by law since 1997. Those practising this letting activity were often unaware of any such prerequisites and the inspectors proceeded to fine both agents (between 2,500 and 30,000 euros per infraction) and owners (from 500 to 3,740.90 euros). One agency was fined a total of 150,000 euros. These investigations were part of an overall strategy to tighten up procedures and law enforcement. According to the Direcção Geral de Turismo (Tourism Bureau), approximately 4,000 notifications were sent out to update registries, in addition to parallel inspections like those that occurred in the Almancil area. Throughout the 16 councils of the Algarve– the official entities charged by law to regulate and license the holiday letting practice – one would be hardpressed to count on the fingers of one hand, the licences actually issued since the current legislation came into effect in 1997. Owners and agents now find themselves penalised for not having a licence, which, in many câmaras, does not yet even exist. Given the “Catch 22” nature of the whole affair, confusion and consternation abound. Naturally, these events have brought an upsurge of alarm to the foreign resident community in the Algarve, reminiscent of the shock waves sent out when property reform legislation attacked offshore companies several years ago. Once again, understandable and necessary changes have been brought into place in a rather clumsy and poorly thought out process that rapidly turns intoa nightmare for all concerned.

The industry

Foreign investment in Portuguese real estate has been both popular and lucrative in recent decades. Over the long term, property is almost always an appreciating asset. Unless you buy at an overly inflated price, let the place fall into disrepair, or some kind of disaster besets the structure of the property, then you should eventually end up with a property worth considerably more than your purchase price. With foreseeable demographic pressures in Portugal over the coming years, demand for housing is set to boom. There is no reason to suggest that this long-term appreciation trend will change.


Once purchased, many people manage to make a tidy income from renting out property. In popular tourist areas such as the Algarve, one or two week lets to tourists during the high season can prove a profitable enterprise. Often, it essentially becomes a business, and business activity has different regulations, as well as a specific tax regime. Unfortunately, over the years, the overwhelming majority have disregarded their compliance obligations. Whether due to ignorance (never an excuse) or greed, most fail to register their activity, license their property or declare and pay tax on the income.

Conflicting Legislation.

Unfortunately, current legislation does not contemplate precisely the arrangement that matches the most common practice: short-term furnished lets that occur sporadically during the year, with private usage during the remaining months. Nor is it easy to distinguish clearly the line between what constitutes a let to holidaymakers, falling into the category of property rental income, and tourist activity l


Date Inserted: 24 June 2007
Last Updated: 30 October 2017
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