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Parliament approves changes to Local Accommodation rules

alThose involved in running Alojamento Local properties to serve the booming tourism market can expect more involvement from their local Council and interference from their neighbours.

After months of discussion, MPs voted on July 17th, on a raft of Alojamento Local (AL) changes, with the Communist Party and Left Bloc voting with the ruling Socialists to ensure the proposals were passed.

In the case of AL accommodation being situated in a building subject to condominium laws, the condominium assembly can opposes a licence application if those against, account for half or more of the building’s space and only when the decision is based on "repeated and proven acts that disturb the normal use of the building, as well as causing discomfort affecting the rest of the condominium owners."

The decision will have to be ratified by the local Council, which has to review the complaint and then make a decision.

Condominium assemblies will be able to approve the, "payment of an additional contribution corresponding to the expenses resulting from the increased use of the common parts, with a limit of 30% of the annual value of the respective charge.”

In order for the condominium to be able to charge the AL owner this extra contribution, an internal regulation will have to be voted on and approved by a majority of owners at a condominium meeting.

Anyone who wants to install a hostel in a building subject to condominium rules must obtain a permit from the condominium assembly for that purpose.

Councils will be able to establish limits for AL property coverage in areas where there is an overload of AL properties in relation to the space occupied by housing. These are the so-called ‘containment zones.’

The approval of these quotas must be made "by regulation and with a reasoned decision," by the Council, within one year after the approval of the resolution by the municipal assembly. The law does not establish any limits, these percentages will be at the discretion of each Council.

In each 'containment zone,' each AL owner can not have more than seven properties.

Councils can shut down AL properties if the property records are incorrect and ASAE may also impose "a temporary ban on the operation of local accommodation establishments in whole or in part" where "failure to comply with applicable legal provisions jeopardises the safety of users or public health.”

Anyone owning or operating an AL property in a condominium must have multi-risk insurance to cover any damage caused by the increased use of the common parts of the building. If they don’t, their license can be withdrawn.

The holder of the AL property is jointly and severally liable for damages caused by the guests to the building.

The owner of the AL property must, "respond, regardless of the existence of fault, to the damages caused to the recipients of the services or to third parties, resulting from the AL activity."

AL properties, "are obliged to have an Information Book about the functioning of the establishment, namely on the collection and sorting of rubbish, the operation of household appliances and a cautionary note on disturbances that could affect the neighbours. This book must contain the contact telephone number of the person in charge of the operation of the AL property."

This Information Book "must be made available in Portuguese and English and in at least two other foreign languages." The book also should contain, "the practices and rules of the condominium that are relevant to the accommodation and the common parts."

The holder of the AL licence must notify any cessation of the activity within 10 days through the Balcão Único Eletrónico and also is obliged to inform booking platforms, such as Airbnb or Booking.com within the same period.

An AL sign must be put up at all rental properties, even outside apartments where a smaller plaque can be mounted.

Hostels, which can be described as B&Bs or Guest Houses, will continue to be classified as AL properties.


For property owners looking for information on Alojamento Local compliance, contact the National Association of Local Lodging Establishments at www.nalle.pt and/or ask afpop

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0 #5 Mike Harris 2018-07-19 16:14
RCK's comment on Portuguese buildings not being properly built for living in, particularly the condominiums built in the last 30 years is spot on. How often, once we know what to look for, we can see single skim walling? No insulation, the blockwork and concrete supporting pillars clearly evident. The buildings owner not in the slightest bothered with upgrading for the inhabitants benefit as it eats into their profit and they so obviously do not live in them!
Fine though for short term rental in high summer. A non starter renting out in autumn and winter.
-1 #4 Charly 2018-07-18 21:22
It should have been more "normal" that appartments in condominiums might NOT been used for renting to tourists. First of all the appartment are NOT constructed for such a purpose as 1. the security rules don't coop,
the way of construction specially with the very thin walls does not coop, the hot water supply does not coop for larger groups, etc. etc. >>>> as I said: these appts does NOT suit for touristic rentals !
+1 #3 RCK 2018-07-18 13:10
As a property owner in Portugal, I support any attempt to redress the balance of rights and obligations as between owners of property in a Condominium who choose not to rent out their properties & want peace and quiet, and those who do choose to rent out their properties for financial or other reasons. From my experience, some ‘renters’ can be a nightmare, and the owners of such rented properties are not always sympathetic to their co-owners needs in terms of enforcing Condominium rules or blind to the problems that their rental clients create. At least this legislation is a start and gives the non renting owners a chance of fighting their corner. With respect, if you have never owned or lived in a Condominium property, you most likely do not fully appreciate the problem
-1 #2 Charly 2018-07-18 10:08
This is another "political monster" and an "unworkable law". However that's the type of law politicians like and want.... as they have the initiative to do what and how they like it !
+1 #1 Malcolm.H 2018-07-18 07:12
Ed: Aren't all (?) of the condominiums in Portugal
privately owned by an individual / company - what we Brits would call the freeholder? So the main property owner could, under this new law, rent out up to 7 of his apartments, regardless of the other sub-owner / leaseholders wishes using the threat ...."If you aren't happy with this, 'eff orf"? A somewhat ironic outcome, that these pretend left wing legislators have devised such a potentially lop sided law for their 'little people' political base.

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