The government’s continues lack of clear thinking on the Alojamento Local tourism rental laws reached new heights today with an amendment to force apartment owners to get the written permission of other owners in the building before they will be allowed to let their property in the lucrative short term tourist rental market.
Instead of clarifying the law, the government has passed the buck and is to require landlords to obtain a statement from the householders' condominium assembly to give permission to rent out their apartment. This additional document will need to be submitted with AL application forms for apartments, along with all the other documents.
The draft bill has entered the Assembly of the Republic, signed by two Socialist Party MPs, and requires apartment owner to present a "simple copy of the resolution of the assembly of owners that authorises the owner of the operation of the establishment to carry out the activity in the case of a fraction of an urban building intended for housing."
The government’s justification is the need to ensure a balance between an owner’s wishes and those of the neighbours,
“...thus seeking to ensure the desirable good relationship between the various condominium owners, this bill adds to the list of documents required for the registration of a local accommodation (AL) establishment a copy of the resolution of the general meeting of condominium owners that authorises the owner of the operation of the establishment to carry out the respective activity."
For this three-line amendment to the current law, there are three pages of accompanying notes and justifications for AL and its benefit to the economy etc. but also a of the potential conflicts and inconveniences to other apartment owners from someone letting their property to tourists.
The Supreme Court of Justice recently overruled a decision of the Lisbon court to which can be added an opposing decision by the Oporto Court of Appeal.
Instead of allowing the judiciary to decide what the law means, the government has decided to introduce a short-cut and let the neighbours decide.