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Local Accommodation licences should be cancelled if the property is sold

alThe Secretary of State for Housing said it is a good idea that an Alojamento Local licence is not automatically transferred to a new owner when the property is sold.

This “may be a means of balancing the market,” said Ana Pinho, speaking at a hearing of the working group set up to review the local housing law, stressing the importance of giving Councils a "regulatory role, to balance the public interest, the right to housing, but also the local tourism activity."

Municipalities should be able to impose quotas on Alojamento Local (AL) within their geographical limits, "according to their specific characteristics" and existing licences should not be transferable when the property is sold.

These were two of the measures put forward on Tuesday by the Secretary of State for Housing as ways to balance the market and solve problems of an excess of AL supply that is evident in some areas of the country, notably in Lisbon.

The working group has a set of suggestions from various political parties with some consensus that Councils should have more power over local tourist accommodation, in particular through an AL licence quota system.

Ana Pinho advanced the possibility of forcing new owners of AL property to have to reapply for a licence.

This would drive down property prices as those wishing to buy a fully operational and licensed AL business could not be certain that the licence would be renewed. The move also would increase the potential for corruption in local government with those in charge of licensing, demanding under-the-counter payments. 

"We think that, together with issues such as quotas for municipalities, the fact that the registration of accommodation is not directly transmissible and that it expires in the case of sale can contribute to minimising problems in areas of overload," explained Pinho, clearly with little grasp of the pitfalls.

The Local Accommodation Working Group also will listen to the Secretary of State for Tourism, Ana Mendes Godinho, before closing the hearings that are a necessary step in revising the AL laws.

The Working Group has listened to comments and contributions from more than fifty different entities, each with their own views on the subject, and now has to produce final proposals for discussion in parliament.


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


-1 #4 Jeff Brown 2018-06-14 14:07
One excellent advancement to put into this new AL law, in line with Pres. Macrons intended reforms of the EU, is to make it illegal for any professional, such as estate agent, accountant or lawyer, to involve themselves in any way with an unlicensed tourism business. That they automatically lose their licence and are heavily fined, at the least. To practice again having to be re-trained and put on a watch list that foreigners can check.
Advanced EU citizens cannot comprehend that, for example, accountants happily submit annual tax accounts and get paid hundreds or thousands for their trouble on behalf of foreigner tourism businesses that they well know, or have intentionally never confirmed, are fully legal and licensed.
Advanced EU wannabe small tourism operators then see these accounts and buy the business, backed up by Portuguese lawyers and estate agents assurances that they are getting a good deal! A mistake so many of us have made.
-1 #3 Al Pendrough 2018-06-14 11:23
Small size Tourism in Portuguese has always been a closed shop - just for Portuguese natives and unavailable to the great majority of foreigner EU citizens. It is total nonsense to formalise in law Municipalities being able to self administer quotas of AL's when they have only ever been already doing so!
Finally - developed EU citizens are entirely familiar with the concept of selling on 'going concerns' - legal, licensed tourism businesses - clearly still not remotely possible in this so much more backward EU state.
+5 #2 Richardk 2018-06-13 10:51
In the Algarve there are more unregistered rental properties than have AL so again attack the law abiding rather than go after those that flout the law
+1 #1 TT 2018-06-13 08:13
Why don't they simply give all licences a finite life thus encouraging existing holders more incentive to maintain standards.