Condominiums and Short-term rentals in Portugal
In Portugal, new housing laws have been approved in October, labelled “Mais Habitação” (more housing) as they were made with the aim of facilitating access to housing at affordable prices.
In addition to addressing numerous aspects of various real estate markets in Portugal, from leasing to building to purchasing for resale, the Mais Habitação has also amended some specific laws regarding short-term rentals.
In this article, we delve into those defining the role of condominiums (building management) in issuing, maintaining, and canceling Alojamento Local (short-term rental) licenses related to properties in buildings or buildings under the “horizontal” regime (allowing individual usage for each unit), and the new rights of unit owners in those buildings where a short-term rental is active.
Condominiums and short-term rentals – Mais Habitação Changes
The new changes we explain below apply to all situations where the property in question is an autonomous fraction or a unit with authorization for individual usage in a residential building.
These considerations also apply throughout Portuguese territory, including inland territories and autonomous regions (Madeira and Azores), which are exempt from other stronger restrictions such as license suspension. (You can read more about all Mais Habitação changes to short-term rentals in Portugal in this article.)
Condominiums and the issuance of new short-term rental licenses
If an owner intends to apply for a short-term rental license for an apartment in a building with an organized condominium, they may now need to add to their license application (sent as usual through the ePortugal website) minutes of the condominium meeting expressly authorizing this installation and the new use of the fraction for short-term renting.
Exempt from this requirement are:
- Properties whose application for a short-term rental license has previously been authorized by the same condominium, even by previous short-term rental managers;
- Properties whose horizontal property title already authorizes the installation of a short-term rental.
Condominiums and the cancellation of short-term rental licenses
The role of the condominium becomes crucial for maintaining existing short-term rental licenses.
From October 6, 2023, it is possible, in residential buildings, that two-thirds (approximately 33%) of the other unit owners may decide on the immediate cancellation of existing short-term rental licenses in the building.
For this process, this decision must be voted on in a condominium meeting, and the corresponding minutes should then be forwarded, through the ePortugal Balcão Único Eletrónico (lit: Electronic Single Desk), to the corresponding municipal council. The council must act accordingly within a maximum period of 60 days from the date of sending the cancellation request, proceeding with its immediate annulment.
Permanent Effects of Cancelling the Local Accommodation License by Condominium Decision
If the condominium demands the cancellation of a specific local accommodation license, the same property cannot request a new license, even if the application is made by other holders, until there is a new condominium meeting minutes allowing the issuance of the new license.
Other obligations of short-term rentals towards the condominium
If required by the condominium, the short-term rental owner or manager will have to provide the other unit owners a contact number that is available 24/7.
This phone number can be that of the owner of short-term rental, or the contact of a manager manager, such as a short-term rental management company. When you hire professional managers, they ensure the availability of a team ready to react and assist with any situation requiring attention, whether urgent or not, 24 hours a day.
It becomes mandatory for all short-term rentals “installed in autonomous fractions of a building constituted in horizontal property” to display a notice informing guests of the noise regulations. This applies not only to buildings with organized condominiums but we decided to add this information to this article because buildings with condominiums are typically residential buildings, and need to comply with this new requirement too.
Noise “associated with residential use and the activities inherent to it” that “due to its duration, repetition, or intensity may affect public health or tranquility” is called “neighborhood noise” (article 3).
The rest period, during which it is mandatory for guests and other unit owners to avoid disturbing neighbors, is between eleven at night and seven in the morning, every day, and the police have the right to order its immediate cessation in case of complaints of disturbance by neighbors within this timeframe (article 24).
Short-term rentals in residential buildings are now required to inform guests of these rules of good coexistence, the owners or managers having to display this information in a visible format inside the flat.
Good relations and professionalism
Relations between other units’ owners and residents must always be respected and carefully maintained, including between permanent neighbors and visitors of local accommodations.
For this, it is mandatory for owners to reject reservation requests from problematic guests, clearly define rules that protect the integrity – not only of their property but also – of the entire building, and clarify with guests all doubts about allowed and discouraged activities, from the first contact.
GuestReady offers this service through its complete property management service for short-term rentals under the alojamento local regime, and all other rentals maximized via alternative rental markets in Portugal..
Trust the experts. Contact us today and discover how we can help you free your time once again while maximizing the potential of your property.