LAST UPDATED IN JANUARY 2024 AND NOVEMBER 2023, FOLLOWING THE PUBLICATION OF ‘MAIS HABITAÇÃO’ AND PORTO CITY COUNCIL’S RESPONSE
The short-term rental experts at GuestReady produced this article in April 2023, at the time of the publication of Porto’s new short-term rental (alojamento local) regulation, known as Municipal Regulation for the Sustainable Growth of Short-Term Rentals. In October, the national ‘Mais Habitação’ legislation was approved, leading to the immediate suspension of new alojamento local licenses for apartment units and lodging establishments in almost all parishes in major cities, including most of the parishes in Porto district, causing the latest local regulation approved in April 2023 to be suspended by the Porto City Council on November 6th of the same year.
The ‘Mais Habitação’ package stipulates a general suspension of new registrations until each Municipal Chamber declares that there are adequate living conditions in all areas of the municipality to reissue new licenses. This will be justified through a local document, the Municipal Housing Charter. We will update this article when this charter for Porto is published, or there are any other updates.
If you don’t have a short-term rental licence and are looking for solutions to help you increase your property income, wether you have an apartment that cannot get an AL licence at the moment, a detached house with no restrictions, a lodging establishment, or other units or rooms, our team of local experts can help you. We’ll evaluate what solutions we recommend the most, and we will can take care of everything, ensuring your property’s profitability in one or more rental markets. Get in touch with us.
If you’d like to know more about Mais Habitação or the current restrictions and permissions regarding the short-term rental market in Portugal, we recommend the following article:
On February 13, 2023, the new proposal for the Porto Local Accommodation Regulation was submitted and later approved on April 22, a legislative package known as ‘Municipal Regulation for the Sustainable Growth of Local Accommodation in Porto’.
Context of the new AL Regulations in the municipality of Porto
In October 2022, the City Council of Porto decided to suspend new Alojamento Local licenses in the historical center area and in the parish of Bonfim, thus encompassing the entire downtown part of the city.
This measure had a set duration of six months, renewable until the new proposal for the regulation was concluded. During this period, the Câmara Municipal do Porto commissioned the Catholic University to carry out a study on the pressure of local accommodation units in each parish, so that a regulation could be created that would allow the city to develop itself while maintaining “good relations with its Tourism” sector, focusing its growth and “sustainable development“.
New Regulation for Local Accommodation in Porto
The regulation proposed in February 2023 and then approved in April now classifies Porto’s parishes according to the actual number of dwellings available for housing and local accommodation establishments, separating them into two groups: the “containment areas” for new AL registrations, which are the parishes with a pressure equal to or greater than 15%; and the “sustainable development areas” which now are the parishes where the AL pressure does not reach 15%.
In light of the new proposal, the new containment areas encompass all parishes in the historic center (Vitória (with a pressure of 60.5%), São Nicolau (48.3%), Sé (44.1%), Santo Ildefonso ( 38.3%) and Miragaia (21.8%), with the exception of Cedofeita (which registers a pressure of only 9.1%).
Likewise, and close enough to the historic center to be grouped in with the older areas, the parish of Bonfim is now free of restrictions too (currently with 8.1% pressure).
All other parishes in the municipality of Porto do not have any restrictions for new Local Accommodation licenses: Aldoar (0.3%), Campanhã (1%), Foz do Douro (2.6%), Lordelo do Ouro (1.1 %), Massarelos (7.1%), Paranhos (1%), Nevogilde (1%) and Ramalde (0.6%).
Exceptions to the New Porto Local Accommodation Regulation
The councilors of the Porto Chamber defend that the regulations “seek to manage the city as a whole and treat local accommodation as essential” (link in Portuguese), so their goal is not to stop the sector, but to “promote projects that add value to the city”.
For this reason, there are some exceptions for obtaining a Local Accommodation License in the containment areas:
- Construction projects for new buildings or the renovation of buildings that are considered “of special interest to the city”;
- Development projects that promote local business in situations where these take up at least 60% of the ground floor of the building itself, and where at least 20% of the building’s remaining residential area is dedicated to by affordable housing contracts for a minimum of 25 years;
- Construction and renovation projects dedicated to replace or renovate buildings that have been officially classified as rundown for at least 3 years.
Regulation of Local Accommodation in Gaia
In the Porto greater area, and also in 2023 but in January, the Municipality of Gaia decided to suspend, with immediate effect, new AL licenses in a measure that also intends to be temporary until the municipality defines its own regulation for its Alojamento Local sector.
How to obtain the Local Accommodation license
The GuestReady team is also updating our complete guide with all the necessary steps to obtain your local accommodation license in the municipality of Porto to include this change.
Renting your property without a Local Accommodation license
If you do not have or are unable to obtain a local accommodation license, there are still several legal options, in addition to the traditional lease, which may interest you. Our team of experts can also advise you.