Latest updates: February 2023
New restrictions and exceptions for Short Term Rental Licences in Porto
This past February 9th, Agência Lusa, the major news agency in Portugal, gained access to the details to the new Alojamento Local Regulation the Porto City Council will vote on the following Monday, 13th February.
This new measure, that aims at balancing the accommodation sector, is the awaited follow up for the temporary measures released in October 2022, which suspended the new AL licences in all the historical center areas and Bonfim.
During this period of time, there were made several studies to understand the real number of existing licences in relation to the absolute number of residential units per area and, according to the new criteria, the limitations will affect all areas with a “pressure” equal to or higher than 15% of AL units per total residential units.
In these areas, there will be a few exceptions according to which new licences can still be issued to property owners, and the already established and known options of legally hosting on a property without a licence are still allowed.
The new “restriction areas” for shrot term rentals in Porto – 2023
The areas that will be subject to restrictions on short term rental licence requests will be Vitória (pressure of 60,5%), Sé (44,1%), São Nicolau (48,3%), Santo Ildefonso (38,3%) and Miragaia (21,8%).
In the historical city center in Porto, Cedofeita (9,8%) won’t be subject to any sort of restriction for new licence requests.
“Sustainable growth” areas
The remaining areas of Porto’s municipality, besides Cedofeita, won’t be under any restriction for new short term licence requests.
This means that, with a pressure rate of only 8,1%, the Bonfim area also no longer under the previously established containment area, with no restrictions for AL licence requests.
These “sustainable growth” areas also include the areas of Campanhã (pressure at 1% de pressão), Foz do Douro (2,6%), Nevogilde (1%), Massarelos (7,1%), Paranhos (1%), Aldoar (0,3%) and Ramalde (0,6%).
Exemptions in containment areas
The new measures will allow, exceptionally, that Alojamento Local licences be issued for projects that are of “special interest to the city”.
These projects will include those that restore or rebuild rundown buildings (buildings vacant for 3 years or more), or those that also promote more affordable housing options to residents as well as incentives to “promote local businessess”.
Besides these new exceptions that will allow property owners and developers to still apply for new short term licences, another option is choosing to accommodate mid- and long-term stays (one month or longer). To host these stays in any area of Portugal, the property owner or property manager still does not need a specific licence, and this won’t be changed by the new regulation.
In the past, limitations on Alojamento Local in Porto were based on the following measures:
The Porto City Council approved the suspension of new Alojamento Local registrations in the Historical Centre of Porto and Bonfim – october 2022
The new measure applied to these areas for a period of six months and could be extended for another six, or until the Municipal Regulation for the Sustainable Growth of Alojamento Local came into force.
Porto City Council ordered a study to determine Containment Zones in the city
With the consequences of the crisis in tourism after the coronavirus pandemic, and as the city of Porto is a growing tourism market, the Municipality of Porto decided to cancel the Local Accommodation restrictions associated with the containment areas that covered the Historic Center and part of Bonfim.
The measure was approved in 2020 and remained in effect during the first months of 2022.
However, in April 2022, the Porto City Council issued new regulations will be launched in the coming months aiming at the demographic balance of the city and the “sustainable growth of tourist accommodation”.
Greater accountability of Alojamento Local hosts – 2020
The intention behind the containment areas and their restrictions was not to eradicate the touristic accommodations from the city, but rather to spread the Alojamento Local units across the city.
To achieve this, two groups of Alojamento Local were been created with different restrictions in place: “Tourist Areas of Sustainable Exploration” and “Tourist Conditional Zones”. This latter group, which supported the most restrictions, was divided into three categories in accordance to the “pressure level” of Alojamento Local units per the total of residential units per area:
50% pressure of short-term rentals.
The council voted for a suspension to stop any further permits to be granted in this area for six months or until the new regulations were finalised. It was expected that, once the suspension was lifted, new short-term rental permits for this area would be valid for two years.
37-50% pressure level of short-term rentals. Permits granted for the area would be valid for four years.
Areas of Contingent Containment
25-37.5% pressure level. Permits would be valid for six years or more.
Check here the original regulations article launched in 2019 (in Portuguese only).
Invest in Porto with GuestReady
Maximum property profitability can be better achieved by doing short-term rentals. It doubles or triples the gross rental return, but requires constant presence.
This can be problematic when it comes to buying a property in Portugal without being on-site.
This is where GuestReady comes in. Our Airbnb management company tasks help your business with the following tasks:
- Property decor and and photography session
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- Optimize their placement in search engines;
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- Manage bookings in several languages;
- Checking in and out of the apartment;
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Thanks to GuestReady, you can invest in Portugal, but also in the rest of Europe and even in Asia, without having to worry about being at the location of your rentals or having to manage guests or maintenance.
Are you investing in Porto?
GuestReady has a short-term rental guide that takes the user through each step to getting their Alojamento Local Permit; from registering with the Finanças (tax authority) to registering an Alojamento Local at the Balcão do Empreendedor. The guide further helps property managers and homeowners meet all general health and safety requirements to ensure they pass regular governmental audits.
GuestReady offers white-glove short-term rental property management services that turn vacant residential properties into thriving listings on booking platforms. The company helps property owners to stay compliant with local housing regulations and to deliver services that exceed guests’ expectations while promoting responsible hosting. The set of services goes beyond housekeeping and guest check-in, GuestReady also helps property owners to ensure their asset is well maintained, and continuously delivers the maximum return on their investment.
For more information or to find out how GuestReady can help you manage your property on the short-term rental market, schedule a call with our host experts today or read more about our services here.