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Porto Containment Area and Suspension Zones come into effect for Short-Term Rental Licences

The Porto City Council met on July 10th to discuss the amendments to the existing Alojamento Local Law. The new regulations affecting the Alojamento Local Law is open for public consultation until the 18th of September 2019. To submit your feedback to the Porto City Council, please email them at

In Porto’s Alojamento Local proposal, Porto divided its containment areas according to the number of short-term rentals recorded in an area, referring to them as pressure levels. The pressure level is calculated with the number of short-term rentals vs the housing available. There are 3 different types of containment areas. There is the Conditioned Containment Area, the Preventative Containment Area and the Contingent Containment Area.

Porto City Council Assembly where the Containment Area for Alojamento Local is Discussed. Photo Credit - Miguel Nogueira

Porto City Council Assembly where the Containment Area for Alojamento Local is Discussed. Photo Credit – Miguel Nogueira

Despite the new restrictions, homeowners can still apply for a short-term license in the different containment areas if their property meets one of the following conditions:

  1. A building unit in the building or residential property that has been listed vacant for more than three years, or;
  2. has recently been refurbished in the last two years, improving the overall state of the building, or;
  3. when a property use has recently been changed from commercial to residential or professional services.
  4. If it is a new build that has been built on the site of a previously demolished property that was in poor condition or at risk of collapse.
  5. When the short-term rental licence is for letting out a room.

The above exceptions do not apply if the property has been let out to a long-term rental tenant in the last three years. By January 2020, the new Alojamento Local regulations are expected to be fully in effect.

Four main updates in Porto’s Alojamento Local Law

The new Alojamento Local regulations introduce four major changes:

1 – Greater accountability of Alojamento Local hosts

When you submit your application to the Registo Nacional de Alojamento Local (RNAL) you need to guarantee that your property has a proper connection to the public water supply network; as well as the installation of safety devices, including a fire extinguisher and a “fire blanket”; an emergency plan; civil liability insurance. If you provide “false information”, the city council can sue you, says Ricardo Valente, responsible for the Economy, Tourism and Trade Sector.

2 – Introduction of an Alojamento Local Mediator

This is a measure “unprecedented worldwide”, said Ricardo Valente, who also highlighted the positive effect of the Alojamento Local on the local economy and the ‘positive economic impact’ that it has in the city, considering that the average stay in this accommodation type is 5.2 days, much higher than the hotel units of 2.2 days. The functions of the mediator are expressed in the regulation of the Alojamento Local proposal. ‘There will be “one mediator per parish”, and probably more than one in Porto’s Historical Center states Valente.

3 – Implementation of a Code of Conduct and Good Practices Guidelines

Airbnb users will have to comply with the guidelines set out by Porto City Council for the cities Short-Term Rentals Code of Conduct and Good Practices.

4 – Determining the duration of your Alojamento Local Licence with the RNAL

Two groups of  Alojamento Local have been created with different restrictions in place. The two groups are “Tourist Areas of Sustainable Exploration”

Ricardo Valente from the Department of Economy, Tourism and Commerce at the Porto City Hall © Miguel Nogueira

Ricardo Valente from the Department of Economy, Tourism and Commerce at the Porto City Council states that “the intention is not to prohibit the Local Accommodation in Porto, but rather to balance the supply of LA in the city.” © Miguel Nogueira

and the “Tourist Conditional Zones”. Within the latter group, the three areas are further subdivided into:

Regarding this last measure, the city council emphasized that its decision was made not to create a containment area with the intention of prohibiting the Alojamento Local in Porto, but rather to balance the offer of Alojamento Local in the city. Therefore, the three containment areas were designed in accordance with the level of Alojamento Local pressure in the area:

  • Conditioned Containment Area

50% pressure level of short-term rentals in this area. 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 are finalised. Once the suspension is lifted, new short-term rental permits for this area will be valid for two-years.

  • Areas of Preventative Containment

37-50% pressure level of short-term rentals in this area. Permits granted for this area will be valid for four years.

  • Areas of Contingent Containment

25-37.5% pressure level of short-term rentals in this area. Permits for this area will be valid for six years or more.

Porto short-term rental containment area

Porto Containment Area Map. Source: ALEP, 31 May 2019, Situação do Regulamento Municipal para o Alojamento Local. Slideshare.


“To help property investors, managers and homeowners prepare for the new regulations we put together an Essential Guide to getting an Alojamento Local permit in Porto” says António Fragateiro, City Manager at GuestReady Click To Tweet

The short-term rental guide 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 guest’s 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.

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