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Frequently Asked Questions

Many second home owners across the Algarve are confused by the legislation and the requirements that are necessary to offer a property for rental within the short term or holiday letting sector. In a bid to unscramble some of the myths and offer some easily digestable information please see the questions and answers below.

The answer is most definitely yes.

After much confusion over the last couple of years, it is now essential that you have a licence if you rent out your property in Portugal. The Portuguese authorities, now carry out inspections in order to find out if properties being offered for rent, hold this licence. The Inspectors key objective is to ensure that properties meet the required safety standards. Before letting your property you must register a business activity with the Portuguese Tax Authorities. Business Activity Registration, known as the Inicio de Actividade, can be made online if you have resident status. Non-residents or their fiscal representative must submit paper forms at the local ‘Financias’ (tax office). it is worthy of note that fiscal representation is an essential part of being eligible to join the scheme.

The AL (Alojamento Local) licence is specifically for short term holiday rentals (less than 6 months) as opposed to renting long term and applications for the licence are made at your local City Hall (Câmera).

These are issued, as stated previously, by the local Câmara.

Contact Algarve Retreats for more details on how to arrange a licence for you.

There are various forms to complete and these are then submitted to the City Hall (Câmera). Below is a list of documents that may also be required. The list may vary depending on the Câmera to which the submission is made, some of these documents are obligatory, whilst others will be upon request.

  • Passport,
  • Fiscal Card or Papers;
  • Caderneta predial - Official tax document relating to the property;
  • Licença de habitação - Habitation Licence;
  • Copytitle deeds;
  • Copy electricity, gas certificates; Health and Safety plan for the property;
  • Floor plans of the property;
  • Certidão predial; Ownership details.

The price depends on the size of the property and the local authority costs also vary. For our clients we have been quoting an average cost of €550 and €700.

  1. Your property must meet a number of requirements that relate to the condition of the property and to health and safety.
  2. The accommodation must be furnished to a reasonable standard.
  3. There must be information relating to any specific rules and regulations regarding the use of the accommodation.
  4. Clear Instruction manuals for appliances.
  5. Emergency signage must be in place along with safety equipment such as smoke alarms, fire extinguishers, fire blankets and first aid kits.
  6. More specific information can be provided on request.

Once the process is complete, a licence number will be allocated to your property, this will be retained by both the City Hall (Câmera) and Tourist Board of Portugal.
It is essential that this number appears on all rental advertising of the property.

Failure to comply with these obligations is likely to result in significant fines being administered under the new offences of

  1. Offering, providing, advertising or acting as an intermediary for any unregistered property;
  2. Finding clients for an unregistered property.

For any foreign citizen (including nationals of other member states of the EU), if they are paying for their accommodation, they must complete and sign a lodging registration form approved by the Ministry of Internal Administration. This is a requirement by SEF, Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras, (Immigration and Border Services). One member of the family spouse may report and sign for the whole family, (a tour group may be signed for by a representative). Their arrival must be reported within 3 days of arrival and again reported within 3 days of their departure. There exists a scale of fines for non-compliance. There are 3 methods of submission – the method which doesn’t require any specialised software is via a portal and is via on-line fill-in forms. Unfortunately, the website is currently only in Portuguese, https://siba.sef.pt/

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any further questions or require any further advice.