Edition 1471
21 April 2018
Edition: 1471

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Local lodging revamp fears

by Brendan de Beer, in News · 04-01-2018 14:10:00 · 4 Comments

Homeowners of establishments covered by the local lodging holiday rental law have this week expressed concern that their business could be harshly affected by proposed legislative reforms. These alterations are to be debated in Parliament this Friday, with every political party seeking to enforce changes to existing local lodging laws (Alojamento Local).

Local lodging revamp fears

All of the proposed reforms are focussed on making it compulsory for those letting out properties to seek the approval of condominiums or homeowners’ associations prior to applying for a local lodging licence (AL).
The ruling Socialists (PS) are leading the proposed law reforms, calling for it to be compulsory for homeowners to approve local lodging at venues such as residential blocks of flats.
While the PS have underlined the importance of local lodging to the tourism industry as a whole, the party adds “it cannot be overlooked that the activity is also potentially a cause for concern and upset to people who permanently reside in a building where this system is in operation.”
As a result, the Socialists want landlords to present a document containing the prior approval of the condominium before being granted an AL licence.
The CDS-PP party meanwhile, in addition, want condominiums to make a decision at the outset, which any prospective investor would be aware of before purchasing a property that might have served as a holiday property rental.
The Left Bloc and the Communist Party are proposing that local authorities be given greater powers in regulating the industry. The two leftist parties both want local councils to have the authority to limit the number of holiday homes in a city, town, parish or village to 30 percent.
The Communists also want landlords to take out additional insurance in the event of holidaymakers causing damage to property, both common and private.
The Left Bloc also want a limitation on AL licences of 90 days a year when dealing with a whole apartment, townhouse or villa.
Pedro Soares, who is a Left Bloc MP and also president of a commission which regulates housing and local authorities, said parties across the political spectrum have already agreed in the corridors of Parliament that Friday’s proposals will all be tabled for legislative approval.
The chairman of the Association of Local Lodging in Portugal, Eduardo Miranda, has meanwhile urged lawmakers to practice more stability and consistency, and accused them of potentially causing ruin to the whole industry.
“Constant reforms and changes always bring instability, resulting in people no longer wanting to invest, or to risk their futures in an environment which is not stable”, argued Miranda.
He further cautioned that the proposals being tabled are out of line with reality and, if approved, will “place thousands of families at risk along with the entire local lodging sector.”
These views are underlined in a petition drawn up by a separate interest group.
The petition, “Em Defesa do Alojamento Local Sustentável” or “in defence of sustainable local lodging”, which already contains around 5,000 signatures, warns of widespread bankruptcies and business closures should these proposed laws be enforced.
Petition author Jorge Van Krieken told Lusa News Agency that local lodging generates wealth of around six billion euros. He adds politicians are basing their proposals on specific cases, while not taking into the account the entire country in their bid to further legislate.
Van Krieken also called on a differentiation of AL properties, arguing that a Lisbon hostel containing 200 beds cannot be compared to a single rental apartment unit located in the same area.
The proposed legislation comes just over a year after a group of homeowners in a Lisbon apartment block succeeded in a case against one particular landlord when the Lisbon Court of Appeal ruled that unless a building is issued with a trading licence, a homeowner can be stopped from renting out a property to holidaymakers by fellow homeowners.
This rule, it said, does not apply to long-term rentals.
The Court explained that letting out a property to tourists is a commercial activity, just as a hairdresser or a café might be, and needs approval from a building’s homeowners’ association in order to operate.
The Court further found that a property which has initially been destined for housing can only be transformed into a business with approval from other proprietors.
More than 55,000 properties are currently registered across the country, with the majority located in Lisbon, Porto, followed closely by Albufeira.

Comments

Regulation on vacation rentals has to be taken into seriously and must thoroughly identified. The regulation effort has to be based on this constitutional right owning the property and that of its neighboring residents. Find measures in which vacation rental business runs in accordance with the regulations set. Other states were able to manage vacation rental business fostering economic growth on those cities. Focusing mainly on its impact to homeowners associations and its neighbors are relatively issues losing the opportunity of vacation rental business to grow. Please check http://rentalo.com to learn about vacation rentals.
by Ex Castillo from USA on 05-01-2018 08:36:00
This is unfortunately so typical of the Portuguese Government.
With one hand it wants to encourage tourism, but with the other it makes it difficult for owners to operate.

There seems to be no consistency of policy, nor regard of the overall financial impact to tourist resorts or current owners.
by Trevor Roberts from Algarve on 05-01-2018 07:11:00
The whole airbnb is a nightmare for other residents and communities.
Random people with no respect for their neighbours,high turnover of new people.This is forcing locals out,pushing up prices and destroying neighbourhoods.
There becomes little difference to running a hotel.
by James from Algarve on 05-01-2018 05:02:00
I rent out properties in UK, not only did my management company have to agree, I had to do a landlord course and then get a landlord license, it cost me nearly £300 and my license lasts 10 years. If a tenant complains that there landlord hasn’t got a license the rent is stopped to the landlord, nor can the landlord evict the tenant!
by J pires from UK on 05-01-2018 01:56:00

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Edition 1471
21 April 2018
Edition: 1471

Read this week's issue online exactly as it appears in print.

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