Long term property rentals

Insights into what is involved in buying, selling & living in Portugal

Now Portugal has become a rather popular holiday destination, many people also may consider this country as a more permanent base for the future to retire. As settling here definitely and buying a property straight away may for some people just a to bigger step at once we get many requests for people who before committing to the sale of their property at home have the idea or dream to first rent a property for a longer period.

For some 3 winter months is sufficient to come to a conclusion whilst others may feel that they need at least 1 or 2 full seasons to establish if Portugal is the right place.

Although people are sometimes prepared to pay a good rent they will find it hard to find a property as many contracts are made for no longer than 6 months and even preferable this 6 months should be in what is called the low letting season from November till May.

Part of the problem lies in the laws governing property rentals as contracts favor the tenant to the detriment of the landlord. One only needs to have a look at the number of degraded and ruined properties. Especially in the big cities, to see what effect these restrictive laws are having on the rental property market.

Controlled rental charges, fixed annually by the government decrees, often force the landlord into totally abandoning the property. Low fixed rents do not give the landlord the encouragement and financial means to keep property in habitable conditions and quite often they will let properties degrade in the hope that the sitting tenants will be forced to seek alternative accommodation.

More than 6 months in a rented property allows the tenant the right to remain, although the situation could be slightly different if the tenant is not a resident, but still not many people want to take that risk. The sitting tenant even will be able to transfer the rental agreement to a third party and in certain cases even if the sitting tenant dies the heirs in certain cases could claim a right to stay.

Rental contracts can be divided in 2 categories; holiday rentals up to six months and rental contracts for a short period (no curto prazo). However short in the eyes of the Portuguese legislator means a minimum 5 years!

It is no wonder that the vast majority of property owners choose only to rent for holiday periods, particularly in regions dominated by a lucrative tourist industry. 5 or 6 months of holiday receipts may bring in more than 2 or 3 years fixed rentals + the fact that one still can use the property during the off-season.

Therefore it will not be easy to find this long term try out property rental in the Algarve, although exceptions are there. The landlord however is basically depending on your goodwill to vacate the property if he needs it again or wants to terminate the contract and for you to vacate the property.

Often the best and only option is to purchase maybe a small place, and with a bit of luck one could make a little profit if thing keep on developing as they have done in recent years. However it will also most of the time mean that you have to sell your property at home, the one thing you wanted to avoid by nit burning all your ships behind you.

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