Newsletter March 3

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

150-E Rental licenses again.

Disappointed but not defeated: property rental licensing row continues

ACCORDING TO those who attended the meeting on March 15 at the Direcção-Geral de Turismo (DGT), the general directorate for tourism, to debate the application of legislation responsible for regulating the licensing of properties for tourism purposes, “it was nothing but a bad joke”.

More than 100 people related to the tourism sector travelled to Lisbon from as far as the Azores and the Algarve, hoping to be given explanations and discuss solutions to make some sense of the legislation that is widely believed to be unworkable. Instead, it appears the audience was given a “patronising sermon” by senior DGT executives, who merely lectured on the law. The Resident is aware that the President of Albufeira Câmara, Desidério Silva, the President of the Algarve Tourism Board, Hélder Martins, and the President of the Associação Empresarial de Almancil (AEA), Aníbal Moreno, attended the meeting, representing the Algarve, among others.

According to Aníbal Moreno, by the end of the meeting, the attendees began making sarcastic comments and “joking with the DGT officials”, incredulous at their clear refusal to study the situation or consider solutions to a problem that is posing a serious threat to the Algarve tourism industry. “Following this meeting, it was quite clear to us that we are not going to get anywhere with the DGT. They do not understand the problems we are facing and, worse still, do not appear interested,” Aníbal Moreno told The Resident’s Caroline Cunha. “We will not give up though. What we must do now is work on influencing the government because the legislation has to be changed.”

On receiving news of the failed DGT meeting, a source from the organisation known as STARS, a self-formed group made up of over 50 owners of apartments, villas, townhouses and private rooms in the Algarve, have declared their outrage: “The DGT is very immature, irresponsible and hypocritical. Why don’t they give this subject the attention and time it deserves?”

Controversy The controversial property licensing legislation has barely been out of the headlines in recent months (see related articles in January 20, March 3 and March 17 editions of The Resident) due to the outrage among the tourism sector at the fines being handed down by government watchdog, Inspecção Geral das Actividades Económicas (IGAE), the general inspectorate for economic activities, for non compliance. Much anger and frustration exists among villa owners and rental operators as, in practice, it has been found that it is virtually impossible to obtain the licence required due to the inabili

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