How to obtain a rental license

These are issued, as stated previously, by the local Câmara and we would advise that you instruct your lawyer or property manager to arrange obtaining the proper licence for you. You will need to provide the following papers (may be some small variations from Câmara to Câmara):

  • Copy title deeds
  • Copy electricity, gas, etc. certificates
  • Copy plans of the property
  • Health and Safety plan for the property
  • Floor plans of the property
  • Caderneta predial
  • Certidão predial
  • Ownership details

You will also need to ensure that the property is equipped with the following and is of a reasonable standard which may be verified by an inspector from the Câmara:

  • Fire safety equipment (extinguishers and fire blanket in kitchen)
  • Emergency signs
  • Connected to all mains utilities or with their own provision in place
  • Hot and cold water
  • Proper ventilation system (air vents)
  • Properly furnished to a reasonable standard
  • Proper exterior locks and on bathroom doors
  • Adequate changes of linen
  • Programme of cleaning
  • Complaints book
  • First aid facilities (emergency numbers prominently displayed)
  • Book detailing rules and regulations of use of the property
  • Instruction manuals for appliances
  • Proper safety measures around swimming pool

Most of these will already be in place in most properties and, if not, can easily be put in place.

Taxation issues

If the property is located in Portugal then Portuguese tax has to be paid on any income generated by the property. This applies even if the owner and the renter are based outside Portugal and if the rental is arranged without the assistance of a Portuguese-based agent.

The property owner is legally obliged to file an income tax return declaring the rental achieved during the year. Many expenses can be deducted from the gross income to arrive at the net taxable figure and these include:

  • Annual rates
  • Property management & cleaning expenses
  • Works & improvements on the property
  • Condominium charges

The tax payable has just been increased to 25% for companies and to 28% for individuals. The owner should declare the tax paid in his country of tax residence and he will be given credit for this in the payment of any income tax there.

Changing designation of property to services

If the property is being used for holiday rentals then it is possible to have the property designation at the local tax office changed from ‘Habitation’ to ‘Services’ and this usually results in a significant reduction in the Valor Patrimonial (Rateable value) of the property with a resultant reduction in the annual IMI payable on the property. This change can be particularly effective in having the value reduced below the € 1 million threshold for the new tax on properties over that figure.