Renting Property in Portugal:
The Complete Guide
Portugal is the fourth safest country, and due to the low cost of living, it is becoming a favorite relocating destination for expats across the world.
Since you are reading this article, you might be planning to move to Portugal and the odds are that your visa is approved, tickets are bought, and the job is lined up. But you are yet to find accommodation…
Well, there is no denying that looking for a place to stay in a foreign country can be a painful task. Since you know little about what housing options are available and which streets are the best, you are sure to get confused.
So, how can you find a perfect home for yourself in Portugal?
Which is the most budget-friendly street?
Is it wise to rent a property in Portugal or purchase it?
We are sure your mind is occupied with a hundred questions concerned with your stay as an expat in Portugal. Therefore, let’s take all these queries one by one and resolve all the doubts.
Should you Rent or Buy a Property in Portugal?
What is better, buying or renting a property in Portugal?
The answer depends on various factors. For instance, the number of years you plan to live, the property’s current market rate, and the expat mortgage cost?
Buying a property depends on factors like location and property type. Currently, the properties’ interest rates are running low in Portugal and are cheaper than paying the monthly rents for many years. As a result, some people who want to stay there for a long time prefer to buy a property, although it does require some financial effort. Not much of a surprise, spending all your earnings paying rent for a house that is never going to be yours is not a wise idea either.
Also, you might not find it ideal to buy a property in Portugal if you are going to stay for a limited period of time. Therefore, the best option for you is to rent a property in Portugal.
So, what are the essential factors to keep in mind while looking for accommodation in Portugal? Let’s have a look.
Things To Consider Before Renting a Home in Portugal
There is a lot of planning required if you are moving to a foreign country. Whatever may be the reason for the immigration, you certainly need a home to live in. Since every country has a unique housing market and the rental process, let us brief you about a few essential points while renting a property in Portugal.
Where To Rent
If you already have a job in Portugal, you definitely know the city you will live in. But, if you plan to move for a business/startup, you need to find out the perfect location to stay. Therefore, do some online research to decide which is the ideal city for the type of business you will establish.
The average rental cost of a house in Portugal is around €1,100 per month. However, the rent prices may vary if you move from one place to another. Also, if you plan to stay in a city like Lisbon and Porto, the rent will be higher. Besides, the inland east side of the country is comparatively cheaper.
Types of Rentals
Since Portugal has become a popular destination among students and expats, rental options are available depending on your stay. For instance, there are plenty of short-term rentals across the country. Although long-term rentals are difficult to find, a housing agency can be of great help if you plan to stay for an extended duration.
The rental contracts for renting a property in Portugal are quite flexible. You can choose whether you want a fixed-term contract or an open-ended contract. The latter is preferred more because then you are not bound to leave after a specific duration. In fact, if you plan to extend your stay, an open-ended contract is a better option.
How To Rent a Property in Portugal
As this European country is becoming increasingly famous among expats, renting a property in Portugal is not a problem. The only issue you might face is communicating with the potential landlords because of the language barrier. Although there are some English speakers in Portugal, the older generation talks only in Portuguese.
Besides, it depends on the type of contracts you are looking for, namely short-term or long-term. Many people also live in shared apartments so that their rental costs are reduced.
Furthermore, many landlords have now become reluctant to give long-term contracts as the country is a huge tourist destination. Short-term leases, however, are readily available to the tourists as well as the tenants.
Finding a Rental Property in Portugal
The first step toward renting a property in Portugal is to get acquainted with the housing market. Moreover, from standard apartments to the typical and luxurious Portuguese farms, there are many properties available for rent in Portugal.
Since the prices are rising gradually, most of the properties you are willing to rent might become unaffordable. In addition, you can decide whether you want a fully-furnished, semi-furnished, or unfurnished house.
There are a few ways how you can find the ideal place for yourself in Portugal:
- Local Real Estate Agencies: An excellent real estate agent will help you with the location, price, and quality of housing you are looking for. A significant benefit of these agents is that they will give you all the information and negotiate with the landlords on your behalf. They will even arrange a rental contract in English.
- Online Classifieds Ads Sites: Nowadays, several online portals advertise houses for rent in Portugal. This is the fastest way to look for accommodation as there are photos and other details of the house available in front of you. You can connect with the owners and proceed further.
Note: You can also use platforms like Facebook Marketplace and Facebook groups to find rentals in Portugal.
Best Places To Rent a Property in Portugal
Expats from all across the world move to Portugal and rent houses to stay. However, some of the most preferred locations for renting a property in Portugal are as follows:
Being the capital city, Lisbon has iconic streets and beautiful architecture that makes it perfect for renting a property in Portugal. It has a wide variety of housing, from studio apartments to villas, depending on the requirements and availability. Besides, the cost of rent may vary:
- A small studio flat in Lisbon costs around €600 per month
- A family apartment in an upmarket area may cost up to €2,000 per month
- The standard rate for a 120 m2 flat in a desirable area is around €1,200 per month
The modern houses in Lisbon are well-constructed and structured. Also, the city offers most of the employment opportunities in the country.
One reason to rent a house in Porto is the famous Port Wine and mesmerizing architecture. There are work opportunities available in sectors like tourism, manufacturing, IT, and technology. But note that Porto is the second most expensive city in Portugal after Lisbon.
- The cost of a one-bedroom apartment (also called a T1) is about €500 per month, and that of a three-bedroom apartment is around €1,000 per month.
People also prefer shared accommodations to avoid spending most of their income on rent.
In addition, essential utilities like electricity, water, internet, and heating can be managed for about €200 per month.
The Algarve is the best place for you if you wish to maintain an active lifestyle. The good weather and beaches are reasons valid enough to shift to this region if you want to work remotely on a startup or spend your retirement days.
- Renting a furnished two-bedroom apartment costs between €700 and €1,000.
Generally speaking, a 120 m2 apartment would cost around €800 per month to rent.
However, primarily because of the region’s proximity to the beaches and its popularity, it can be a little challenging to rent a property in the Algarve. Therefore, make sure you consult the real estate agencies.
The Silver Coast
The Silver Coast, also known as the Algarve of the north, is famous for its picturesque scenery and healthcare and education facilities. Despite being situated between Lisbon and Porto, the cost of living there is inexpensive.
Most people prefer to find accommodation in the cities, Coimbra and Aveiro, lying on the Silver Coast.
- Rent for an average one-bedroom apartment and the three-bedroom apartment in Aveiro can range between €500 to €800.
- Besides, the same ranges from €400 to €750 in Coimbra.
Investment Options For The Portuguese Golden Visa
Now that you know renting Property in Portugal is easy, let’s brief you about how much you might have to shell from your pocket for various things.
Other Fees and Costs
The rental charges do not include other utilities like gas and electricity. Besides, if it is an unfurnished apartment, you might have to invest in buying the furniture.
- The cost of electricity, heating, cooling, water, and garbage together costs around €110 for an average apartment.
- Internet charges for 60 Mbps or more with unlimited data, cable/ADSL) cost around €30.
- Average grocery shopping for a single person for a month will cost around €50.
Landlords tend to ask for a security deposit equivalent to two months’ rent. The landlord will hold the deposit till the set duration of the tenancy. Moreover, it will be returned to you on the condition that the property is returned in its original conditions.
Some tenants try to convince the landlord to keep the deposit in an escrow account so that it remains untouched. In some cases, the two parties share the interest on the deposit.
Moving in and Moving out
The landlord prepares an inventory after you move into the property. This document contains information about the house and a list of the items included with the property. It also states that you will leave the property in the same condition in which you find it. However, some minor damages can be ignored.
The notice to move out can be served by the tenant after completing six months of the contract. But you will have to give 120 days’ notice if the contract for more than a year is left and a 60 days’ notice for less than a year. Besides, if the landlord is breaching the deal, you have the liberty to end the contract.
Furthermore, if a landlord wants to get the property vacated, he will have to send the notice six months before the date of leaving. Sometimes, they may ask you to move out to get the house renovated. In that case, they might have to compensate you for up to one year of rent or relocate you to a similar property.
Note: If it is an open-ended contract, the landlord will have to notify you two years in advance.
Lastly, when the tenancy is over, and the landlord has inspected the property for damages, he/she will have to return the security deposit.
Selecting the Right Team
Renting property in Portugal can be stressful if you do not have the right team working with you. The right team will perform in accordance with your requirement.
Selecting the Right Real Estate Agent in Portugal
The right real estate agent will go above and beyond to ensure that all your demands are fulfilled by listing some of the best properties.
- Check that your agent is licensed and the registration number is verified with the Instituto da Construção e do Imobiliário. This will prevent you from indulging in fraud or overcharging.
- Your agent must have a solution for all your queries and have knowledge of the current real estate and financial situation of the country.
Selecting a Lawyer in Portugal
You do require a lawyer in Portugal who can help you with all the country’s local laws and procedures. Besides, if he is skilled enough, he might also function as your financial advisor. It is recommended that you look for a lawyer who can communicate in English.
Landlord and Tenant Laws in Portugal
There are certain landlord and tenant laws in Portugal. So, before renting a property in Portugal, make sure that you are aware of these rights and obligations.
A landlord can ask the tenant to terminate the contract in the following cases:
- The rent is not being paid on time.
- Misusing the property or using it for a different purpose than the one stated in the contract
- Subletting a portion of the premises without the permission of the landlord
- The tenant is making changes in the structure of the property
In case the tenant has not paid the rent for three months or more, the landlord is eligible to notify the tenant to vacate the premises.
As a tenant:
- You can end the renewal of the tenancy by giving notice to the landlord. However, there is a specific time span within which the notice must be sent. Also, it’s not necessary to provide a reason for the termination of the contract.
- You must check whether the landlord has registered the rental contract with Portal das Finanças, the Portuguese tax authorities’ official website.
The rent is settled, keeping in mind the market value. Furthermore, the landlord can increase the rent only once a year, and the amount must be approved by both parties in writing.
Tips for Renting a Home in Portugal
Before moving and renting a property in Portugal, try to get acquainted a bit with the local language, especially the words often used.
Here are some important Portuguese housing terms with their meanings:
|resolucao do contrato||Termination of contract|
|contrato com prazo certo||Fixed-term contract|
|contrato por duracao indeterminada||Open-ended contract|
Don’t forget to arrange for an Aljomento Local license for each dwelling. Some landlords deal in cash to avoid tax obligations, which is an illegal practice. Therefore, you must also have legal protection in case something goes wrong in the future.
Investigate and Decide
In some cases, you might have to compromise with the location, while in some with the budget. Therefore, make sure that it suits your requirements and then sign the contract. Don’t rush into the decision and give time to the rental property search, especially if you are looking for a long-term contract.
Don’t panic even if it’s taking too long to find a good home for yourself. Sometimes, the best is hidden in plain sight. You will get it, just be patient and don’t give up on the hunt.
So, here’s a complete guide to help you find your ideal renting property in Portugal. Good luck with the new phase of your life!
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