Renting out in Portugal: the rental licence

To rent in Portugal to tourists, Alojamento Local, you need a licence from the municipality. This article explains the steps you need to take to be allowed to rent in Portugal.

When do you need a permit?

If you rent out your property in Portugal to tourists on a short-term basis, you basically need a licence. There are four categories of rentable buildings.

  • A detached building, such as a villa, a holiday home, etc.
  • One flat. You can let a maximum of 7 flats per building, provided that the flats to be let do not exceed than 75% of the flats in the building.
  • A hostel or guest house.
  • One room. You can rent a maximum of three rooms in a building rent out.

The maximum capacity is 9 rooms per building, for a maximum of 30 people. This does not apply to hostels. Capacity is determined by the number of beds. Rollaway beds do not count.

Basic building requirements

In general, the building should be in good condition, both externally and internally. The basic requirements should guarantee that no slums are offered on the market.

Running (hot & cold) water must be available, either through utilities or through a licensed water system (e.g. well). The property is also connected to the sewerage system or a licensed septic tank is present, of sufficient size for the rental capacity.

There is at least one bathroom with washbasin, toilet and bath or shower.

In addition, there should be enough windows, or a balcony, to allow sufficient ventilation of the rooms.

The privacy of tenants must guaranteed.

What are the safety requirements?

The property must be in line with local prevailing safety standards. In the building, for example, the following items should be present:

  • Fire extinguishers and fire blankets per room/unit, one fire blanket in the kitchen near the oven, one large fire extinguisher per floor
  • First aid kit (CE);
  • Visible information on rules regarding swimming, lifts, common areas, extra services, etc.
  • Manuals of the electronic equipment present;
  • The national emergency number (112) should be clearly visible.


At least once a week, you should clean the rented rooms and change the bedding. This should also be done each time before a new tenant moves in.

Other requirements?

There should be an information book with all the rules about noise pollution and depositing rubbish. If there are common parts with other owners, you should also add the rules of the co-ownership. This information should be available in at least four languages, including Portuguese and English.

You will also need a complaint book for guests.

You will need separate insurance needed for accidents caused by guests.

Renting in Portugal: how to register?

Renting in Portugal is an independent activity. You should therefore report to the taxes, the Finanças, as either a sole proprietorship or as a company. You should then submit your application to the municipality (Câmara Muncipal), at the counter (Balcão Único). You must be able to Submit:

  • Proof of ownership of the property;
  • Proof that water and electricity are available in accordance with local legislation;
  • Proof that you are registered as self-employed (Certificate of Início de Actividade);
  • Extract from the land register (Caderneta predial urbana).

After the application, you will receive the registration number and you can in principle start the rental activity. Within 60 days, the municipality will come to check whether your building meets all the conditions. If the building is rejected, the registration number will be withdrawn.

The municipality is free to restrict or ban accommodations in certain regions restrict or ban.

Co-owners' association

In case you rent flats or houses in an urbansiation rent out, the consent of the co-owners' association is required. It can demand that your contribution to the common costs be increased by a maximum of 30%.


Any publicity must compulsorily mention the registration number. You will also receive a sign from the municipality to place in front of the entrance to the accommodation.

Registration of tenants

You should keep a guestbook and share it with the police via a specific government website (SEF). Arrival and departure of foreigners must be reported within three days.


For natural persons, fines range from €2,500 to €4,000 for violations. For companies, fines are between €25000 and €40000.


Of course, you will have to pay taxes on your rental income in Portugal.

Read more about taxes in Portugal.

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