What should Brits know about renting property in Portugal?

If you can't afford to buy, or simply don't want to be tied down, renting can be a great choice if you are thinking of moving over to Portugal. Whether it's a quaint little apartment or a gorgeous villa complete with pool, you'll want to know what to expect when you migrate over. Here's what you should know before you begin renting.


When renting in Portugal, it's important to understand both your rights and the rights of the landlord, as you don't want to get caught out unexpectedly. Landlords can give notice for two reasons: the landlord or his/her family need to use the property for themselves or the landlord has been granted a building permit because there needs to be extensive work carried out on the property.

Your contract can also be terminated for several reasons, although these should be pretty obvious and self-explanatory. You can be threatened with eviction if you do not pay your rent, you're using the property for illegal activities, you're not using the property, you're renting out the building to someone else without the landlords permission and if you dramatically change the structure of the building.

With not paying your rent in particular, Portugal legislation means that the landlord does not have to start legal proceedings if you have not paid up. Instead, you will receive a written warning if you haven't paid your rent for three months or more. If you fail to pay your unpaid rent within a three month period, you will be forced to move out of the property.


Rent is gradually increased according to market value and so rent can be increased every year, much like property in the UK, as long as all parties agree to the amount. The amount of rent you pay can also be increased after building work has been completed.

In the past, the landlord had more control over the amount they charged for rent but recent changes in the law means that no longer applies, which might work out fairer for Brits choosing to rent, as it is less likely they'll get ripped off by extortionate prices.

Cancelling your contract

If or when you decide to terminate your renting contract, if you have it on automatic renewal, you must give notice in accordance to how long you have been staying there but you don't have to provide a reason as to why you are cancelling.

If you have been under contract for six or more years, you must give notice of at least six months. Contracts between one to six years require 60 days' notice. If you've only been renting for three months to one year, you must give at least thirty days' notice and if the contract has lasted less than three months you need to give a notice which equates to a third of the contract length.

It is always advised that you seek legal advice if you are unsure with anything. For example, don't rent with a landlord you don't feel comfortable with and don't rent anywhere you haven't actually seen or visited in person. You don't want to end up paying for somewhere that's nasty and requires a lot of work being done to it or rent with a landlord who refuses to repair things when they break or go wrong. Ensure you do your research first in order to get the most out of your beautiful new Portugal getaway.

Posted on Monday, August 12, 2013

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