Last Updated on December 13, 2021 by Victor Queiroz
If you are looking for a property in Portugal, the first question you must ask yourself is whether renting is the most advantageous option. Buying a property might be considered depending on the goals you have.
Assuming that you’ve chosen that renting is the best option, here follows some tips to avoid problems when renting a property in Portugal:
1. Sign a contract
You can formalize a contract in different ways around the world. In the case of the Portuguese legal system, it is very important to have a written signed contract.
The name of the lease or rental agreement in Portugal is “Contrato de Arrendamento”. There are some mandatory requirements for this type of contract, such as:
- Identity of the parties;
- Property location;
- Purpose of the contract;
- Price and payment form;
- Term, among others.
A well-designed rental agreement will guarantee you peace of mind. The contract will be the first guide to solving disputes regarding the rental.
That’s why we highly suggest hiring a professional to assist you in this field.
2. Find a translator
Even though machine translators are working more and more efficiently, it is prudent to hire professional services if you are a non-Portuguese speaker. Portuguese is the official language since contracts need a registry before public agencies.
You might find English-speaking brokers, consultants, and lawyers. If you did not have this kind of assistance and you are familiar with contracts, you can hire a translator. Also, keep in mind that there are some contract formalities and requirements.
An amount equivalent to six months’ upfront payment is the most common type of guarantee. The name of this guarantee is “caução”.
In this case, landlords hold the guarantee in their names during the validity of the contract. In the end, this amount is reimbursed since there is no contract default or property damage.
Alternatively, the parties can elect an escrow account, depending on certain circumstances, such as contract value. In this case, the bank will be the amount holder.
You may also like to read: Top real estate websites in Portugal and tips for buying properties online
Parties shall set in the contract who will be responsible for the charges. If there is no agreement in this sense, the Portuguese Civil Code provides that the expenses related to the provision of goods or services of the property) will be borne by the tenant.
Condominium or gated community expenses are usually a landlord’s responsibility. We recommended to detail as much as possible the different types of expenses. Moreover, define who will be responsible under the contract.
Portuguese law deals with the matter, which, in free translation, states that:
“Up to three dogs or four adult cats can be housed in urban buildings for each house, the number of animals cannot being exceeded, unless, at the request of the holder, and upon binding opinion of the municipal veterinarian and the delegate of health, accommodation is authorized for up to a maximum of six adult animals, provided that all the legally required hygienic, sanitary and animal welfare requirements are met“.
Even though this law statement is in force, few residents comply with this obligation.
The landlord may prohibit pets in the contract, which may lead to further disputes. In this case, there are courts precedents that ensure the tenant to have a pet in a leased property, even though there is a clause in the contract in the opposite sense.
That’s a hurray for those who love pets. Furthermore, you can find all information about taking your pet to Portugal in our article.
6. Main Concept
If we could summarize the recommendations into a single piece of advice, here follows:
We would suggest checking in advance your particular circumstances. Also, check your goals and needs. Don’t just jump into an agreement before doing your homework.
Remember, you will live abroad. Pay special attention to this task.
If you want more tips just like this one, we recommend joining our Facebook expats group, where members can help you with your relocation to Portugal.