AL tourist rentals “fear catastrophic result of political proposals”

The association representing property owners operating tourist rentals under the country’s AL regime fear that political proposals about to come under discussion in parliament could lead to “catastrophic results” for hundreds of thousands of their members

ALEP (standing for the local lodging association) is particularly concerned with the proposal to make it impossible for people to rent out on condominiums without the permission of the condominium’s board.

They say it could block AL’s expansion throughout the country, “easily transforming into a real campaign against tourists”.

Right now the number of cases in court involving conflicts on condominiums are “just four or five”, reports Diário de Notícias. But if renting became dependent on neighbours’ say-so, all that would instantly change.

ALEP’s fears follow the alarm sounded by Algarve lawyer Alexandra Soares in November.

Soares interpreted the proposals coming before parliament as “an attack on the economy of the country” (click here). She posted an online petition designed to dissuade politicians from voting for new AL controls but to date it has only raised 192 signatures (click here).

The issue hinges on problems that AL has caused in a few short years in city centres, like Lisbon.

Critics cite ‘AL ghettoes’ which have priced local people out of the rental market, and changed the social fabric of their city.

But as ALEP stresses “one cannot create rules or national prohibitions thinking about local issues that affect perhaps three or four parishes when AL is present in roughly 1600”.

Thus, the call is for “a sense of responsibility and ponderation”.

Other proposals concerning ALEP involve the suggestion for a 90-day limit on rentals, which the association says “would push more than 10,000 people directly or indirectly connected with AL into unemployment”; the bid to limit AL to property owners’ fiscal residences – which ALEP says would make 75% of the current market instantly illegal, and the attempt to limit any building’s AL allowance to 30% of the space available.

All these proposals will start coming under discussion in parliament from tomorrow (Friday).

Right now, the AL (Alojamento Local) regime has over 56,000 properties registered, involving around 140,000 rooms.

Says Dinheiro Vivo it’s a tally that is now “very close to what is offered by hotels”.

AL has mushroomed to the point that it now caters for a third of all overnight stays in Portugal by holidaymakers.

[email protected]