Algarve AL

Brussels could stop new restrictions to AL holiday rentals

The European Commission has slammed similar restrictions in Ireland as “disproportionately restrictive”

The European Commission could give the thumbs down to the Portuguese government’s new Local Accommodation (Alojamento Local, AL, short-term holidays rentals) measures, which aim to restrict the de-characterisation of traditional historic neighbourhoods and prevent house price speculation.

The European Commission has slammed similar restrictions in Ireland as “disproportionately restrictive” and “capable of negatively affecting tourism offer”, particularly in coastal and rural areas, without guaranteeing that the measures will increase the number of houses available to rent.

In a decision issued a few days ago, Brussels considered that Ireland “did not provide information and sustained arguments” that these measures would be essential to respond to (Ireland’s) housing problem by transferring up to 12,000 ‘AL’ properties for long-term rental. The Irish government had also failed to come up with a wider alternative package that could achieve the objectives proposed.

It also criticised disproportionate actions such as not confining the restrictions geographically to the most densely populated urban areas where there was a greater likelihood of AL having an effect on rental prices.

So, where does that leave the Portuguese government’s More Housing” package and its restrictions on Local Accommodation in Portugal? At the moment, the European Commission says that it is “awaiting information from the Portuguese government on the measures which will be analysed in the light of European rules”.

Source: Essential Business