Rundown Lisbon townhouses ‘home’ to thousands of immigrants

Greedy landlords? Government has strategy

Price cap mechanism ‘could be extended to new rental contracts’

Following stories that landlords in Lisbon are trying to wriggle out of the cap on rent increases next year by evicting tenants, and re-renting properties at a much higher rental, minister for infrastructure Pedro Nuno Santos has announced the executive has a strategy.

“We will assess the extension of the brake to new contracts, based on the prices of previous contracts,” he said yesterday. 

Mr Nuno Santos was replying to a question from leader of the Communist Party Paula Santos who described “an upsurge in the non-renewal of rental contracts” which some news sources have suggested could see up to 800 families evicted simply because landlords do not want to toe the government line on trying to help with the cost of living.

He stressed however that he did not believe the non-renewal of contracts was solely down to the 2% cap on increases imposed for next year.

The minister was addressing the parliamentary committee on budget and finance, which also saw Gonçalo Guimarães Pinto of IL (Liberal Initiative) ask what proportion of housing the government intended to be public by 2026.

The answer was ‘not much’. “It will be small, but certainly greater (than it was) in 2015”, he said, arguing that even if there was financial and budgetary scope to significantly increase the percentage (currently around 2% of housing stock), there would be “no response capacity, not even in the private sector, for the needs (…) Today we already have many empty tenders in the area of housing”, he said.

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