Lisbon Socialists want time limit for selective short-term lets

Limit to apply in areas “where scarcity (of permanent housing) has been created”

PS Socialists on Lisbon city council have called on parliament to change the rules relating to short-term tourist rentals (AL) so that a deadline is introduced for licences in certain areas.

The motion was announced yesterday (Friday), and will go to a vote on Monday, explains Lusa.

PS Socialists are not technically ‘in power’ in Lisbon; the centre-right coalition led by Mayor Carlos Moedas is. But the coalition lacks a majority…

Thus PS members are in a strong position. And now they are asking colleagues with an absolute majority in parliament to ‘review the AL regime’ to “establish a time limit for AL titles where scarcity has been created” (…) and to define this limit “considering the investment made, according to criteria of proportionality.

The motion also calls for new rules on how AL licences should be decided, particularly when they are being requested in areas that have already ‘exceeded’ the desired number of holiday lets

Based on data from November 2021, Socialists argue that in Lisbon “the weight of AL in relation to classic family accommodation is 7.1% (but) in the parishes of Santa Maria Maior and Misericórdia, respectively, it has reached 52% and 39%” – meaning in these areas, one in every two, and two in every five dwellings are currently only available to ‘high spending’ holidaymakers/ short-term visitors.

“Each property exploited is a property that subtracts itself from the stock of permanent housing,” says the PS, arguing that the answer to the problem of access to housing in Lisbon must involve “limiting the installation of new AL establishments where their presence already has an excessive weight in relation to the total available residences, protecting the identity of the neighbourhoods from gentrification and favouring affordable renting and neighbourhood commerce.”

Without proposing what the time limit should be, Socialist councillors say it should be “for all licences of AL” and that the law should also establish criteria for returning licences if and when the situation in any particular areas changes for the better

Lusa claims Lisbon Socialists expect to see the motion pass as it has the backing of Communist Party (PCP), Left Block (BE) and Livre members of the council , as well as the independent Citizens group (elected on a PS/Livre ticket).

The coalition of the right (PSD/CDS-PP] has always been against any restriction” of AL lets in the capital, the news agency adds.

Mayor Carlos Moedas has previously described any kind of suspension of new AL registrations as “a very negative sign” for the local economy.

Source: LUSA