New programme helps holiday rentals ‘go legal’

A programme designed to make the registration of holiday rental properties “easier and swifter” has been launched by AHRESP, the Portuguese association of hoteliers and restaurateurs.

Entitled ‘QUALITY’, the programme was presented on Monday (October 31) in Ericeira, northwest of Lisbon.

It offers four main services. First, it helps owners deal with the process of legalising holiday rental properties (Alojamento Local, or AL). It also monitors the way owners manage properties, suggests new services and products they could offer, and advises on how to “optimise costs”.

Finally, the programme counsels owners on the importance of offering clients a “quality service”.

“AL has an increasingly important role in the holiday rentals market. It is growing and developing, contributing significantly to the diversity of what tourism has to offer,” said AHRESP spokesperson Ana Jacinto.

The launch of the programme comes shortly after a tax hike was announced for the AL sector.

The increase is to be implemented next year and will see owners paying tax on 35% of their income, as opposed to the previous 15%.

In other words, if someone is renting a property for €1,000, €350 of their income will be subject to a 25% levy which effectively increases tax payable from €37.50 to €87.50.

It’s an increase that “many won’t like but that is reasonable,” says Patricia Bürer from the Carvoeiro Clube Group.

“I don’t see it as something that will affect the market negatively,” she told us.

Eduardo Cabrita, president of Portugal’s AL association, has vehemently disagreed.

He calls the increase “heavy and unfair” and adds that it makes sense that the sector is now “feeling distrustful”.

The tax hike has been justified as a way of correcting “large fiscal discrepancies” between AL and the traditional lettings and hotelier sectors.

To learn more about the QUALITY programme, visit

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