Renting out your property

By Brett Hawkins

An increasing number of property owners are taking the decision to get more out of their holiday or second home by renting it out during the holiday seasons, being driven by the widespread belt-tightening that is being brought about by the current economic climate in the wake of the global banking crisis.  

These changing economic times have also forced governments around the world to think differently over the past two to three years, many introducing a spectrum of austerity measures along with tighter regulation, some of which are quite frankly ludicrous, with others being long overdue.  

Here in Portugal the tourism and leisure sector has not escaped this step up in regulation, due to the fact that tourism is a significant contributor to Portugal’s Gross Domestic Product, and therefore a valuable weapon in its armoury.  

There has always been a requirement to hold a touristic rental licence if you are renting your property on a short term basis, for example, seven nights, 14 nights, etc.

In the past, the process to obtain a licence has been laboriously bureaucratic, however, along with the increased regulation, came a reduction in the red tape and the process of acquiring one is comparatively less bureaucratic.

The big difference nowadays is the Portuguese authorities are beginning to clamp down in this area, issuing substantial fines to those who choose not to comply with the new regulations.  

An integral part of the process in obtaining a touristic rental licence is to have the electrics and gas certified by the relevant regulatory bodies.

Upon inspection they will highlight areas of non-compliance, giving the property owner the chance to make the necessary changes to meet the required standard, after which a re-inspection will be carried out in order to issue the requisite electric and/or gas certificate.  

These inspections should cost €61 each, with the re-inspection being a further €32, if necessary.

However, these costs are base prices and will depend on the specific appliances within the property, particularly water heaters, which can increase the cost of inspection.  

The majority of properties going through this process of certification will inevitably contain at least one area of non-compliance. This is largely due to the rapid pace in which Portuguese building regulations themselves have significantly progressed over the past decade, playing catch-up with its European peers to the extent that Portugal is now at the forefront in many respects, with build quality matching, if not exceeding, its European rivals.  

To that end, it is advisable to have an experienced, reliable tradesman on hand to help you through this bureaucratic process and ensure those areas of non-compliance do not let you down upon re-inspection.  

For peace of mind and to find out more on any of the details contained within this article, consult a reputable experienced firm, such as GMT 24:7, who will cut through the red tape for you and negotiate the impossible language barriers felt by many expats and foreign property owners, especially when it comes to dealing with the authorities and regulatory bodies.

Brett Hawkins is the Managing Director of GMT 24:7, the first Home Emergency Response Service in the Algarve, delivering a rapid response to any householdemergency, 24:7.  He can be contacted by telephone on +351 282 098 600 or email info@gmt247.eu Alternatively, please visit www.gmt247.eu