Taxman with new thrust to oust illegal renters

Portugal’s tax authorities are planning a new attack on illegal renters – the “powerful parallel market” they have long been pledging to stop.

According to Jornal de Notícias, the plan – designed to concentrate on illegal renting to students – will use a “pioneering new mechanism” involving “new technologies and intensive cross-checking”.

Fines will range between €150 and €3,750, and may go all the way up to €22,500 if landlords are found to have failed to declare incomes on their IRS tax returns.

Talking to JN, André Reis, the president of the Academic Association of the University of Aveiro, admitted that about 80% of the rentals to students in the town were illegal.

President of Aveiro’s academic association Daniel Freitas told the paper that very often landlords told their tenants the arrangement could be cheaper that way.

This latest thrust in the government’s long-running campaign to bring an end to illegal rentals follows a recent ‘crack down’ on so-called “alojamento local” (holiday rentals, see

But as has also been pointed out in the press, a lot of this ‘news’ is often designed to scare people into becoming legal. It has long been contended that the tax authorities do not have the manpower to check on all illegal renting, and are simply putting stories like this in the press in the hope that people are so terrified by the size of the potential fines that they either get legal, or stop renting altogether.

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