Rights and Obligations of Landlords and Tenants

Understand your rights as a landlord or tenant in Portugal...

Both the landlord and tenant have certain rights and obligations. It's important to be aware of these before entering into a rental contract.

Notice Periods

The landlord may give notice for the following reasons:

  • The landlord or their family need the premises for themselves
  • The landlord intends to undertake major construction work (and has already been granted a building permit)

A landlord may also terminate the contract if:

  • The rent is not paid
  • The tenant uses or allows someone to use the premises for a purpose different to the one agreed with the landlord
  • The building is used for indecent and illegal practices
  • The tenant substantially changes the structure of the premises
  • The tenant sub-lets or loans, totally or partially, the building without the landlord's permission
  • The tenant receives from the sub-tenant an unlawful rent (the rent cannot be more than the amount contracted with the landlord plus 20 percent)
  • The premises are not used

Legislation simplifies procedures for eviction of tenants who have not paid their rent for three months or more: the landlord does not need to start legal proceedings, as written communication with the tenant is sufficient in the eyes of the law. The tenant then has three months to pay up or move out of the property.

The tenant can stop the automatic renewal for the tenancy contract by giving notice, without specific reason. Notice periods are:

  • 120 days in advance of expected termination, if the contract has been in place for longer than one year
  • 60 days in advance of the expected termination, if the contract has been in place for up to one year

Increase in Rent

Portuguese law used to distinguish between "free" and "conditioned" rent regimes allowing a landlord greater freedom in setting the amount of rental. This no longer applies; rents are gradually increased according to market value. Landlords can increase the rent a maximum of once a year, with the first increase being no sooner than exactly one year from the beginning of the contract. Rent increases must be agreed by both parties in writing.

Rental Incentive Programme for Young People

The Incentivo ao Arrendamento por Jovens, IAJ entitles young people under 30 to a grant from the Portuguese state to subsidise their rent, if they are tax payers and have filled in their recent tax statement.

Further Information