Alojamento local – Tourist rentals to be required to reserve space for long term rentals.

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By: Lisbon Live Team - from an article published in the Jornal de NegóciosAccording to an article published today, 3rd August, in the Jornal de Negócios, owners of apartments for rent to tourists - Alojamento Local - will have to make available a part of their property for longer term, residential rent. It will function as a kind of quota which will require owners of more than a certain number of apartments for tourists to reserve a percentage for the local market.The measure is being prepared by a working group for policies in Housing, Mortgages and Taxation of Real Estate assets. According to the Jornal de Negócios, the parliamentary group, composed of the current government, the PS, and the BE (Bloco de Esquerda) has achieved a consensus on the steps to take. Pedro Soares of the Bloco de Esquerda states that they will likely “negotiate with the Government new initiatives for legislation during the next parliamentary session” - from September.While acknowledging that the regime, known as Alojamento Local, "can have a positive effect on the regeneration of city centres, in the refurbishment of properties, and in social diversity as well as improving the income of residents, creation of jobs, and economic recovery” , the MP’s have emphasized that too much Alojamento Local "reduces the availability of options to rent for anyone actually wants to live in the city".Pedro Soares regrets that, "with investors dedicating entire buildings to tourist rentals", the result will be to "kill the goose that lays the golden eggs and transform traditional neighbourhoods into a kind of Disneyland". Especially in Lisbon and Oporto, the practice has become increasingly common: large investors buy entire buildings for rent to tourists. In the parish districts of Santa Maria Maior and Misericordia, in the centre of Lisbon, there are about 2,700 units in the short-term rental regime - 8.8% of the total national supply.The working group has also agreed on an additional measure to increase the cost of the condominium charges for people who have apartments rented to tourists. Many different people passing through these apartments increases the use of the common or shared areas of the buildings.Another proposal still under discussion is the creation of a special municipal tax, destined to raise funds for urban and environmental sustainability.

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