In Portugal Landlords Can't Evict Elderly

14 Replies

I just read an article, which is not in English so I am not sharing, that the Parliament in Portugal mandated that landlords cannot evict elderly (65+) and/or handicapped  if they'd been renting the same dwelling for 15 years or more. Incomes in Portugal are stagnating, while rents have skyrocketed. Foreign investment, and in part AirBnB, has contributed.

As you can imagine, the socialist party is driving the bus on this. Is Spain next? Greece? How about Italy? France? 

Must have been a flood of evictions before that was passed.

We had a sicilist government here up to th eelection this week and they did serious damage to our business. Doubtful th enew business oriented government will make changes to improve our legislation but at least it will not get worse.

@Ben Leybovich , I’m from Spain and still have a few properties there (I mostly invest in the US now). I find even the most tenant friendly state/county/City in the US heaven for landlords when compared to Spain. 

It can take 2+ years to evict someone in Spain that is not paying rent. There are cases where someone gets in a vacant property, changes the locks, and it takes 2-3 years to evict them. Obviously, the owner of the property still needs to pay property taxes, insurance, utilities, etc. 

There are groups now that get into properties when the owners go on vacation (primary residences, not rentals) they come back and find that someone has change the locks of their house and can’t enter. They are asked to pay 5,000-10,000€ for them to leave or otherwise try to evict them and not have a place to live for ~2 years. Another option they have is to hire someone to get them out using borderline legal methods (this type of business is booming there now). 

There is a lot of drive right now in some circles to pick up rentals in PIGS. The numbers look good, they say...

People need to be aware of the finer points in this discussion. Thanks for chiming in, @David Fernandez !

I've spent time in Portugal, Spain, and Italy. There are a lot of very romantic places in these countries. I would, however, be quite concerned with what I don't know...

I work with several Portuguese residents and I knew a couple were also landlords so I asked them about this post. They both shrugged as if to say "that's just how it is there." One of them said he does traditional leases just like the US but the other had an interesting work around. Instead of charging rent, he is a service provider for utilities and internet. It is set up more like a hotel. Apparently the same rules don't apply as renting an apartment because "tenants" pay a day rate for the use of the utilities. Instead of a 2 year eviction process he is allowed to just turn off the utilities, call the local law enforcement and have them removed for trespassing. He said he had to jump through some hoops to get approved for this method but that it works. He also said you simply just do not buy RE with someone living there, especially if they are over 65. 

Well, that's something I've learnt here about my country. 
Don't think it is as bad as David mentioned about Spain. Eviction processes here have become much faster now. Takes 3 months from what I was told. 

A lot of hear-say around those issues. I have evicted a couple of tenants over the last 4 years. Legal fees are around 400 €, but the process takes at least 4 months if things go smoothly. Expect 6-9 months. 

Originally posted by @Bruno Ferreira :

Well, that's something I've learnt here about my country. 
Don't think it is as bad as David mentioned about Spain. Eviction processes here have become much faster now. Takes 3 months from what I was told. 

Hi, 

this is partly correct. All contracts (whether they were made under the new (after Troika) rental regime, or old rental regime), independent from age or health status of the tenant can be cancelled. Depending on the circumstances of the tenant/contractual agreement made it takes max. 10 years. Its possible to adjust rentals during those years according to a formula that - in my experience - leads to rents ca. 50% of market rent. Not great, but still OK. 



Originally posted by @Ben Leybovich :

I just read an article, which is not in English so I am not sharing, that the Parliament in Portugal mandated that landlords cannot evict elderly (65+) and/or handicapped  if they'd been renting the same dwelling for 15 years or more. Incomes in Portugal are stagnating, while rents have skyrocketed. Foreign investment, and in part AirBnB, has contributed.

As you can imagine, the socialist party is driving the bus on this. Is Spain next? Greece? How about Italy? France? 

@Peter M. I am hoping to be investing and living in Portugal shortly.  I will be out there to "get legit" in March prior to Brexit ... I'm a Brit.

The 31/2012 laws were unfriendly to the landlord, and the recent 13/2019 updates did not help much, in fact made it worse for the market.  I am intrigued by the "workaround" of long-term rental-as-a-service, can you give more information here? We have dabbled with a similar all-inclusive rent-by-the-room of 4 bedroom townhomes in Colorado, and it has been very profitable.   

-- Mark

Unfortunately, what I wrote above is the extent of my knowledge of how he does it. He recently bought and built at self service laundry and I think one of the main reasons was to get away from being a landlord there. 

You can rent long term as a "Alojamento Local", which is what's usually used for Airbnbs and short term rentals, given the fact that you do not have an upper limit on the amount of times you can renew the service or the duration. You should provide the shouse full-furnished and offer services like cleaning and utilities, and there is more bureaucracy and safety standards. This is what accomodation as a service is in Portugal. It's not considered "renting".

Hi,

I have no real experience with this subject but in my research I found a site that I feel it helps explaining how things work. In the spirit of this thread I think two articles can be useful:

1) Article explaining changes of the 2019 rent law (inclined elderly protection) 

-- http://portal.uniplaces.com/pt-pt/o-que-muda-este-...

---- From what I understand the special protection (including elderly and people with disability) only applies to contracts older than 1990. Tenants leasing for more than 15 years gain the right not to see their lease terminated by the landlord.

----- Before my first lease contact I will read the law and ask an attorney of RE for their experience in this subject, just to be sure.

----- A quote from the article that explains this:

"Proteção especial

Os arrendatários idosos e portadores de deficiência terão uma proteção especial. Deste modo, as alterações dão uma proteção extra aos inquilinos com mais de 65 anos ou deficiência igual ou superior a 60% que tenham celebrado contratos antes de 1990.

Esta proteção aplica-se nos casos em que houve falta de informação ou de resposta às cartas de atualização das rendas, quando entrou em vigor o Novo Regulamento do Arrendamento Urbano (NRAU), e que viram o seu contrato a passar para cinco anos, correndo agora o risco de serem despejados.

Se os inquilinos viverem há mais de 15 anos na casa – o que poderá ser comprovado por atestado da junta de freguesia – o contrato só pode chegar ao fim se a casa for demolida ou sofrer uma obra profunda que obrigue à saída de quem lá vive.

Há ainda outra medida que visa proteger os idosos e deficientes, nomeadamente aqueles que assinaram o contrato de arrendamento entre 1990 e 1999. Estes não vão poder ser despejados desde que vivam há mais de 20 anos no imóvel. Também aqui o contrato só pode chegar ao fim se a casa sofrer obras profundas."

2) Article explaining how to do an eviction 

-- http://portal.uniplaces.com/pt-pt/despejo-de-inqui...

Hope it will be useful.

Regards,

Rui

Hello @Ben Leybovich ,

Is this news of your interest for some specific reason? Are you thinking about investing in Portugal?

If so, Ii would be a pleasure to discuss this matter with you. For this I suggest that you send me a private message to let you know about some information that may be of your interest .

Best regards,

Diogo