Updated: October 19, 2023
If you are considering renting out your Portuguese property in the short term, you will need to obtain an Alojamento Local license – or AL license for short.
Alojamento Local licenses are issued by the Câmara Municipal (local council town hall) and are required if you are going to rent your property out in the short term, for example, guest houses on Airbnb. An AL license covers properties intended to be used by fewer than 50 people.
Obtaining an AL License
So, you have a lovely modern apartment in Portugal, and you’re looking to make a little extra cash on your investment. Perhaps you’re only in the property for part of the year and want to rent it out as a guest house while you are not in the country? Well, you’ll need to obtain an Alojamento Local license.
To secure an Alojamento Local Portugal license, you will need to provide the necessary documents to the Câmara Municipal. An important aspect to consider is ensuring that all electric and gas installations fulfill the required standards.
General Conditions for the AL license
Alojamento Local license holders will need to meet the following general conditions. The Tourism Board and the Food and Economic Security Authority (ASAE) can carry out inspections at any time to make sure all the legal requirements are followed, so it is important to ensure that everything is in order.
- The internal and external premises need to be maintained and in good condition. There needs to be an adequate standard of cleanliness and hygiene.
- The cleaning of the premises, including the changing of bed linen and towels, needs to take place at least once per week or whenever there is a new guest.
- There needs to be a private system with a controlled water supply, or the premises must have mains water connected.
- The premises need to be supplied with both hot water and cold water.
- The premises need to be linked to the main municipal drainage system or have a septic tank adequate for the number of guests.
- The premises must have one private bathroom with a toilet, wash basin, and shower/bath for every three bedrooms.
- Each private bathroom needs to have a secure lock system to ensure the privacy of occupants.
- Each room that is to be occupied by a guest needs to have a window or balcony with direct access to the outside so that there is adequate ventilation.
- Each room that is to be occupied by a guest needs to have a means of blocking external light.
- Each private room to be occupied by a guest needs to have a locking system to ensure the privacy of occupants.
- The premises must observe general rules with respect to fire safety. There needs to be an adequate number of fire extinguishers and a fire blanket accessible. The national emergency number for Portugal (112) needs to be displayed clearly.
- The premises need to have adequate first aid equipment accessible and clear instructions for domestic appliances.
- Any commercial documentation, publicity, or marketing materials on the premises need to show the name of the premises followed by “Alojamento Local” or the letters “AL’, alongside the AL Registration Number.
- The premises are required to have a complaints book. This should be kept where guests have easy access to it and should include a notice to that effect.
To successfully obtain your AL license, you will need to be registered with the Portuguese Tax Department (Autoridade Tributária e Aduaneira) and Social Security (Segurança Social). This is required for you to be able to operate a rental business.
Note: Properties that a held by a company need to have a rental agreement in place with the individual. This is a requirement for the property to operate as a rental business. Working with a legal entity can help in this regard.
Other Factors to Consider
The following are some factors that you should consider if you are thinking about renting out your properties in the short term. You should ensure that you have furnished accommodation and that guests have everything they may require.
- Leave a place for guest reviews online to attract tenants. Feedback from real guests provides valuable information to individuals looking for short term rentals.
- If there is free parking nearby, specify this, as it will be useful information for verified guests arriving by car.
- Indicate the average nightly price clearly. You can have a look at room deals for similar properties on the market and seek expert advice to determine the price you should set, which will perhaps vary depending on location, the season, etc.
- If you have free wifi, specify this.
- If there is a private bathroom or en suite, specify this, as it can be important information for potential guests.
- Make it known that the property has non smoking rooms and indicate this clearly to guests.
- Ensure an easy process for accepting guests to stay in the property and make ensure the check out process is clear.
- Ensure that safety measures are all in place and such guidelines are followed to the letter (e.g., the property ensures adequate ventilation, fire safety, first aid, the security system, and emergency number information is displayed clearly) and that you clearly state the maximum capacity of people that can stay in your property. Government guidelines exist for the safety of the guests.
- Direct communication between the guest and the owner/property management company will ensure that problems are solved as quickly as possible.
- Online travel is now the norm, so ensure that your listing is appealing to potential guests. If you have a swimming pool, beverage service, coffee machine, or other notable amenities, facilities or related services on your property, you can include them on your listing.
- Indicate useful services and information for guests, such as excellent restaurants close by, how to get to the city center, popular landmarks, etc.
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Frequently Asked Questions about the Alojamento Local Licence
What does Alojamento Local mean?
Alojamento Local refers to an establishment that provides temporary lodging services, usually for tourists, where they are required to pay a fee for using the premises.
What is Alojamento Local law in Portugal?
To rent out your property to tourists in Portugal, you will first need to obtain an Alojamento Local (AL) license.
How do I get an Alojamento Local in Portugal?
Alojamento Local licenses are issued by the Câmara Municipal (local council city hall) and are required if you are going to rent your property out in the short term.
When you are up and running, you can have a look at room deals for similar properties on the market and seek expert advice to determine the price you should set.
How to apply for AL in Portugal?
To get an AL license, you will need to provide all the correct documentation, including making sure the gas and electric and gas installations fulfill the required standards. We recommend working with an experienced professional to guide you through the process.
What are the Alojamento Local Lisbon requirements?
The requirements in Lisbon are the same as anywhere else in Portugal. To obtain your AL license, you will need to be registered with the Portuguese Tax Department (Autoridade Tributária e Aduaneira) and Social Security (Segurança Social). This is required for you to be able to operate a rental business. You should have a certified accountant by your side to help with the process and ensure that your Alojamento Tax obligations are met. You should ensure that there are no restrictions on obtaining an AL license in Lisbon
You will need to ensure that your property has a fire extinguisher and fulfills the security requirements.
What are the Alojamento Local Portugal new rules in 2023?
There have been no new rules in 2023. The Portuguese law states that the individual that operates an Alojamento Local property is “jointly and severally liable with guests for damage caused by the latter to the building in which the unit is installed,” which you should bear in mind when obtaining your AL license in the country. Good places in Portugal to secure an AL license are Porto, the Algarve, and tourist hotspot locations. However, in the Braga district and northern Portugal, you will find properties that are more affordable. Another good location is the Silver Coast of Portugal, which is becoming increasingly popular with expats.