Updated: June 6, 2024

 

renting-in-portugal-districtsPortugal offers a warm Mediterranean climate, friendly locals, and the opportunity to enjoy life’s simple pleasures. As the seventh safest country in the world, this Western European nation has become a popular choice for expats interested in the high standard of living, stable economy, and peaceful atmosphere.

Renting in Portugal is an option for expats who are not ready to purchase their dream property when relocating to Portugal’s sought-after shores. The Portuguese rental market offers a great selection of properties to choose from. Whether you’re looking for vacation rentals on the coast, houses in rural areas, or furnished apartments in a major city for a fixed term, you will find what you’re looking for at reasonable rental prices compared to other European countries. The Portuguese capital of Lisbon has its own price range which is higher than other major cities in the country, but you will still be able to find affordable prices in the city with high value for money.

In this Portugal rental property guide we will delve into the intricacies of rentals in Portugal, discuss how property agents can help with the process, and explore the average rental price and the best regions to find houses for rent in Portugal.

Can a foreigner rent a house in Portugal?

Foreigners can rent vacation homes in Portugal, short-term, and long-term rentals in the country. Like the process a Portuguese citizen will undertake, you will need to sign a rental contract with a property agency or private landlord and pay a rental deposit.

To sign tenancy contracts, foreign renters will need to acquire a Número de Identificação Fiscal (NIF). The NIF number is the Portuguese tax number required for all financial transactions and legal matters in the country. You can learn more in this article, How to Get A NIF (Tax Identification Number) Portugal: A Guide for Expats, by our citizenship and residency division Global Citizen Solutions.

Depending on whether you are renting directly from a property owner or a rental agency, you will also need to provide valid identification documents and your last pay slip or tax return. If you are unable to provide these documents, you may have a guarantor provide their particulars on your behalf.

Exploring the rental contract in Portugal

Portugal is a captivating country with friendly and welcoming Portuguese citizens, excellent Portuguese cuisine accompanied by a laid-back lifestyle, and the option of visa free travel in the Schengen Area for legal residents.

The blend of the country’s attractive aspects has contributed to the growth of the real estate market, influx of digital nomads, especially to big cities like Lisbon and Porto, and demand for more properties to rent and purchase.

If you have decided on renting in Portugal, you will need to sign a rental or tenancy contract. The basic original contract should also include information about the tenant and landlord, such as nationality, date of birth, and information about the apartment, and the terms and conditions of use. Most landlords or agencies specialized in rental property in Portugal will provide you with tenancy contracts that will include the following standard contract information:

  • Property description (size, condition, furnished or unfurnished, property features i.e. pet friendly, air conditioning)
  • Lease terms such as lease lengths and renewal terms
  • Utility costs and maintenance agreements pertaining to utilities and property upkeep and each responsible party
  • Tenant rights and responsibilities which are laws and regulations protecting tenants and outlining their obligations
  • Landlord rights and obligations which explain the legal requirements and duties of property owners such as paying municipal property tax
  • Proof of rental licenses and permits for renting properties, like the Alojamento Local (AL) for short-term rentals
  • Rent value
  • Rent payment date
  • Payable agency fee
  • Bank transfer details

In some areas like smaller towns, a less formal rental agreements (with no contract) can be entered into when dealing directly with a landlord. This instance is common among landlords who do not have a rental license for the property and want to avoid tax implications applicable to landlords such as income tax considerations for rental income.

To avoid scams, it is recommended that you ensure you receive a formal contract and have viewed the property before signing any legal documents or pay a month’s rent upfront. Having something in writing will protect you in case of any disputes, particularly if there is a language barrier between you and the landlord.

How much does it cost to rent a house in Portugal?

Compared to the USA and other European countries, the cost of living in Portugal is quite affordable. The lower cost of living and excellent quality of life surrounded by diverse landscapes, a temperate climate, and access to high-quality education and healthcare has fostered a thriving rental market in the country.

Due to the increase in demand for more properties, the average rental price has increased in recent years, particularly in popular cities like Lisbon, Porto, and Faro. However, it is important to keep in mind that rental prices depend greatly on the type of property you are looking for where the property is located, and other factors like whether it is an unfurnished or furnished apartment and has exclusive amenities such as air conditioning or private parking.

According to a 2024 Numbeo cost of living report, the average rental price for a one-bedroom apartment in Portugal is €940.07 per month while a three-bedroom apartment in the same location can cost you €1,649.62 per month.

A one-bedroom apartment in the Lisbon city center can cost upwards of €1,340 per month while a three-bedroom apartment will cost around €2,511.32 a month. The rental costs are significantly lower outside the city center where you can find a three-bedroom apartment for €1,656.82 per month.

In Porto, Portugal’s second largest city, a one-bedroom apartment in the city center will cost around €952.50 per month while a one-bedroom apartment outside the city will cost €744.77. You will also find more affordable long-term, short-term, or vacation rental options in regions like the Algarve, Braga, and Coimbra. In these regions, a one-bedroom apartment in the city center will cost you €1,000, €792.86, and €681.25, respectively.

There are other costs besides the average rent price. Remember to check if utility costs are included in the monthly rent, and if not, to budget for these costs as well as administration fees that most agencies charge, and the rental deposit.

Explore our definitive guide to buying property in Portugal

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The Best Places to Find Houses for Rent in Portugal

Each Portuguese region has hidden treasures just waiting to be discovered. From annual festivals and traditional foods to intriguing local traditions and unique landmarks, Portugal offers fascinating places to explore. Across the country, you will find a wide selection of houses, villas and apartments for rent in Portugal.

Renting a property offers you flexibility in terms of your lease period and rental price and the freedom to explore many areas of the country before choosing where to settle down and buy property. Living in Portugal will also give you the opportunity to discover more about the accessibility and available public transportation in the location of your choice, learn more about other options in relation to rental properties and connect with a local and expat community for advice and connection.

In the sections below, we will explore a few of the best areas to find Portugal rentals, including the sunny Algarve, the bustling Lisbon district and serene rental options in Madeira.

The beauty of Portuguese regions is that each has its own charm. With so much to explore, it’s no wonder people enjoy the freedom of movement that comes with renting a home in Portugal. There are several regions to consider in Portugal, including the Lisbon, Porto, the Algarve, the Alentejo, Central Portugal, and the autonomous islands of Madeira and the Azores.

Lisbon Metropolitan Area

The Portuguese capital of Lisbon and the greater Lisbon area offer more expensive neighborhoods to live in. Buying outside the city center, you’ll find property prices drop considerably.

Lisbon offers a bustling and culturally rich cosmopolitan center and tranquil beaches surrounding the city’s coastline. Rent prices vary based on where the rental property is located, be it downtown Lisbon, the city center, popular neighborhoods like Príncipe Real, or residential neighborhoods like Campo de Ourique. The cost of Lisbon apartments for rent also vary depending on the type of property you are looking for.

The Lisbon Coast

The Lisbon Coast – also known as the Portuguese Riviera – offers the perfect mix of tranquil ocean living and bustling city life. Cascais and Estoril are popular choices for tourist and expat rentals. Situated on the Atlantic Ocean, the Portuguese Riviera is renowned for stunning beaches, picturesque streets, and historic centers. Cascais and Estoril’s proximity to the Lisbon city center and idyllic ambiance have also contributed to their popularity, making it a favorite for lifestyle enthusiasts.

The Portuguese coast is a popular location for vacation rentals. Consider a rental property on the coast to experience a lifestyle that doesn’t feel too isolated from urban city life. An ocean-facing house could mean waking up each morning to a view many people only dream about.

The Algarve

The Algarve is Portugal’s southernmost region, popular for beach house rentals, vacation rentals, and coastal property investments. Known for its breathtaking coastline and golden sandy beaches, the Algarve offers fantastic surfing spots, hidden bays, bird-filled lagoons, and rugged cliffs. You will find several rental options, especially in the areas that are popular with expats that include the Algarve’s capital, Faro, Albufeira, and Lagos.

Silver Coast

Costa de Prata, Portugal’s Silver Coast, runs from Aveiro to Torres Vedras. Treat yourself to a rental here with access to magnificent beaches and breathtaking views of the Atlantic. The Silver Coast has stunning ocean views and without the heavy footfall of tourists offers an idyllic and quieter coastal experience. You’ll also find quiet, secluded beaches here, quaint villages to explore and a laid-back lifestyle.

Portugal’s West Coast

Costa Azul is Portugal’s rugged West Coast just south of Lisbon. Known for its stunningly blue skies and ultramarine waters, courtesy of the Atlantic Ocean, Costa Azul is a charming area to explore. If you are looking for property to rent on the west coast, be sure to look in the cities of Setubal, Sesimbra, and the stunning Portinho da Arrábida.

The Green Coast

Costa Verde, Portugal’s Green Coast that encompasses the north of the coast, is a 100km stretch of coastline that offers a relaxed pace of life for expats that choose to move here. Full of quaint villages, the weather here is slightly cooler than in other inland areas, but historic cities, such as Braga, a little inland from the coast, make this part of Portugal an incredible place to live .

Porto and Northern Portugal

Following Lisbon, Porto is the second most populous region in Portugal, with a lot of locals and expats choosing to relocate to the second largest city in the country. The iconic historical and cultural heritage of Porto and the surrounding region attracts many, as does the delicious wine produced here.

Besides its captivating beauty, Porto also offers a wide range of rentals to cater to every taste and requirement, including villas with private gardens and modern apartments with waterfront views. The cost of rentals varies greatly depending on the city, the type of property, the size of the property, and whether they’re long-term rentals or short-term rentals.

Central Portugal

The Central Portugal region is celebrated for its natural beauty, affordability, and cultural richness and includes the popular cities of Aveiro, Coimbra, and Viseu. Its central location allows for easy access and exploration of Portugal more popular cities like Lisbon and Porto, and the Silver Coast, which, as we mentioned, has staggering sea views to rival those in the Algarve.

Alentejo

Located in Southern Portugal between the Tagus River and the Algarve, the Alentejo region has much to offer. Alentejo is bordered by Spain and the Atlantic Ocean. The region is more rural than places like Lisbon and less densely populated but offers enticing landscapes like green rolling hills and hidden beaches. You will find more affordable prices in Alentejo, also depending on the type and size of property you are looking to rent.

The Portuguese Islands

*Image alt text: rental property in Portugal

If you’re looking for a slice of paradise, a vacation rental on a Portuguese island might be for you. The autonomous islands of Madeira and the Azores are both beautiful in their own way, boasting outrageous views, incredible scenery, and a high quality of life. With stunning beaches, charming villages, and perfect weather, these islands are a dream destination for many.

Madeira

Madeira is an autonomous region of Portugal. Made up of four islands off Africa’s northwest coast, Madeira is known for its wine and fantastic climate as well as having more affordable rental prices. You can find Madeira apartments to rent, cozy villas, quaint apartments, and spacious houses for vacation rentals, short-term and long-term rentals.

The Azores

Another autonomous region of Portugal, the Azores is an archipelago made up of nine volcanic islands. If you love whale- and dolphin-watching, a rental here would be perfect for you. Over the past few years, the island’s luxury market has grown specifically on São Miguel in the capital of Ponta Delgada where you will find fine dining restaurants, luxury hotels, and waterfront properties.

Goldcrest: How We Can Help You

Goldcrest is a buyer’s agent located in Lisbon, Algarve and Porto. We provide insightful real estate expertise and strategic advice. From sourcing to property acquisition, we help clients identify outstanding investment opportunities in some of Portugal’s finest locations.Whether you’re a family looking to relocate, find a rental property, or invest in property or land, our team of experts can help you find the right property without the hassle or fuss. Book a complimentary call with us today to begin your exciting relocation journey.

Frequently Asked Questions about Renting in Portugal

Yes, foreigners can rent a property in Portugal. To do so, you will need to meet a set of mandatory requirements: You need to have a NIF or Tax Identification Number (Número de Identificação Fiscal) in order to sign the contract, valid identification, and you must be able to pay the security deposit for the property.

Yes, the NIF number is the Portuguese tax number required for all financial transactions in the country. You can learn more in this article, How to Get A NIF (Tax Identification Number) Portugal: A Guide for Expats, by our citizenship and residency division Global Citizen Solutions.

The cost of renting a property in Portugal varies based on a number of factors, including the area you live in, the type of property you are renting, whether it’s a vacation rental, and the lease period. According to a 2024 Numbeo cost of living report, the average rental price for a one-bedroom apartment in Portugal is €940.07 per month while a three-bedroom apartment in the same location can cost you €1,649.62 per month.

Rent in Portugal is paid monthly. The rental amount will be stated in your rental agreement, as will the security deposit required. It is common to pay the cost of two or three months rent upfront. Some landlords may ask for a bigger deposit from foreign tenants who do not have proof of income or a guarantor in Portugal.

You can search for rental properties on online classified ad sites, Facebook groups, and Facebook marketplace. Alternatively, you work with a real estate agency or a buyer’s agent like Goldcrest. Buyer’s agents like Goldcrest not only work with clients who buy and sell property in Portugal, they also offer property management and relocation services and will be able to help you find properties for rent in Portugal.

The most common rental contracts start at one or two years but can go up to six years. It is less common to have rental contracts for longer than six years, but it is possible. The maximum period is 30 years.

To sign a contract for a rental property in Portugal, you will need a NIF number (Portuguese tax number), valid identification documents, and your latest pay slip or tax return. These required documents can vary depending on whether you are renting short- or long-term and on what the owner of the property requires. So be sure to clarify the exact requirements before you email or hand in your information.

Lease terms are dependent on the parties involved in the lease agreement. However, the typical lease term in Portugal carries a lease length of either 12 months or 6 months. Lease agreements will also typically include information pertaining to tenant rights and responsibilities, landlord rights and obligations, rent value, rent payment date, and lease renewal terms.

Yes, however, the increase must be stated in the original lease agreement and notification of the increase must be given two months in advance.

This depends on the property type and the private landlord or agency you are renting property from. Be sure to check the lease agreement before signing or paying any deposits.

The most popular cities for expats to rent property in Portugal include the capital city of Lisbon, Porto, and Faro in the Algarve region.

The rental process for non-residents is similar to the process a Portuguese citizen will undertake. You will need to sign a rental contract with a property agency or private landlord and pay a rental deposit. Remember, foreign renters will need to acquire a Número de Identificação Fiscal (NIF). The NIF number is the Portuguese tax number required for all financial transactions and legal matters in the country. You may also need to provide valid identification documents and your last pay slip or tax return. If you are unable to provide these documents, you may have a guarantor provide their particulars on your behalf.

You will find a varied selection of houses, villas, mansions, apartments and even commercial properties for rent in Portugal.