Renting a Property in Portugal: 8 Foolproof Tips

4 de May, 2022

Renting a Property in Portugal: 8 Foolproof Tips

Reading: 6 min

Living in Portugal has become the desire of many foreigners. To make your life easier and to help you succeed in this search we listed 8 tips on how to find a place to live in Portugal and close the deal.

1. Do not negotiate values

In Portugal there is no tradition of bargaining on prices. The value asked is usually the final value. There is some room for negotiation, but it’s minimal and only applies in special cases. During the pandemic, it was possible to haggle, but the scenario today is different: “You’ll be competing with tenants who are closing the deal at the asking price. Aggressive proposals don’t work here”, explains Tiago Prandi, advisor at Indoors, a property management company.

2. Understand the value of rents

Yes, living in big cities is more expensive, there’s no denying it. Property in the big centres will be above a thousand euros. If you want a dream flat in Porto and Lisbon, with luxury details and services, the values will easily exceed two thousand euros. However, these prices are up to 40% lower than those charged in Madrid and up to a quarter of the amount charged in San Francisco, in the United States.
Currently, renting a comfortable two-bedroom property in central Lisbon costs, on average, 1,500 euros. On the other hand, smaller cities like Braga, Aveiro, Coimbra or the islands (Azores and Madeira), can have the cost of housing up to 50% lower. As there is a lot of variation in prices, the most advisable is to talk directly to a specialized consultant in order to obtain more precise information.

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3. Define what you are looking for

Before you start looking, think about what you want: what kind of person are you and what kind of life do you want? Are you more cosmopolitan and like the hustle and bustle? Or do you want something quieter? Try to understand the dynamics of the city, check if the chosen neighbourhood offers schools and services that interest you. If transport is a priority, try to find out if the region is well served in terms of exits to highways, if there are bus stops or underground. Do you have a car? Where will you park it and how much do you intend to spend on fuel? In short, be assertive and look specifically for what may really interest you. This will save you and others involved in the search time.

4. Be quick to decide

Looked at a property and like it? Close the deal as soon as possible. Avoid scheduling visits many days in advance. The current reality of the rental market in Portugal does not give much margin for thought: the same day a property is made available to the market it already starts receiving interested parties and, in a few days it will already be unavailable.

5. Have documentation already prepared

To save time, it is also it is advisable to have all the necessary documentation already separated to not run the risk of delaying and lose a good opportunity. In Atlantic Bridge we can offer you an advisement so that you don’t lose a good business due to mistakes in your documentation. If you want to talk to us, click here.

In order to rent a house you will need: proof of income (such as pay stubs, income tax returns or bank statements) and an identity document.

In addition, most landlords require a guarantor and security deposit. Yes, having a guarantor can be decisive in closing a deal. Guarantor is the person who guarantees the payment of the debt, in case the main debtor does not pay the creditor. “We usually ask for 3 months rent in advance, but it can be more: landlords are very afraid that they’ll ruin their property or owe money”, clarifies Cátia Ferreira from Zome Prime Abóboda, in Lisbon. If you don’t have a guarantor, the landlord can ask for up to a year’s rent in advance.

One option is to create an escrow account, where the tenant deposits a previously agreed amount with the landlord to be used in case of need or damage to the property, suggests Tiago Prandi, from Indoors.

6. Be kind to the real estate agent and the owners

This tip is precious. In many companies, the real estate broker is only paid when the deal is concluded. In the case of rental contracts, this remuneration is usually low when compared to purchase and sale transactions. However, the work done by the agent is almost the same: searching for a property, scheduling visits, accompanying the client… Therefore, try to maintain a cordial and respectful relationship with the professional of the area. This attitude can be of great value. The same applies to landlords: they can choose with whom to close a deal. If they sympathize with you everything will be easier. Convey an image of tranquillity and responsibility. Nobody likes complicated tenants.

7. Honesty above all

Always be honest with the estate agent and the landlord. For example, there is no point in hiding that you own animals, because lying can lead to a breach of contract and even fines. In case you wish to acquire animals after the contract is formalized, consult the landlord and ask for his authorization.

A tip for those who have pets or small children is to look for properties without furniture, as the risk of damage is lower and it is easier to rent.The risk of damage is lower and it is easier to rent.

8. Hire an advisor

If you don’t know the city or don’t want to waste time looking for a property with specific characteristics, a tip is to hire the services of a specialized advisor. With in-depth knowledge of the location, a good advisor can suggest the most suitable neighbourhoods for you. These professionals outline your profile, present the market, give advice and seek, in a precise way, what you need.

If you want a property in a certain part of the city, they also contact all the brokers that have products available in the area and select what may interest you most. It is more practical, quick, assertive and safe. For those who live abroad, the service is even more valuable, as the advisory offices often promote video calls between clients and landlords, strengthening relationships and simplifying processes.

If you want to live or invest in Portugal, talk to us.

Find out more about renting in Portugal

How do rental contracts work?

As a rule, rental contracts have a minimum duration of one year and can be automatically renewed for up to three years. After this period a new contract must be made. They can also be concluded for shorter periods, if agreed upon by both parties. When the contract comes to an end, it is necessary to negotiate again with the landlord.
The tenant must serve at least ¼ of the time stipulated in the contract in order not to be penalised.

Readjustment of values

In what concerns price adjustments, according to the New Urban Rental Regime (NRAU), the value of the rents may be updated annually, according to the inflation index. O coefficient is calculated annually by the Instituto Nacional de Estatística (INE). Currently, this coefficient is of 0,43%. If so, he must notify the tenant by registered letter 30 days in advance.

What is the most sought-after type of property in Portugal?

Currently, two bedroom properties (T2) are the most sought after properties for rent, followed by three bedroom properties (T3). Bedroom and living room or studio properties (T1 and T0) come in third place.

Do you want to live in one of the countries with the best quality of life in the world? Atlantic Bridge can help you in all the stages of your journey to Portugal. Get in touch with our consultants!



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