If you are thinking of renting out your Portuguese property for short-term rentals, you are required to obtain an Alojamento Local (AL) licence, which is issued by your local council (Câmara Municipal). AL licence registration covers premises that are intended for use by under 50 persons

Sovereign can assist clients in obtaining the AL licence from the respective Câmara for tourist letting purposes. Our concierge service includes attending to the following matters on behalf of clients:

  • Preparation of the necessary documents for submission to the Câmara to request registration;
  • If necessary, the drafting and issuance of a suitable letting agreement and/or power of attorney to enable an application to be made for registration;
  • Provision of an official complaints’ book for use at the clients’ premises following registration.

Assistance with obtaining an AL licence

The client must first provide Sovereign with all the necessary documentation required by the Câmara. A list will be supplied.

If, on examination, any defect is discovered in the registered title, an estimate to correct that defect (if feasible) will be provided to the client as a separate expense. Following any correction, the application process can resume.

Any electric or gas installations at the premises must meet the required standards. If any work is required to meet these standards, this will be charged as an extra in accordance with a written estimate supplied in advance to the client. Following any necessary work, the application process can resume.

If, within a period of 30 days following receipt of the registration request, a Câmara inspection reveals any deficiencies, these must be corrected by the client at his or her own cost without any liability to Sovereign – Consultoria Lda. Alternatively, the registration document will be returned to the appropriate Câmara.

General conditions for the AL licence

AL licence holders must adhere to the following general conditions:

  • Premises must be maintained in good condition, externally and internally, and to an adequate standard of hygiene and cleanliness;
  • Cleaning of the premises, as well as change of towels and bed linen, must take place at least once per week or whenever there is a change of guest;
  • Premises must have either mains water connected or a private system with a controlled water supply;
  • Premises must have hot and cold water supply;
  • Premises must be either linked to the main municipal drainage system or have a septic tank adequate for the number of guests;
  • Premises must have one bathroom consisting of toilet, wash basin and bath or shower for every three bedrooms;
  • Bathrooms must be capable of being secured to assure privacy for occupants;
  • Each room to be occupied by guests must have a window or balcony with direct access to outside, assuring adequate ventilation;
  • Each room to be occupied by guests must contain adequate furniture, equipment and utensils;
  • Each room to be occupied by guests must have a means of excluding external light;
  • Each room to be occupied by guests must be capable of being secured to assure privacy for occupants;
  • Premises must observe general rules in respect of fire safety and contain an adequate number of fire extinguishers and fire blankets for the number of guests, adequate first aid equipment, instructions for all domestic appliances, and display of the 112 emergency number;
  • Any publicity, commercial documentation or marketing material must show the name of the premises followed by the letters AL or the expression ‘Alojamento Local’, together with the AL Registration Number;
  • An official complaints’ book should be obtained and kept available at the premises, together with a notice to that effect on prominent display.

The fee quoted by Sovereign will not include the provision of any fire, safety and first aid equipment mentioned under the General Conditions above, nor any fee or tax payable to the local Câmara in respect of the registration or inspection of the property.

If, following a Câmara inspection, any matters are discovered that require extra work or a re-presentation of the application, Sovereign reserves the right to make additional charges on a time-spent and disbursement basis.

In order to complete the AL licence application, it is necessary for the individual applying to be registered as self-employed with the Portuguese Autoridade Tributária e Aduaneira (Tax Department) and Segurança Social (Social Security) in order to operate a rental business. Sovereign can attend to all these registrations on behalf of the client, as well as providing accounting services for subsequent declarations of the rental income.

Properties held by a company are further required to have a rental agreement in place with the individual in order to be able to operate the property as a rental business.