When you rent a house in Portugal, it is important that you do so with a rental contract. This means that the landlord of the property has to register the contract with the tax office and issue a monthly rent receipt. The fact that you have a rental contract gives you tax benefits and contributes to the annual IRS deduction.
Portugal's Rental Law grants landlords the freedom to set their own rental conditions, and these can vary from one house to another. However, these are the most common requirements for tenants when renting:
- Employment contract,
- IRS tax return (if applicable)
- Bank statement for the last 3 months
Guarantor: someone nominated by you who will be named in the tenancy agreement and, should you become indebted to the landlord, will be required to pay the rent.
Security deposit: when you move into a rented house, apart from paying the rent for the month, one or more deposits are usually required, which are equivalent to the amount of the rent. For example, if you rent a house for 700€, you may be asked to pay a deposit of 1,400€ (the value of two rents) in addition to the 700€ (rent). This extra amount acts as a deposit that is either returned at the end of the contract or allows you to not pay the last two months' rent, provided the house is delivered in its original condition.
In some situations, the rent for the house/room also covers the monthly bills. When this is not the case, you need to consider three (or four, depending on the flat) types of costs:
- Water: municipalities supply water to households - either directly or through companies set up for this purpose. In Lisbon, this service is provided by EPAL; in Porto, by Águas do Porto.
- Gas: some homes in Portugal (especially modern ones) are already 100 per cent electric. The majority, however, require the contracting of gas distribution services for heating water and preparing meals, for which there are several options available. In exceptional cases (usually older buildings or those outside urban areas), flats are not adapted for piped gas, which requires the purchase of cylinders.
- Electricity: there are several electricity suppliers in Portugal, with varying prices, contractual conditions and service packages. Combined purchase of electricity and gas services is possible in most cases, for greater user convenience. The Poupa Energia public platform enables you to make simulations and compare the different tariffs available from the various distributors.
- Telecommunications: there are four telecoms operators: NOS, MEO (with which Alter Solutions has a partnership), Vodafone and nowo, which offer different packages that can include TV, Fixed Internet and/or Mobile.
Coverage varies across the country, so it's important to take the coverage test, available on each operator's website. The Compara Já platform allows you to compare different tariffs to find the best option for each user.
TIPS FROM OUR PARTNER, LIVING PORTO