Property Companies wishing to engage directly or indirectly in Local Lodging in Portugal have a number of different options. Given the fact that most originally registered to buy their property on a one-off basis, they are normally seen as non-trading corporate entities (non-resident without permanent establishment) and must make changes in status in order to engage in a Local Lodging business activity.
“IMI”, the local assessment on real estate, is a municipal tax levied on the rateable value (“VPT”) of a property situated within each municipality. Immovable properties are classified as rural, urban or mixed. “IMI” is assessed one year in arrears. The taxable person is the owner, the beneficiary or the party having the use or the benefit of the property on 31 December of the tax year.
Beginning in February 2017, Sole Traders who are late in their Social Security (SS) contributions will receive notifications with a minimum fine of €50. Those who pay after the 20th of each month incur a misdemeanor penalty, which can range from €50 to €2,400.
Lisbon and Porto saw the number of properties registered in the local housing increase by 3,400 and 1,300 respectively in 2016. In a new trend, the largest growth took place outside of the historical neighborhoods, where the supply doubled. Lisbon closed 2016 with 6,800 registrations, twice as many as it had in 2015. Of the 13,000 new registrations nationwide, many were due to legalization of irregular situations that already existed rather than brand-new offerings.
In almost two-thirds of cases, Local Lodging (“Alojamento Local”) is the main economic activity for Lisbon homeowners who choose to let holiday accommodations to tourists. This is one of the conclusions of the study on “AL” offerings in the Portuguese capital that was developed by the Higher Institute of Labour and Business Sciences (ISCTE). According to the same study, almost 86% of “AL” offerings are in apartments.
The holiday accommodation platform, Airbnb, is interested in offering long-term lets to help its customers base find homes to live in. This initiative builds on the company’s already existing experience. Since 2011, Airbnb has included a sub-lease section on its website in more than 5,000 cities, listing houses and apartments for rent by the month.
“Turismo de Portugal” has set ambitious goals for the coming decade, following a 17% jump in tourism in January:
- a) A 4% annual increase, thereby doubling overnight stays by 2027;
- b) Reduce seasonality by one third by increasing off-season offerings over the same period;
- c) Boost training and qualifications of hotel and restaurant personnel;
- d) Bolster national approval for tourism to 90% of the population;
- e) Enhance conservation and appreciation of Portugal’s cultural and national heritage;
- f) Strengthen competitiveness and innovation;
- g) Improve qualifications and inclusion of activities and residents.
Tourism already represents 17% of gross domestic product and the view is optimistic for on-going growth and improvement.
To register as a permanent resident of the United Kingdom now demands an 85-page form, presenting a history of water, gas and electricity bills as well as a record of all departures from the country. The online guide to the process is 18 pages long, contributing to the bureaucratic nightmare. Formerly, merely 5 years of continuous residence was sufficient to pass on to the permanent status.