Here is a summary of the essential changes you would want to know:

  • Councils have been given more power in ensuring AL properties comply with the regime, and can also order the temporary suspending of licences, should the functioning of the property be considered a matter of public health.
  • Councils are now the first port-of-call for those wanting to register properties as AL, instead of the national tourism board Turismo de Portugal.
  • Councils have 10 days in the case of privately-owned properties to decide if they will allow the registration or not.
  • The number of days an owner has to inform the authorities of the closure of an AL property has been cut, from 60 days to 10.
  • A single owner can only operate a maximum of 7 local accommodation establishments. These areas should be re-evaluated at least every two years. This measure, though, only affects new registrations. This means only those who want to start a new AL require authorisation from local authorities.
  • Current AL owners are required for obtaining compulsory multi-risk insurance.
  • All AL properties are bound to have an information book in 4 languages – Portuguese, English and at least two other foreign languages.
  • AL owners could be required to pay up to 30 per cent more on their annual condominium share if the condominium or home-owners’ association sees fit.
  • Condominiums may object or even ask for AL licences to be revoked if the respective property is in an apartment block. However, this would most likely only happen if there is a repeated disturbance by the condominium owners which is communicated to the local council.
  • Owners neglecting to comply with the AL law – for example, if a property accommodates more guests than legally allowed, or if it falls short of hygiene or safety standards – now face massive fines, which have been increased from €2,500 to €4,000 in the case of individual owners, and from €25,000 to €40,000 if the property is owned by a company.
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