Property Sales, Rentals & Management in the Central Algarve, Portugal
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New Rental Licensing Law Finally Passed
The government has finally published the new regulations for rental licensing of individual properties which is now to be known as Alojamento Local or 'AL' (Local Lodging) which apply from June 2008. The regulations apply to houses, apartments and guest houses which do not come under under the new touristic licensing regime which is administered by the Tourist Board. The Tourist Board continues of course to manage the classification of the familiar star-rating system which has detailed and stringent quality controls which do not apply to the new "AL" category.
To register a property as "AL" the owner must apply to the local Cāmara (council) with a simple application form and include the following documents: proof of ownership, safety certificate for gas and electrical installations and heaters, floor plans, and a copy of property registry. If the accommodation has over 50 bed spaces, an additional fire safety project must also be submitted.
Once the registration form has been stamped by the Cāmara, the owner may immediately open to the public. The Cāmara are then obliged to inspect the property within 60 days and ensure all the minimum standards are being met. If this is not the case, then the registration will be cancelled and the stamped registration form returned. There is a presumption therefore that only accommodation which has a touristic or AL classification can be rented to tourists.
The minimum requirements are as follows: the property must be in a generally good condition and connected to adequate sewers or septic tank and have hot and cold running water. All rooms must be properly ventilated, adequately furnished, and have sufficient natural light and have secure doors etc. There must be at least one private bathroom per three bedrooms. Accommodation must have adequate instruction manuals for electrical equipment etc and have a clear indication of the national emergency number (112). The accommodation must be clean with a change of towels and linen at least once per week. There must be adequate fire blankets, extinguishers and a first aid kit available. There must also be an official complaints book available to guests. A sign with the letters "AL" can be placed outside the entrance of the accommodation to indicate its classification.
Notably absent from the new rules was any reference to smoke alarms, fire exit signage, window security stickers, pool depth markers, minimum standards for kitchen equipment etc, most of which are already standard practice for many property managing agents. Thankfully, neither were there any additional rules regarding taxation, insurance or on-going inspections. In summary therefore, the new rules are minimal and most property owners should now be able to easily comply.
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