Top five tips for renting in Portugal

Portugal may be a small country, but it oozes variety. There are even significant differences between different parts of the Algarve region.

Renting a home in Portugal

As such, renting before you buy is a wise idea. For a start, it gives you a chance to check Portugal is actually right for you (which you won’t learn from a holiday). It also provides the opportunity to experiment with different areas and types of property.

Here are five helpful tips for renting before you buy in Portugal:


  1. Don’t look for a place in the summer

The best place to look for a medium or long-term rental in Portugal is between late September and April. From May to August, people are more interested in renting week-by-week to tourists, which is far more lucrative.

However, if you approach an owner at the end of the season and offer guaranteed income for six months where they may only be fortunate enough to rent for two weeks during the winter, they will probably bite your hand off. The same applies for a rental of a year or more; you’ll always find more options off-season.


  1. Be wary of cash deals and sublets

There are plenty of people in Portugal renting their properties for cash, which they’re not declaring, or even illegally subletting properties they are renting themselves.

Be careful to use a reputable agency or a well-vetted owner. A cash deal may seem cheap and tempting, but leaves you with no legal protection should things so wrong.


  1. Don’t expect the perfect property

There is plenty of long-term rental property in Portugal, even if finding it sometimes requires some legwork.

However, some types of property are difficult to find for long-term rent. Modern, good quality apartments are “ten a penny,” but you’ll really struggle to find a small villa or town house with a pool for long-term rent (although you may get one for a six-month winter let). This is because owners can make so much money from these properties in the summer that long-term lets just aren’t worthwhile.


  1. Make an offer

This is especially relevant if you’re looking for a rental in the winter. Owners would usually rather get a tenant in than see a property sit empty and unmaintained.

So, if you’re in a part of Portugal with a glut of rental property, don’t be scared to at least chance a “cheeky” offer.


  1. Check the paperwork

If your rental property in Portugal is your “primary residence,” you will get a credit on your Portuguese tax return for some of the rent you’ve paid.

However, you can only claim this if the paperwork is all in order. This means the property must be suitably licensed, and that your faturas (receipts) detail the correct address, and the fiscal numbers of you, and the owner or agency.

Further reading for Buying In Portugal


Viewing Guide

Finding the right property can be a challenge. What do you need to think about early on?



Hidden Costs

The price of the property as listed is never the price that you will end up paying. There are a host of other costs.


Legal Matters

Buying a property in Portugal has very different legal requirements to the UK.


Currency Zone

Did you know that you could save thousands of pounds when emigrating by using a currency specialist?