5 legal tips to consider when renting an apartment in Lisbon, Portugal

Apart from offering a gorgeous climate and living quality, Lisbon offers a wide variety of living options to choose from, ranging from apartments, houses, flats, farmhouses and of course Airbnbs for short-term living.

One of the densely populated cities of South Eastern Europe, Lisbon is home to hundreds of expats looking for new opportunities out of their comfort zones. The hilly areas of Lisbon offer ambiance, growth - and challenges you to lead a creative life full of adventures.

Although Lisbon’s city center is the main attraction for tourists, it is not always a wise idea to rent or buy an apartment for long-term in that area. Mainly because the prices of apartments and flats go up very high in the city center as compared to the other 18 satellite municipalities in Lisbon.

Home to almost 2.8 million inhabitants Lisbon is one of the densely populated cities of Europe.

Accommodation in Lisbon

Apart from offering a gorgeous climate and living quality, Lisbon offers a wide variety of living options to choose from, ranging from apartments, houses, flats, farmhouses and of course Airbnbs for short-term living.

Unfortunately, renting an apartment in Lisbon is no longer a piece of cake as it used to be. Since more people are moving to the city for greater life quality and opportunities, the realtors always look for quick deals. The realtors seem to gravitate towards people who are already in the city and looking for a quick deal – since it’s only natural to save time and make quick bucks. But that is not the only policy house owners and realtors have for renting or selling houses.

Lisbon being one of the high rise area of Portugal poses a major challenge to low income earners in terms of apartment renting. The frustration in renting an apartment in Lisbon is not only as a result of high rental rate but also as a result of a lot of jargon policy by landlords or agents which are not legally inclined. Many landlords in Lisbon do avoid to work with realtors or agencies so as to prevent the legal backing that tenants would get from renting their apartment through a certified agency or realtor. It is always advisable to rent an apartment in Lisbon through certified realtors or agencies to avoid dramas by landlords. This content was developed to show you the vital legal tips you should consider when you’re renting an apartment in Lisbon. Here are some tips to consider while renting an apartment in Lisbon:

  1. Rent your apartment through a certified agency or realtor

This is really important especially when you’re just moving in to Lisbon. As it was earlier said that many landlords in Lisbon can be quite frustrating with their policy or so, the very perfect way to avoid this is to go through a certified agency or realtor who would rent the house on your behalf and help you with all the necessary documents for future references.

  1. Check the apartment thoroughly before renting it

Landlords are fond of being cunny with their doings. Check out the apartment thoroughly and clearly check if there is anything that had already been damaged in the apartment before renting. Many landlords have the habit of passing unnecessary bill on their tenants claiming something or a part of the apartment was damaged by the tenant. Ensure you don’t fall a victim of this.

  1. Sign a tenancy agreement form or rental contract

Legally speaking, this is the most important thing that should be done when renting an apartment in Lisbon. As a new tenant, make sure you pen down an agreement with the landlord probably through the realtor or so. The rental contract would outline the agreement you reached with the landlord which includes the length of lease agreed one, rental fee, house policy, tenant right, apartment information and also duration of notice you need to give before moving out of the house.

  1. Archive your proof of payment for future reference

This is quite important as it would keep you going till the end your rental contract. Make sure you keep your proof of payment which would contain the duration you paid for. This can be helpful when you have issues with your landlord or even the agencies you rent the apartment through. If you agreed to pay on installment, make sure it’s done in a legal way and attach together all your proofs of payment.  

  1. Carry your Lawyer along when renting the apartment

Well, this is quite applicable to those who had at least gained little ground in Portugal. If you have a personal lawyer, make sure you carry your lawyer along in all the renting processes. Your lawyer would be able to direct or guide you as regards the legal agreement you should reach and those you should not agree to.

If you can take note of these 5 important legal tips when renting an apartment in Lisbon, you can be sure of avoiding frustrations that landlords and realtors might pose.

Documents to keep handy while renting an apartment in Lisbon

Apart from the above legal tips to consider while renting a place in Lisbon, here are some documents you should definitely have handy to go with your real estate attorney:

  • A Portuguese fiscal number
  • Tenancy contract including details such as
  • Date of Birth and Nationality of the landlord and the tenant
  • Estate information
  • Rent terms
  • How much the rent will be paid and in how much increments (if any)

In many cases, landlords or realtors will not include many formalities and keep the contract informal, such as not checking credit checks or doing a background check.

However, it is imperative that you (as tenants) ask for a clear statement of whether the tenancy contract is open-ended or fixed term. In case of a fixed term, you must specify and know when the contract ends and what conditions would apply for breaking or renewing the contract for another term.

Finding a translator

Although while some real estate agents and realtors may offer translators or have an English speaking staff, it is wise that you hire a real estate attorney who knows English. Since the tenant contracts are always written in Portuguese this would make sure that you understand the terms and conditions properly.

At Miss legal, we not only offer legal translation and step-by-step guide to understanding and signing the terms. Here is what Miss Legal can do for you:

  • We connect with easy apartment renting in Lisbon
  • We settle your legal deals
  • Meet your realtor or landlord
  • Represent you
  • Teach you secrets of apartment renting in Lisbon   

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