ALTERATIONS TO LOCAL ACCOMMODATION ADOPTED BY PARLIAMENT

After months of discussion, Parliament approved the amendment to Decree-Law no. 128/2014, of 29 August, to introduce stricter criteria for the exploitation of properties under the Local Accommodation (“LA”) regime. and the allocation of powers to local authorities to regulate the exploitation of LA in their territories.

These changes will come into effect 60 days after the date of publication of the diploma in the Diário da República (that is, in mid-October 2018). All registrations made until the entry into force remain valid, however, the owners of the LA units are granted a period of two years to comply with the new regime.

Among the various amendments, the following stand out:

  • Attribution of effective regulatory powers to municipalities through the creation of containment areas

In containment areas, municipalities may limit the number of establishments in each territorial area and suspend authorization of new registrations for up to one year.
A maximum of seven local accommodation establishments shall be limited by the same owner, within the containment areas to be created by each municipality. To those who now exploit a number equal or superior to seven, the registration of new LA is forbidden, without, however, being forced to reduce those that now exceed this number.
It is also foreseen the possibility of requiring the express authorization of the city council for the installation of new LA establishments in containment areas, the registration of which is promoted by the city council itself.

  • Assignment of powers to the condominiums to limit the activity of Local Accommodation

On the one hand, it becomes mandatory the consent of the condominium for the exploration of “hostels” when in the same building coexist housing. This measure implies the presentation of the minutes of the assembly of condominium owners of which the authorization is recorded, when registering the hostel with the respective town hall.
On the other hand, it is possible, by decision of more than half of the permiliation of the building in horizontal property, to oppose condominium owners to the exercise of Local Accommodation activity in certain housing units, based on repeated and proven practice of acts that disturb the normal use of the building or cause discomfort and affect the rest of the condominium owners.
It is also expected that the condominiums will be able to increase the contribution in the quotas of the condominium by the owners of LA, up to a maximum of 30% of the annual value of the respective quota.

  • Inclusion, in the concept of Local Accommodation, of the “room” as an autonomous housing unit, with a limit of three « rooms » per residence.

 

  • Obligation to make available an Information Book, written in Portuguese, English and in at least two foreign languages

This book should include the rules of use and operation of the establishment, namely, the rules regarding collection and selection of municipal waste, operation of appliances and care to have to not affect the tranquility and rest of the neighborhood. It is also compulsory to indicate the telephone contact of the person in charge of the accommodation operation.

  • Non-transferability of the Local Accommodation

In the LA located in containment areas, the registration number of the LA becomes personal and non-transferable, in the modalities of “dwelling” and “apartment”, independently of the ownership by a natural or collective person. The opening title of the LA thus expires in the case of transfer of ownership of the holding and, in the case of legal persons, in the case of the transfer of more than 50% of the share capital of the legal person holding the registration.

  • Location obligatoire d’une assurance multirisque de responsabilité civile avec couverture incendie

This insurance will cover all the claims verified in the LA and will respond, regardless of fault, for the repair of the damages resulting from the activity of providing accommodation services.

  • Greater accountability of the owner of the LA operation for damage caused

The joint ownership responsibility of the owner of the LA operation with the guests is foreseen in respect of the damages caused in the building in which the housing unit is installed.

Pinto Ribeiro Advogados is a group of lawyers with extensive skills and practical experience in the area of local accommodation, in particular in its real estate and tax aspects. If you have any questions, please contact us by email (geral@pintoribeiro.pt).

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