The Portuguese Government will encourage owners of short renting properties to return to traditional renting by suspending the payment of gains from that economic activity.
In an interview to ECO, the State secretary for Housing Ana Pinho, stated she believes this year’s State Budget is very comprehensive of solutions to fight housing problems, in order to prevent the current situation from reaching “an imbalance” that puts at risk the Portuguese citizens’ fundamental rights.
Ana Pinho believes that Portugal may not have a real estate bubble yet, but there are several imbalances that must be solved. One of the main problems is the price of the rents, which is too high in comparison to the average income of families: “Housing has always been very vulnerable and not very competitive for families, in comparison to companies, for example, who can pay more for a property to have offices”. On the other hand, the number of houses available is also limited, which made the Government “create instruments to have a more balanced market”, such as the Executive’s new programme for more affordable rents, which will give tax benefits to landlords who charge smaller rents.
"We didn’t have [short renting properties] owners returning to traditional renting, but we will now have them. A property that was linked to an economic activity will not have to pay for the gains it had while it is being rented for living purposes.”
The State secretary also adds that tourism is another function houses are having, and that although it is not the cause of housing vulnerability, it is “another source of pressure”. Ana Pinho says that the Portuguese Executive is aiming to attract owners of properties for short renting back to traditional renting, which has not been happening: “We didn’t have [short renting properties] owners returning to traditional renting, in many cases, because when owners started short renting their houses, they did not realize that if they wanted to go back and rent their houses for longer periods, they would be charged for the income they had had, which was often unfeasible“.
Therefore, in order to capture a larger offer of properties, the Government aims to suspend the payment of taxes on the profit earned while the owner is renting his house for living purposes.