New set of legislation to “contain” tourist accommodation owners

  • ECO News
  • 27 July 2018

Tourist accommodation owners will start having more control, especially on a local level. The list of legislative amendments is extensive and will greatly affect businesses.

Tourist accommodation owners will start having more control from local authorities. 

From their respective city councils to the Authority for Food and Economic Security (ASAE), the tourist accommodation owners will now be exposed to far more demanding regulation and impositions. Neighbors will also see their powers enhanced, alongside housing associations and urban area representatives.

Last week, the parliamentary commission on Environment, Territory and Local Authority deliberated in favor of the proposals presented by several parties, regarding amendments to the current legislation affecting tourist accommodation.

New demands go all the way from multi-risk insurance compliance to multilingual info booklets.

One of the most controversial changes that has spiked much attention amongst those affected is the “containment” initiative, which is aiming at protecting the neighborhoods and historic areas of the cities by giving more powers to city halls in terms of limiting the amount of tourist accommodation in each area.

Several Portuguese hospitality associations have reacted to the changes, claiming to be shocked by the approval of this measure, as it “will represent a major setback with negative impact for tourism”.

The parliamentarians have agreed last week that local authorities will now see their powers amplified. Here is a roadmap to the changes that will affect tourist accommodation owners: 

What will change for city halls?

  • Containment areas destined to “preserve the identity of each neighborhood”

  • Further reinforcement of inspection measures

  • City halls might reject the registering process offers from owners


What will change for property owners?

  • Multi-risk insurance will be compulsory

  • Multilingual information handbook

  • The property must be properly identified as destined to tourist accommodation

  • Larger fines for stipulated rules violations

  • 10 day period to report the termination of the business

  • New: room offering recognized as tourism accommodation


What will change for housing associations?

  • Hostels are subject to the previous deliberation of the housing association

  • Complaints may lead to the closure of the tourist accommodation

  • Payments to the housing association: extra contribution from tourist accommodation owners

60-day standstill

The new legislation scheme will only take effect on the date of its publication in Diário da República, as there is a 60-day waiting period after the President’s approval of the law.

There is still some time to get familiar with these new guidelines before changes are implemented.