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Holiday letting registrations double in two years

The Secretary of State for Tourism, Ana Mendes Godinho, announced that currently there are 59,000 Local Lodging registrations whereas of December 2015 the total was 28,000. She attributed the increase in large part to the legal obligation of digital platforms to display formal enrolments.

Local Lodging beds surpass hotels


The number of beds offered in 2017 under Local Lodging in Portugal accounted for 56% of the total. Hotels made up the remaining 44%, according to an analysis by the Association of Hospitality of Portugal (AHP).

Lisbon controversy over “AL”: Veritable hotels registered as “Local Lodging”

There are establishments designated as Local Lodging with standard residential housing permits but which are in reality “genuine hotels”. According to Urbanism Councilman Manuel Salgado, “giving residential housing and Local Lodging the same licensing status is detrimental to the city.” “Real Local Lodging is when the owner lives at home, sharing with holidaymakers. This form of tourist accommodation deserves protection”, stated the Lisbon alderman.

Local Lodging to be exempt from Social Security

Beginning in 2018, taxpayers with earnings exclusively from Local Lodging (Category B) will be exempt from SS contributions. Those who accumulate salaried income with self-employment earnings from “AL” will only be excused from monthly Social Security payments on their green receipts below a gross of €2,450 per month. Any excess shall be assessed at the rate of 21.4%. The measure is expected to encourage “AL” compliance which has already quadrupled over the past three years.

Local Lodging and GEDIPE

Like any tourist offering in Portugal, AL operators are required to pay a small royalty fee when supplying television, radio or an internet connection in their villa or apartment. However, for non-hotel establishments with less than ten rooms, the cost is just €12 per annum.

GEDIPE is the abbreviation for the national agency for authors’ rights. The Association also covers television distribution and audio transmissions. Registration is available at: (choice of language at the bottom of the page).

Water invoices

AL Business owners may now find higher water bills in their mail boxes. Once local councils find out that a property is engaged in local lodging, they can reclassify the business, instead of “domestic” or “comercial” as “diversos”. In this case, the water costs more than for a private residential property. One consideration which may justify the increase is the fact that AL creates more rubbish and waste water, and as a result, the City Hall has to increase these basic services.

Budget 2018

The State Budget has been passed and there are no major changes to the AL system: no limitations in number of days per year, and no tax increases are coming our way. The exception hits the entrepreneur who earns more than 27.300€ per year with Local Lodging (or as a Sole Trader in other areas); these businesses will have to prove 15% of their costs by presenting the respective invoices to arrive at the 65% exemption.

Local Lodging: tax revenues double

Tax receipts from Local Lodging (“AL”) grew from €69,000,000 to €123,000,000 between 2015 and 2017, as revealed by the Secretary of State for Tourism, Ana Mendes Godinho. “AL” license registrations also increased almost twofold from 28,000 to over 50,000 over the same period.

Proposal to grant municipalities the power to limit Local Lodging

Adjustments to current regulations for Local Lodging intended to regulate and respond to excessive volume are being prepared, according to the Secretary of State for Tourism. Integration of holiday letting into the formal economy has been the focus of successive changes to legislation in recent years. In July, new measures were introduced mandating that reservation platforms such as Airbnb or identify official registrations of all available accommodations for travelers.

Proposal to distinguish between small and large Local Lodging businesses

The Left Block, a partner in the governing coalition, proposes changes to current Local Lodging legislation. Under the soon-to-be recommended plan, holiday letting not exceeding 90 days per year should continue to benefit from the current tax regime. Year-round operation – without a limit of days and designated as “tourist accommodation” (Habitação turística) – must be equated with a hotel activity and assessed on the same basis.

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