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May 24, 2019 - No Comments!

Recent changes in the Portuguese Legal Regime governing lease agreements for housing

There have been recent legislative changes in the Portuguese law governing lease
agreements, which are aimed at giving additional protection to tenants and promote the
rental market and its stability.

In terms of lease agreements for housing, some of the most relevant changes include:
• Lease agreements must now have a minimum duration of 1 year and cannot go
beyond 30 years, save for temporary cases, such as professional, educational and
touristic purposes, where they can be signed for less than 1 year;
• Unless the parties stipulate otherwise, lease agreements with an initial duration of less
than 3 years are now automatically renewed for a further minimum period of 3
years;

• If the landlord opposes to the renewal of the lease for the first time, this opposition
only produces its effects 3 years after the lease agreement has been signed (even
if the contract was signed for a duration of less than 3 years), except when the
landlord or his first line descendants need the property for their own housing;
• While before, the landlord could claim an additional compensation of 50% of the
amount due from the tenant, should there be outstanding rents, this compensation
is now reduced to 20%;

• While before, the landlord could claim payment of the rents against both the tenant
and the guarantor, provided that he/she had notified the tenant of the amount of
outstanding rents in advance, the landlord must now also inform the guarantor in
advance, before being able to claim payment of the outstanding rents from the
latter as well;

• In cases where there is no written lease agreement, and provided that this situation is
not attributable to the tenant, the latter can now prove the existence of the lease
by showing the use of the property without opposition from the landlord, together
with the payment of the rent for a minimum period of 6 months.

• When the lease agreement has indefinite duration, the landlord must now give a pre-
notice of 5 years (as opposed to the former 2 years) to the tenant, from the date

on which the lease will end, and must confirm this termination notice to the tenant
again between 12 to 15 months from the date on which the lease will end.
• While before, if the tenant passed away, the lease would only pass onto the civil
partner and/or cohabitee who lived with him for more than a year, if they also lived
at the leased property for more than a year, this last requirement is now abolished,
meaning that the lease will pass onto the civil partner and/or cohabitee, provided
that they lived with the tenant for more than 1 year, even if they lived at the lease
property for less than that period. As for the tenant’s spouse, the situation remains
unchanged, meaning that, should the tenant pass away, the lease will pass on to
the spouse, as long as the latter already lived at the lease property, regardless of
the period.

Lisbon, 24th May 2019
By Rodrigo Noronha Mourão, Associate at EDGE International Lawyers – Litigation Department
For further information please contact: rmourao@edge-il.com

May 24, 2019 - No Comments!

Worsening of the IMI applicable to vacant premises

The XXI Government has recognized, within the framework of its political priorities, the importance of housing and rehabilitation in order to improve the quality of life of the
population.

In order to fight the lack of availability of real estate, mainly in areas of the country where
there is greater difficulty in accessing housing, a new law came into force, giving the
possibility to the municipalities to increase significantly the rate of the property tax for
vacant premises located in “urban pressure zones”, that consist in areas where the
demand is much greater than the supply or in areas where people's financial capacity is
well below the market values.

Under the Portuguese legislation, it is already stipulated in the Property Tax Code an
increasing taxation for vacant premises for more than an year, increasing annually the
current rates of the IMI Tax, that vary between 0.3% and 0.45%, up to the triple.
For the vacant premises located in “urban pressure zones”, the municipalities can
increase, from the second year that the property is vacant, up to six times the current
rate of the IMI Tax and after that, 10% for consequent years, up to the maximum of
twelve times the current tax rate.

In conclusion, the Government felt the necessity to create a complementary instrument
that was made available to the municipalities in order to increase housing supply and
regulate the real estate market, by penalizing the non-availability of existing properties.

Lisbon, 24th May 2019
By Denisa Burlacu, Legal Executive at EDGE International Lawyers
For further information please contact: taxrep@edge-red.com

May 20, 2019 - No Comments!

Social Benefits of Residency in Portugal

The Golden Visa program in Portugal, through which any non-EU citizens are eligible to
obtain residency in Portugal through a qualifying investment, has raised awareness to
the many benefits of having a residency permit in Europe, from traveling freely in the
EU/Schengen Area to getting preference in various services. Notwithstanding, there are
several advantages that are often not mentioned when “selling Portugal”, and that may
be key when making the very important decision of choosing a country to live in.
In view of this, we take the opportunity to point out the most relevant social benefits of
obtaining residency in Portugal.

Firstly, having legal residency in Portugal grants its holder to be registered at Serviço
Nacional de Saúde, i.e., the country’s free and universal healthcare service. Portugal is
served of very comprehensive and well-equipped healthcare services throughout the
entire country, and currently ranks 22nd in the world in this field.

Another social advantage granted to legal residents in Portugal is access to free
education, including at a University level. This will also allow one to benefit from several
European interchange programs, such as Erasmus and others, allowing non-EU citizens
to study in any country of the EU/Schengen Area. Currently, our education services hold
24th place in PISA rankings.

One will also be able to be registered at Portuguese Social Security and obtain
assistance and social subsidies in the event of illness, pregnancy, unemployment, etc.
Lastly, and perhaps the most important social benefit of all, it is sunny in Portugal 300
days out of the year.

Lisbon, 20th May 2019
By David Oliveira Duarte, Associate at EDGE International Lawyers – Foreign
Investment & Tourism Department
For further information please contact: contact@edge-il.com

July 17, 2018 - No Comments!

Changes to the Law of Nationality

The Portuguese Parliament has approved relevant changes to the general Law of Nationality easing up the requirements for obtaining the Portuguese nationality. These changes have been published in the Official Gazette on 5th July 2018 and are now in full force.

Some of the most relevant changes to the law, include the reduction from 6 to 5 years for the minimum period of residency to obtain nationality and also the automatic nationality for children born in Portugal with parents that have been residents for at least 2 years.

Regarding the reduction of the time of citizenship, article 6, number 1, paragraph b), establishes that the Portuguese Government will grant citizenship for foreigners that have been resident for a minimum of 5 years.

As to children born in Portugal, article 1st, number 1, paragraph f), grants nationality to individuals born in Portugal, children of foreign parents, when at the time of birth one of the parents has legal residency for at least 2 years.

The Government will now implement the necessary changes to the Regulation of Nationality.  The changes should be decided within 30 days from the approval of the changes to the Law of Nationality.

March 9, 2018 - No Comments!

EDGE in Qatar – 12 to 16 March 2018

Edge International lawyers has been invited to attend the Portuguese week taking place at the Four Seasons Hotel Doha. The event is organized by the Portuguese Trade Office part of the Portuguese Embassy and there will be presentations on investment opportunities in Portugal, together with tastings of Portuguese food and Portuguese Cultures including Fado singers.

Senior Partners Rui Parente and João Cunha Vaz will do presentations on the Portuguese program of residency by investment and tax benefits for non-habitual residents. Prestigious developers and Resorts Monte Rei From the Algarve, Sheraton from Cascais will be present.