2014-07-18 09:33:57

Finding accommodation in Portugal should not be difficult if you start your planning well before moving. Inquire on cities and their neighborhoods first.

For a successful expatriation, you will have to find appropriate accommodation. Here is an overview on Portugal's housing market.

Moving to Portugal definitely means that you will have to search for accommodation. This can be quite difficult as housing options are quite scare in the country, particularly in its major cities. In fact, offers are far more inferior than the demand although Portugal is a popular expat destination. Hence, you will have to be very patient before finding the most appropriate accommodation, according to your means and preferences.

Rent prices

If you are looking for accommodation in Porto, Lisbon or other tourism regions, you should know that rent prices are often higher than 250 euros. This can seem quite alarming, given that the minimum wage in Portugal does not exceed 500 euros. You could spend some 900 euros monthly for a studio, between 350 and 1,100 euros per month for a single bedroom apartment and between 750 and 2,000 euros for a two bedrooms apartment.

Find accommodation

There are various ways to find accommodation in Portugal. First of all, you can register with a real estate agency if you are already on the spot. Note that fees are settled by owners. You can as well check out accommodation offers on general and specialized websites and in classified ads in local newspapers. Removal agencies may also help.

You are advised not to take too much time before choosing giving the scarcity of accommodation offers on the market. Make sure, however, to visit the premises and to compare prices before taking a decision.


Once you have found appropriate accommodation, you will have to set up a lease agreement with the owner. This document should contain the following:

  • the owner's identity
  • the tenant's identity
  • the accommodation description
  • the lease duration (30 years maximum)
  • the rent price (including additional charges)
  • modes of payment
  • the owner's visitation right
  • other conditions (breach of contract).

Do not hesitate to report any damage of which you are not responsible. The lease document should be handwritten in three copies and should be filed with the Tax Administration Department by the owner. It will then be transformed into a legal lease agreement.

Note that you will have to pay a security deposit, which is equal to a month's rent, as well as the first and second months' rent before occupying the accommodation. Other charges such as gas, electricity and water may be your responsibility. In general, the owner will take care of reactivating these in case of interruption.

You are also advised to subscribe to a housing insurance.

Other conditions

According to general lease terms, if the lease is not renewed, the tenant has to vacate the premises within:

  • 1/3 of the lease terms it the latter has a less than 6 months duration
  • 2 months if the lease has a less than one year but more than 6 months duration
  • 3 months if the lease duration equals to a year or more
  • 4 months if the lease has a more than a year but less than 6 years duration
  • 8 months if the lease is equal or superior to 6 years.

If the tenant wants to leave the premises, he has to give a notice of:

  • 2 months if the lease has a less than a year duration
  • 4 months if the lease is equal to a year or more.


Tenants in Portugal have to pay only rent, unlike in many other European countries. Property and real estate taxes only apply to owners.

 Useful links:

Expat.com www.expat.com/en/housing
Arkadia us.arkadia.com
Long Term Lettings www.longtermlettings.com
Imo-Portugal www.imo-portugal.com
Nuroa arrendamento.nuroa.pt
Casa Sapo casa.sapo.pt
OLX www.olx.pt
Rentalia www.rentalia.com

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.