Renting options in Porto

Updated 2023-11-12 07:35

Over the past few years, rent prices in Porto have been soaring. As the city's popularity grows among tourists and more and more digital nomads escape Lisbon's cost of living crisis, finding a decent, affordable place to rent in Porto is getting increasingly difficult.

How to find a place to rent in Porto

The best place to start your apartment hunt in Porto is by checking online. Most big rental agencies in the city will post available listings on the internet, and you will have full access to all the properties available in the city. If you are looking for a short-term rental, you can always check Airbnb — but do keep in mind that prices for short-term rentals here can be quite high.

Major rental websites in Porto are Sapo, OLX, Remax and Idealista. If you are already in Porto, you can contact real estate agencies, as they can help you find a property within your budget. However, be prepared to pay their hefty fees. A real estate agent will be especially helpful if you are not fluent in Portuguese. Another place to look for is the Marketplace on Facebook, which offers better prices and quicker response.

Accommodation in Porto will typically come partially furnished and equipped. In the city center, you will find a lot of traditional housing, which may require renovation and not have the most modern amenities. With that, in newer areas, you will find contemporary newly built apartment blocks. While older homes can have a rustic charm, they are more likely to come with maintenance issues. If you do notice issues like these, make sure to go over them with your landlord and negotiate the needed repairs.

Rent prices in Porto

Renting in Porto allows for more flexibility. You will have the option to switch apartments and move to Lisbon or another city — and leaving Portugal will also be much easier with no strings attached. On the other hand, renting options in Porto are rather limited, and prices have been on the rise, with new leasing contracts signed in the first quarter of 2023 showing that rent prices have gone up 23% since the same period of 2022, reaching an average of 1,064€/month. This is a tremendous challenge for a city where the average wage stands at around 1,200€/month (before taxes).

Obviously, rents in the city will depend on your preferred type of accommodation and on where in the city you want to live. You will generally be able to move into a one-bedroom apartment close to the city center for around 1,200€. However, if you are looking for more space and/or want a place with a terrace, then you can easily end up forking out 1,500€-2,000€ per month.

Outside the city center, districts that require a long commute to the downtown may offer renting options for around 600€/700€ per month, with seaside neighborhoods (such as Matosinhos and Foz do Douro) providing accommodation from 1,000€ and upward. Be that as it may, note that rent prices in Porto are on the rise, so make sure to check the most up-to-date rental prices via a real estate agency when planning your moving budget.

It is also important to budget for your security deposit and to have enough to pay for one or two months of rent upfront (or more if you don't have the necessary documents, such as a contract with an employer). Also, keep in mind some renters may try to demand larger security deposits and the payment of a higher number of months upfront. However, according to Portuguese legislation, 2 months-worth of rent is the most they can ask for each portion (2 months for security deposit 2 months upfront).

Additional costs to budget for include electricity, gas, internet and cable/television, as these costs are usually covered by the tenant. However, some private landlords might include these in the rent, so don't forget to ask.

Signing a lease agreement in Porto

To rent a property in Porto, you will need to sign a lease agreement — “contrato de arrendamento” in Portuguese.

Typically, this is a standard rent contract that includes basic information about the tenant and landlord, rent terms and dates, rent amount and when it is due and so on. The lease also includes a list of items that come included with the property: furniture, appliances, etc. You will then be responsible for leaving the property in the condition that it was rented to you — with allowance for some regular wear and tear, of course.

Note that in order to sign the lease in Porto, you will need to have a Portuguese tax ID number (número de contribuinte). This is a fiscal identification number, and you can easily get it from your local tax office in Porto. Your landlord may also ask you to provide additional documentation: a credit check, an employment contract, references, and more.

If you want to move out of your rented apartment before the lease expires, you will need to notify your landlord in advance. Typically, you should notify them about your departure about 60 days in advance. Your landlord also has the right to serve you with a notice if they want you to move out before your lease ends. In this case, they may offer you financial compensation or help you find a similar property to relocate to.

At the end of your lease, the landlord will check the property to make sure everything is in place and that there is no major damage. If everything is okay, your deposit will be returned in full. Note that if you do have a deposit disagreement with your landlord, you will need to go through the Civil Court to have it resolved.

When signing the lease, make sure to exercise due diligence:

If the contract is drafted in Portuguese, have it officially translated into English (or another language) to make sure there are no misunderstandings.

If your landlord doesn't speak English and you don't speak Portuguese, consider having an interpreter present when you sign the lease so that you can ask questions and make sure you understand the conditions of the lease.

Before signing the lease, check if your landlord has a legal rental license granted by the local council.

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