Rental - Do I need NIF?

Planning to move soon. Was wondering if NIF is required for property rental? What's you experience with rental market. Is it difficult to find a place (esp. Madeira)? Do foreigners have issues with renting?

Firstly, what is NIF and secondly, we were planning on spending 6 months in Madeira during the winter. Our friends who are ex pats living over there, put us in touch with a local 'estate agency' rep called Rosa. She showed us several properties that she could rent us and her rates were very competitive. We put a deposit on a traditional house but later had to cancel as we were depending on the ferry running from the mainland to get our dogs there, no we don't want to fly them. We are now looked ng at renting in Portugal.

Yes, I believe you need a NIF and a bank account to rent property here in Portugual. In order to get the NIF you will need a citizen who will sign for you.


This is incorrect - to get a NIF all you need is to present  yourself,  passport & proof of address (address in any country is fine) at any financias office and they will issue one to you free of charge.

Remember that on 1/1/21 things will change as a result of brexit - you will no longer be able to spend 6 months in the schengen zone. The max allowable period will be 90 days in any rolling 180 day period & your passport will be stamped in and out of the zone to accurately record the length of your stay - overstate & you will be denied entry in the future.

I thought that part of getting an NIF required a Tax Representative

If you are getting a NIF but do not yet intend to live in Portugal, i.e. will not physically be present in Portugal, you will need a tax representative, who is a person with tax residence in Portugal,  who will be the contact person between you and the Tax authorities. This person will pass on all the necessary information regarding your tax obligations to you and make sure that you are up to date and in no fiscal breach. Once you move to Portugal, you wont need this representation anymore.

You can get a NIF online using a company like anchorless. They were excellent. I got my NIF in about a week. You need the NIF to open a Portuguese bank account. That took about 3 weeks. Note that anchorless emails you the pages you must sign and you have to mail those signed originals back to Portugal so they can complete the account opening. You are supposed to print out the pages emailed to you on A4 size paper.

Through I got my NIF online in 3 days. Online I prepared also everything for the bank-account opening and when I arrived in Portugal, next day I went to the Bank and signed the documents and 3 days later I could transfer money. The document signing procedure you can also do online, but I liked to meet the bank employee/manager.NOTE: for your document-transfer, the camera of your iPhone is good enough, but from your computer probably not.

Hi all, noticed this thread pop up again, in reference to one of OP's questions we don't see answered yet, in our experience yes a NIF is required for a long term (e.g. annual rental).

We need to enter our tenants NIFs for example when we rent our apartments in the Alentejo. Only then can we register it with the government and pay the taxes (and provide the proofs needed for visas such as the D7 with international tenants). Hope this helps! - Elizabeth