Lisbon landlords and tenants against rent control

in World · 20-09-2019 01:00:00 · 6 Comments

Landlords and tenants in the capital have spoken against rent controls as a means to limit the housing crisis, stating that new measures would have “tragic implications”.

Recalling the history of 100 years of freezing rents in Portugal, where “everything went up in price while housing remained at ridiculous values”, the president of the Lisbon Association of Owners (ALP), Luís Menezes Leitão, said that the application of rent control would “once again worsen the supply”.

Speaking to Lusa, Leitão said that the situation in Lisbon was “incomparable” with that of other cities - such as Berlin, where a rent freeze was approved for five years to halt the rise in housing prices - and reduced the impact of “tourism pressure” on the housing market in the Portuguese capital.

“When I see that people want to compare Lisbon to Berlin, Barcelona, Paris or Amsterdam, in regard to the tourism pressures in these cities, I have to say that while we now have a level of tourism never experienced before, it has nothing to do with these numbers,” said Luís Menezes Leitão, who places the responsibility for rising prices and decreasing the supply of houses in the rental market squarely down to the Government, due to the taxes imposed on them, including the creation of the Municipal Property Tax (IMI).

The president of the Lisbon Tenants Association (AIL), Romão Lavadinho, takes a similar stance towards the situation and has refused to apply rent-price caps, arguing that “private property has the right, according to existing laws - the law from of the New Urban Leasing Regime, from 1990 - to lease property at the owners chosen price”.

“We do not agree with this limitation. We think this is completely going back to a past we don’t want, so rent limitation should not be in place,” he said, pointing to the “possible solution” to the housing crisis could be an increase in public ownership.

Such an increase in public housing supply, he underlined, may help combat speculative prices and also lead to lower rent prices in the private market.


After years of abuse by tenants (me being the landlord), as a Portuguese i can tell you rental properties will soon be a thing of the past, i inherited over 10 rental apartments and after sticking with it for 7 years i've managed to evict the rent control tenants who even having rents of €45 per month for a 3 bedroom apartment would often be 6 months behind in rent, then those who destroyed the place, stole all the furniture, used the premises for illegal activities, dogs in the apartment, it goes on, all this and more, within my circle of friends who had rental properties they no longer rent their properties and many have sold, I've sold all my properties and never do this again. Good luck to all

By John from Algarve on 24-09-2019 03:56

Portugal now very high price rent apartment day by day going higher impossible to live Portugal.

By Dani from Lisbon on 22-09-2019 02:08

Just as well Portugal hasn't been tempted by that fool's paradise called Rental Control. The notion that by intervening in a market transaction to unilaterally favour one of the participants (tenants) at the expense of the other (landlords) can lead to a more favourable outcome is pie in the sky. If rental control ever had any success, then all governments would bring in legislation today to abolish rents, allowing tenants to occupy property for free. Somehow I don't think that would work. The Portuguese don't need lessons in morality from irresponsible governments with failed housing policies like those in Amsterdam or Geneva, both cities with huge squatter problems and acute housing shortages. It's government policy that often makes the problem worse!

siding with one

By Billy Bissett from Porto on 21-09-2019 06:39


By Andreas Jakobsen from Lisbon on 21-09-2019 05:15

What's better than rent control? A tax on vacant lots and unoccupied buildings. While rent control makes it less attractive to supply accommodation, a vacant-property tax makes it less attractive NOT to!  A vacant-property tax of $X/week makes it $X/week more expensive to fail to get a tenant, and thereby REDUCES, by $X/week, the minimum rent that will persuade the owner to accept a tenant.

Such a tax, although sometimes called a "vacancy tax", is not limited to what real-estate agents call "vacancies" — that is, properties available for rent. It also applies to vacant lots and other properties that are not on the rental market, and is designed to push them onto the market and get them tenanted.

A vacant-property tax is intended to be avoided; if it's properly designed, nobody actually has to pay it. And the *avoidance* of it would initiate economic activity, which would expand the bases of other taxes, allowing their rates to be reduced, so that the rest of us would pay LESS tax!

— Gavin R. Putland,

By Gavin R. Putland from Other on 21-09-2019 07:15

Quite the silliest idea ever. The widespread dereliction and disuse of property in Lisbon is -partially- the result of rent controls. Lisbon needs inward investment and the best way to stop inward investment is rent controls.
Despite the easing of rent controls much residential and commercial property in Lisbon , even in prime areas, remains out of use, despite huge demand. This indicates that there are legal and regulatory barriers to its use which need to be dismantled. Time for the Government and Administration to put its own house in order rather than ‘cheating the market’ to cover up inappropriate policies and practices.

By Dirk Scott from Lisbon on 20-09-2019 12:17
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