On October 6th, 2023, Law no. 56/2023 was enacted to implement the measures of the “Mais Habitação Programme”, introducing significant alterations to the Legal Framework for the Operation of Local Accommodation Establishments. The 10 most important measures, which came into force on October 7th, 2023, are as follows:
- Registration of Local Accommodation Establishments in Independent Units: The registration must be preceded by a unanimous decision of the condominium authorizing other use than the one established in the constitutive title of the horizontal property, namely, the exercise of the Local Accommodation activity.
- Alterations to the documentation required for prior communication: Individuals will now have the possibility, when applying for their Local Accommodation registration, to allocate their home to local accommodation for a period not exceeding 120 days, as long as it is their own main permanent housing.
Furthermore, attaching the Condominium Meeting Minutes authorizing the installation of the AL establishment is now mandatory for “hostels” and Local Accommodation in independent units that are intended, in the constitutive title, for housing purposes.
- Non-transferability of the Local Accommodation Registration Number: The Local Accommodation registration number is personal and cannot be transferred, even if held by a legal entity. It is specified that transferring any part of its share capital, irrespective of the percentage, will result in the expiry of the public operating license. However, this provision doesn’t apply in cases of succession.
- Strengthening the role of the Condominium in Local Accommodation: If the Local Accommodation activity is carried out in an independent unit of a building or in part of an urban building that can be independently used, the condominium board, by resolution of at least two-thirds of the building’s per mileage, may object to the operation of the local accommodation activity in that unit, unless the constitutive title expressly allows the use of the unit for local accommodation purposes or there is an explicit resolution of the condominium meeting authorizing the use of the unit for that purpose.
- Cancellation of the Local Accommodation Registration: Until the Condominium Board decides otherwise, local accommodation operations are unable to operate in an independent unit, provided that the cancellation of its operating license was based on a Condominium Board resolution.
- Validity of the registration of the Local Accommodation Establishment: The Local Accommodation Establishment registration is now valid for 5 (five) years, renewable for equal periods. The first renewal begins from the date of the initial public operating license.
- Suspension of new registrations of Local Accommodation establishments: The issuance of new local accommodation registrations for apartments and lodging establishments integrated into an independent unit of a building is suspended nationwide, except for inland territories. However, this suspension does not apply to the Autonomous Regions of Azores and Madeira.
- Reevaluation of Local Accommodation Registrations: Local accommodation registrations issued at the enactment of this law will be reevaluated in the year 2030 and are renewable for five years from the first reevaluation. Exceptions to this rule include local accommodation establishments serving as property guarantees for loan contracts signed by February 16th, 2023, and not completely repaid by December 31st, 2029, with their first review occurring after full repayment as initially agreed.
- Expiration of inactive registrations: Within two months of the entry into force of this law, on December 7th, Local Accommodation registration holders will be obliged to prove, by submitting a tax return, that they are continuously operating their AL Establishment. This provision does not apply to the operation of local accommodation units in own and permanent housing, provided that this operation does not exceed the aforementioned 120 days per year.
- The Extraordinary Contribution for Local Accommodation (CEAL):
- This contribution applies to independent units and parts or divisions of urban buildings suitable for independent use, primarily residential, covered by a valid local accommodation license.
- The liable parties for this contribution are the owners of AL establishments, with property owners being subsidiarily liable for its payment.
- The tax base for CEAL is calculated by applying the economic coefficient for local accommodation and the urban pressure coefficient to the gross private area of the residential property subject to CEAL. The tax rate applicable to this base is 15%.
- These coefficients are published annually by decree, with those for 2023 set to be released within 60 days of this law’s publication.