Now that you have found the perfect place to stay in Portugal, there are six things you will have to check before signing your rental contract carefully.
Notwithstanding the laborious journey you have been through to find your perfect accommodation in Portugal, you shouldn't enter into a legally binding rental agreement without double-checking a few things that might save you from potential concerns in the future.
No fear Shakespeare - We have compiled a comprehensive list with the most important things you need to check before renting a place in Portugal:
1. Document any defects in the property
It's highly recommended that you properly inspect and document any defects you might have noticed within the property you are about to rent. If it's furnished, you should ask your Portuguese landlord for a checklist with all the details to avoid any potential conflicts the day you are moving out from the property.
2. Read and understand the entire rental contract
This might seem daunting at first glance, but you should read and understand every single sentence within your Portuguese rental contract. You may want to ask a friend for help or even spend a few euros to translate it into your preferred language. Once you do that, these are a few things you would like to understand:
- Start date of the rental contract
- Duration of the agreement
- Names of all tenants and name of the landlord
- Your obligations as a tenant as well as your landlord's duties
- Rent price and whether or not it includes utilities, water, internet, etc.
If you are not sure about something, do not hesitate to ask your future landlord for some clarifications or even for amendments before you sign your Portuguese lease agreement.
3. Require two copies of the contract
Make sure your original rental agreement in Portugal is signed in two copies and that every page of the contract is indexed with both your initials and your landlord's.
In Portugal, you will often need copies of your rental contract in order, for instance, to open a bank account, get a mobile phone, or even to get the super-fast fiber optic internet you need. You don't want to hang out the whole time with the original contract in your pocket, so make sure you make soft copies and keep the original somewhere safe.
4. Negotiate the final price
Don't be shy and think that there is no room for negotiating the rental price in Portugal. By now, you should be well-informed about the average real-estate prices in the area where you are renting your new place in Portugal.
Nonetheless, try to push a little bit, but not too hard, to lower the price. If this sounds too difficult, then try to convince your future landlord to include some costs such as utilities or internet in the lump-sum price you are willing to pay him every month.
5. Understand the payment terms
Make sure that you understand the payment terms and conditions before signing your Portuguese lease agreement. For the sake of traceability, you would better agree on wire transfers to the landlord's bank account and that all these details are documented within the contract.
Furthermore, you should know that Portuguese law grants you the right to request an official electronic payment receipt (e-fatura) for every month of rent and even for the security deposit that you would have to pay at the beginning.
6. Understand Real Estate Company Fees
Unlike in most countries, there are no real-estate agency fees in Portugal for you to pay as a tenant. It's very uncommon that an agent - if you have used one to find the rental property - asks you for any payment as it's normally the landlord who contracts the services of real-estate agencies and hence pay them their commission for concluding the lease agreement.
Now that you have checked all of this, you are surely in a much better position to understand what you're committing yourself to and that it's finally time to celebrate your new place!
In brief, what you will have to keep in mind is that you should take your time and not to rush into signing your rental agreement in Portugal. You could always ask for a draft contract in advance that you have enough time to read it thoroughly.