Home News Algarve’s hotel association says AL short-term lettings laws are too strict

Algarve’s hotel association says AL short-term lettings laws are too strict

Published on 17/01/2018

The Algarve’s association for hotels and tourist businesses says that may of the proposed changes to the local lettings laws that MPs are pondering, will just make things worse and "speed the rise of illicit lettings, tax evasion and other illegalities, and thus is unfair competition."

For the association, illegal short-term lettings by those property owners who are not registered on the Alojamento Local regime, cause it concern, as lettings are unidentified and “lack control and oversight.”

According to data from the Algarve association, the region currently has around 116,000 tourist beds in hotels and tourist accommodation businesses (37% of the national total) and around 800,000 privately let beds in over 200,000 properties.

However, only 118,000 of the 800,000 private beds are registered under the AL regime with owners en masse deciding that regulation would either make their small business unprofitable or, they would have trouble qualifying under the Alojamento Local rules and criteria.

The association states that, “The main reasons given for such a large number of unregistered beds, although they have a regular tourist use, are the result of unjustified and overly strict legislative impositions in the past, in particular as regards the imposition of too many requirements.”

The launch of the Legal Regime for Local Accommodation has put many people off registering due to its daunting, multi-agency approach and inflexibility.

The association comments, “Although there is still a long way to go before reaching acceptable levels of registration for this private accommodation, which in the case of the Algarve represents more than 14.5 million overnight stays and around €300 million per year on which tax is not paid, legislative slackness has allowed this phenomenon to be blurred on a remarkable scale.”

This comment is accurate as the government has done little to stop illegal rentals, realising the benefits of money flooding into the local economy, albeit untaxed money and also the vote losing effect of hash accommodation regulation in a region relaint almost 100% on tourism.

With tourists spending up to €100 a day on goods and services in addition to accommodation, the ‘tax take’ from VAT is significant.

Unlike the approach from other regions, the Algarve’s hoteliers’ association states that “there is no conflict between hotels and local accommodation providers.” The association only wants a market where everyone is subject to the same legal obligations, “which is why we have always supported the creation of mechanisms that facilitate integration into officially legalised tourist offer.”

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