Local Accommodation licences should be cancelled if the property is sold
The Secretary of State for Housing said it is a good idea that an Alojamento Local licence is not automatically transferred to a new owner when the property is sold.
This “may be a means of balancing the market,” said Ana Pinho, speaking at a hearing of the working group set up to review the local housing law, stressing the importance of giving Councils a “regulatory role, to balance the public interest, the right to housing, but also the local tourism activity.”
Municipalities should be able to impose quotas on Alojamento Local (AL) within their geographical limits, “according to their specific characteristics” and existing licences should not be transferable when the property is sold.
These were two of the measures put forward on Tuesday by the Secretary of State for Housing as ways to balance the market and solve problems of an excess of AL supply that is evident in some areas of the country, notably in Lisbon.
The working group has a set of suggestions from various political parties with some consensus that Councils should have more power over local tourist accommodation, in particular through an AL licence quota system.
Ana Pinho advanced the possibility of forcing new owners of AL property to have to reapply for a licence.
This would drive down property prices as those wishing to buy a fully operational and licensed AL business could not be certain that the licence would be renewed. The move also would increase the potential for corruption in local government with those in charge of licensing, demanding under-the-counter payments.