Renting in Portugal

Tips on finding rental flats in the Algarve

Comments2 comments

Expat blogger Samantha Milner shares some tips on how you can look for rentals in the Algarve.

I moved into my first rented apartment in the Silves region of the Algarve in May 2009 and, based on my experiences, I want to share with you some tips about making your rental experience easy and hassle free.

First of all, I advise you to have all the relevant documentation available before you even consider renting. If you have a Portuguese landlord they will be somewhat stricter with you about these documents than an English landlord.

Expect to need:

  •  A Fiscal Number
  •  A Portuguese Bank Account (for payment of rent)
  •  References

You will also be expected to pay one month’s rent and an extra month’s rent as a deposit when you sign up with your rented property.

Algarve region: The beach and rock outcroppings of the beach at Lagos

Under Portuguese rental law, if you do default on your rent after fourteen days you will be expected to pay an extra two weeks’ rent as compensation to your landlord. So make sure you can reasonably afford the rental before you sign on the dotted line.

Once you have all this in place, the hard part is choosing somewhere to live and arranging viewings.

When we decided to look into rentals in the Algarve, we viewed all the popular areas one by one until we had a shortlist of places where we would like to live.

We fell in love with Silves as soon as we saw it and knew it would be a great place to settle down and to send our son to school.

Silves is very much a Portuguese area with a lovely castle, a pretty river, and not to mention the best Pri Pri Chicken in the Algarve.

It gives you the best of two worlds because you have the beautiful countryside with the variety of two bedroom cottages to rent. Alternatively, right in the centre of the town you have a large variety of apartments to rent that are very close to all the local amenities.

A view of Silves and its castle uphill

What you need to understand about the Algarve is that all areas are completely different. That is why you need to do your homework prior to choosing a rental property. Once you have decided on your local area, you need to start viewing rental properties.

Even if you stick with the local expat newspapers in the Algarve when looking for future rental properties, many of these will be listed by Portuguese people who don’t speak a word of English. Plus, if you have opted for a mainly Portuguese area this will be the norm.

I wish you good luck with choosing your rental property and I hope you enjoy living in the Algarve as much as we do.

Samantha Milner / Expatica

Samantha Milner is a British expat who left her life behind in England for a new life in the Algarve and has a successful career in internet marketing. You can read her Algarve Blog that gives details of her new life living in the sun by clicking here.

Expatica Ask the Expert

Find a house in Portugal using Expatica's housing search.

Comment here on the article, or if you have a suggestion to improve this article, please click here.

If you believe any of the information on this page is incorrect or out-of-date, please let us know. Expatica makes every effort to ensure its articles are as comprehensive, accurate and up-to-date as possible, but we're also grateful for any help! (If you want to contact Expatica for any other reason, please follow the instructions on this website's contact page.)

Captcha Note: Characters are case sensitive
The details you provide on this page will not be used to send any unsolicited e-mail, and will not be sold to a third party. Privacy policy .

2 Comments To This Article

  • Phyllis posted:

    on 13th December 2016, 05:18:22 - Reply

    We recently visited Portugal wanting to find a rental there for a couple of months in 2017. We contacted a realtor associated with a real estate firm we saw in several cities. After negotiating the rent and returning to the states we were surprised to be informed that we would need to pay the realtor a 20% commission on the total amount of the rent. Is this standard practice in Portugal? Thank you for any info you can give me on this topic.

    [Moderator's note: You can also post questions on our Ask the Expert free service.]

  • william posted:

    on 21st May 2016, 16:43:48 - Reply

    What is a "fiscal number and how do you get it? How do you get references if you just moved there. I am coming from U.S.? How difficult is opening an account at a bank?
    Thank You.

    [Moderator's note: You can also post questions on our Ask the Expert free service.]