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Renting a property in Portugal is an exciting first step in getting to know the country and deciding where you want to build your new life. We understand that it can be nerve-wracking, but don't let that put you off; the Kuabit team has helped people buy and rent real estate in the Algarve, Cascais, Sintra, and Lisbon, and we have the experience, expertise, and contacts to help you each step of the way.

Suppose you are looking to immigrate to Portugal; our partnered immigration lawyers can guide you through the entire process, select the correct visa type, and prepare & file the necessary paperwork with the immigration authorities.

The guide below will prepare you to get ready with the required paperwork, know what to expect, and rent a property hassle-free. 


If you decide to search for properties to rent on your own, you'll better release your schedule for the next weeks. Expect to spend countless hours looking at rental listings, contacting agencies that may not be as responsive as you would expect. Not only that, arranging for viewings with different agencies, each with different schedules, preferences, and continuously pushing you to view other properties on their portfolio. In the end, you will have to be the one dealing with the reconciliation of this all. 

There are no guarantees in finding what you are looking for, as you may be wasting your valuable time seeing various properties to rent, only to find out then that none are in the areas you wished for. There are many listings with incorrect locations posted online, obviously to attract more attention. The services, trade, and transport links mentioned in the surrounding areas may not be as nearby as advertised. 

Experienced rental agents will save you time and money as they will only show you properties worth a view and ensure they meet your needs. Our Kuabit agents will be able to put together a list of properties working with your search criteria in mind, assist you in avoiding the scams, and negotiate a deal with terms that work for you. 

Another plus of working with a knowledgeable agent is that they can connect you with other local professionals such as moving companies, assist you with transferring the utility bills to your name, or even find you a cleaner. This type of help can be very beneficial when you are new in town. 

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Portuguese properties are usually advertised with a monthly rental value and the size indicated usually refers to the living space measured in square meters. Typically, the advert would show whether the property is furnished or unfurnished; the latter is more common. Furnished properties can be either be fully comprehensive, including kitchen appliances, utensils, bedding, towels, etc., or very basic, which could be a couple of furniture pieces left by the landlord. In an unfurnished property, kitchen appliances such as a fridge, dishwasher, and washing machine is generally a standard. 

If you can view the property while the tenants are still present, ensure that you understand which furniture pieces are staying and included. An inventory list may be set up for both parties to sign to ensure that the same is returned on check-out. 

Furnished properties are slightly more expensive in comparison to unfurnished properties. Note that an extra security deposit is paid on furniture, see below for more details.

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Paying a security deposit is there to protect the landlord against any damages, breach of contract, or rent that were not paid at the end of the tenancy. The amount is usually based on the monthly rental value; generally, one months' rent upfront is paid if the property is unfurnished and two months' upfront for a furnished property. At least the first months' rent in advance is also expected.

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Generally, landlords will require a Portuguese-based guarantee if the landlord has very little information about a prospective tenant. Landlords seek to minimize the risk of renting their property to a tenant with minimal credit and renting history in the country and providing the landlord with more reassurance that the agreement's terms will be met and ensure that rent is paid. Offering your landlord a larger deposit or six months' rent in advance may persuade him/her, as this may give a greater sense of security they may be looking for.

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Monthly rent is paid in advance till the 8th day of each month for the following month. E.g., the Move-in date is 1st January 2021, on or before the 8th January 2021, the rent for the next month (February 2021) should be paid, and so forth. Rent is subject to annual updates through written notice of at least 30 days. Landlords may increase the rent once a year; however, he/she would need to give you written notice.

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A written contract is mandatory as verbal contracts are not legally acknowledged. If anything is unclear within the contract, seek legal advice before you sign. Ensure that any agreements made at the time of the offer reflect in the contract. Your landlord is obligated to register the rental contract with the Portuguese tax authorities. Subletting is generally not permitted. Once you have completed at least one-third of the lease, you may terminate the contract, usually with a four months' notice (120 days) before the intended leaving date. Typically, rental agreements are for 12 months, which could be renewed annually if both parties agree. If you are looking for anything less than 12 months, you may limit your options.

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You would possibly pay all the household bills as a tenant. Which may include the following:

  • Gas and electricity;

  • Water;

  • TV and Internet subscriptions;

  • Garden and swimming pool maintenance.

After receiving the keys, the first thing to do is to read the meters and update your suppliers. If you don't do this, you could be liable for any usage of the previous tenant. Utilities for a two-bedroom apartment are generally around €50–150 per month, depending on your use, type of utilities, and energy efficiency. 

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Properties usually are listed 30-60 days in advance of the date they become available, so starting your search earlier than that might be a bit, though! More property options will be available 30 days in advance, comparing to 60 days or more. Plan to spend anywhere from 2 days – 2 weeks to find the right property in your rental hunt.

Image by Héctor Martínez


Not all the properties will be viewable on your schedule. Some may have unique available time periods (e.g., only weekdays between 15h00-16h00) or limitations on when it's open to show (e.g., after business hours). Your Kuabit agent will be able to make these viewing arrangements on your behalf. However, you'd have to make yourself available to see the properties when they're shown. Viewings on weekends are not typical, and Sundays are almost out of the question.

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  • Valid ID or passport

  • Last paystubs / Salary slips / Tax return

  • NIF number / Portuguese tax number

  • Guarantor (in some cases)

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After getting a better understanding of what you may expect as you work your way via the Portuguese rental jungle, you may want an experienced agent by your side. Whether your search is complicated, or you are in a hurry to find the right place that is pet-friendly, with furniture, you can be sure to receive a guiding hand every step of the way with the rental process. Working closely with each client and understanding their needs, wants, and wishes are our goals.

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Kuabit is an exclusive buyer´s agency and has helped many happy clients buy real estate in the Algarve, Braga, Cascais, Lisbon, and Porto. We´re happy to clarify any doubts that you may have. Reach out to us, and we’ll respond asap.

+351 936 070 311 (Portuguese mobile network number)

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