by | Apr 20, 2024 | Rentals, Tenants

At the moment, demand for long-term rentals in Portugal far exceeds supply, especially in the larger towns and locations popular with tourists such as coastal locations. This means that potential tenants have to do as much as possible to prove to owners that they can satisfactorily pay the rent.

Tenants from some countries will be familiar with possessing a credit score, but this concept doesn’t really exist in Portugal, so we advise those looking for rental accommodation to prepare an information package that can be easily given to owners, and which should go a long way to achieving the goal of proving that there will be no problem to pay the rent. This package could include, amongst other things:

– a brief text about yourself, your background, what you do for work, your earnings, your savings, why you are in Portugal and how long you’ve been here, your intentions for the future, etc
– a reference from your previous rental, with owner contact details so it may be verified
– proof of income: last 3 salary slips, bank statements, work contract, official income tax declarations

We suggest that the above is prepared in one easily viewable or downloadable package. You could compile everything in a PDF file that can be easily sent by email, or upload the information to the cloud (Google Drive, Dropbox, Microsoft OneDrive or similar), with an index file containing relevant links. It has to be as easy as possible for the owner to view the information.

Apart from the above information, a tenant should obtain a guarantor with assets in Portugal if possible. This is known as having a “fiador” in Portuguese. We fully appreciate that this is practically impossible for most foreigners, but it may be possible for some. If a local guarantor isn’t possible, then potential tenants should be prepared to pay more rent in advance, or as an alternative, obtain a bank guarantee.

Almost all banks will be able to provide a bank guarantee, or “garantia bancária” in Portuguese. Potential tenants should first approach their own bank, since they will already have your account details and history. 

You should decide how many months rent you want to guarantee, and ask the bank if they would be willing to provide a guarantee for that amount. For example, you could ask the bank if they can provide a “garantia bancária” for €6000 which would cover 6 months rent at €1000/month. With an affirmative reply, you can then visit properties and tell the owners that you can provide that guarantee, to be implemented only when there is agreement to go ahead.

To implement the guarantee, you will need to know the exact guaranteed amount, the length of time the guarantee needs to be active, and the details of the owner in whose name the guarantee will be made, and also the conditions under which it may be activated. The amount of the guarantee will be blocked in your account, and you will be charged a small percentage of this amount (possibly 2 to 5%, but check with different banks) as a cost of the service.

Our last advice for tenants would be to create an informative profile on Idealista, the most popular property portal in Portugal both for owners and tenants, and then set up alerts according to the location, your budget and preferences. In the current market you need to react quickly to anything that becomes available, mentioning that you have proof of income and a bank guarantee, if you’ve followed the advice above.