As most of us now know, the new housing law (Mais Habitação) introduced a limit on the increases of new rental contracts of 2%.
There are some exceptions to this limit, which can be seen in the post linked to above, but in general the 2% limit applies. However, how does the limit apply when the previous rental contract was for the entire property, and the owner now wants to rent rooms individually? Let’s see:
In one of the forums discussing this limit on the rental increase, the following example was given:
“Tenho um imóvel para arrendamento a estudantes mas a casa esteve arrendada por um valor abaixo do valor de mercado nos últimos 5 anos (T4 a 1000€). Com as novas regras de atualização das rendas, não sei quanto posso cobrar por quarto. Alguém sabe se passar para arrendamento a quartos quanto posso cobrar por quarto?
Fico na dúvida se tem alguma relação com o valor da renda da imovel ou se posso estipular a renda livremente, independentemente dos limites à atualização, dado nunca ter sido arrendada a quartos.“
Translation: “I have a property to rent to students but the house has been rented below market value in the last 5 years (T4 at €1000). With the new rent update rules, I don’t know how much I can charge per room. Does anyone know if I move to renting rooms, how much I can charge per room?
I’m not sure if it has to do with the rental value of the property or if I can set the rent freely, regardless of the limits on updating, given that it has never been rented as rooms.“
It’s a pertinent question, and one which doesn’t have an easy answer. But let’s take a look at the relevant laws to see if we can find a way through the maze.
The Mais Habitação law (Lei n.º 56/2023 de 6 de outubro) states that the limit of 2% is applied to new contracts that exceed the general rental price limits by type provided for in tables 1 and 2 of the annex to Ordinance No. 176/2019, of June 6 (contratos que excedam os limites gerais de preço de renda por tipologia previstos nas tabelas 1 e 2 do anexo à Portaria n.º 176/2019, de 6 de junho).
If we look at the annex of the relevant Ordinance, we can see municipalities according to level denoted by E1 to E6 in Table 1, and the corresponding rental limits according to type of property in those municipalities in Table 2. Property types are listed as being T0 (studio) to T5 (5-bedroom property) and greater.
So, what happens in the case of rooms, which aren’t mentioned in Table 2? Well, just below this table, we can see an additional clause (Anexo I, n.º2) which states “O limite geral de preço de renda mensal de uma parte de habitação corresponde a 55 % do limite geral do preço de renda mensal aplicável à tipologia T0 para o concelho onde se localiza o alojamento.“
Translation: The general monthly rental price limit for a division of property corresponds to 55% of the general monthly rental price limit applicable to the T0 type for the municipality where the accommodation is located.
My interpretation is that this clause will apply to room rentals, with the monthly rental being limited to 55% of the maximum price established for a studio apartment in the corresponding municipality.
If we take the example above, a T4 (4-bedroom property) having been rented previously at €1000 per month, and assuming that it was in Alcochete and also that the inflationary rental coefficients haven’t been applied in previous years, we can see that the general rent limit for the entire property, according to the above tables (Line E3, column T4) is €800. Therefore, a new contract can be set at a maximum, with a 2% increase, of €1020, if the property is rented as an entire unit.
If the owner wishes to rent the rooms individually, we have to first look at the tables to determine the general rental price for a T0 in Alcochete (Line E3, column T0), which is €325 and take 55% of that amount, which equals €178.75. We can multiply this amount by four, meaning that the maximum amount received when renting the rooms individually is €715