‘I will never go back’: two renters tell us how renting in Lisbon compares to London

The easyJet age has loved Lisbon, Portugal. The easyJet age has loved Lisbon in Portugal. There are still deals available, but they are not as plentiful as in London. A typical rent for a three-bedroom property in a central location with some outside space, such as a balcony or terrace, would be between EUR3,000 and EUR5,000 per month (roughly GBP2,500 – GBP4,200). Rental prices are highest in Principe Real, Chiado, and Restelo. Escudo, Belem and Restelo represent relatively good value.Businesses relocating here means high demand for family homes / Shutterstock/Katarzyna Maksymiuk”In Lisbon, as there are very few tall buildings, prices vary almost as much depending on the views a property has as on its location,” says Pelikan. The city is highly sought after for its views and outdoor space. Lisbon is a popular destination for larger family homes and a lot of businesses are moving here. Lisbon has a high rental demand. The majority of property in the city is smaller. “HousingAnywhere, Europe’s largest rental agency website, reported that the average monthly cost of a one-bedroom apartment in Lisbon was EUR1,296, an increase of 17 percent year on year. Comparatively, similar properties in Paris cost EUR1,978 and EUR1,940 respectively in London. She traded Mile End for Lisbon in November 2020. She had previously lived in Manchester and north London. She was faced with a second lockdown in “grey and miserable London” and the Brexit deadline, so she decided to make a move for the Portuguese capital. She says, “I arrived in a partial locking down, eight months into this pandemic.” “The lockdown silence in Lisbon, a city that has come to rely heavily on Airbnbs and holiday rentals, meant that I had a lot to choose from, without feeling pressure to commit to the first thing that I saw. “I now live in an Airbnb flat in Rato de Campo de Ourique. I have had no problems getting things fixed. My landlord is very friendly and relaxed. There’s no patronizing or demeaning ‘landlord/tenant’ dynamic that Londoners are so familiar with. “I am enjoying the financial independence that Lisbon has given me and I will never, if ever, go back. “The issue of short-term rental licences is now restricted in some areas / Getty Images/iStockphotoSara Allen, 37 from Dorset, works in tourism sales. Since 2016, she has been living in the UK and Portugal with her 5-year-old son Harry. Sara says, “When we first moved from the UK to Lisbon, we needed somewhere to ‘land’.” We liked the central location in Chiado so we chose a fully furnished serviced apartment at Martinhal Chiado. It was a 75-square-metre apartment with two bedrooms and a concierge. The apartment was also well-equipped for parents. We now have a permanent home in Park of Nations, an unfurnished apartment with three bedrooms. We were able to decorate it as we pleased. Sara says, “We lost out on an apartment before we secured our rental.” “Other friends who moved to this area in the past have found it much more competitive. Lisbon is rapidly becoming a hot real estate market. Once you find the place you want, it is important to make sure everything is in order. “Lisbon offers many options in its various areas, and Park of Nations was chosen for its modern, family-friendly feel. There is so much to do in the area, as well as a wide range of schools, including United School of Lisbon, where I plan to enroll my son. “The area is located less than ten minutes away from the historical center and fifteen minutes from the airport. Lisbon is known for being hilly, but Park of Nations is relatively flat and is great for buggy use. “Need to know” Lisbon’s strict rent control laws and lengthy eviction processes meant that property throughout the city was left to slowly fall over years as landlords were not motivated to make improvements. The 2011 Golden Visa* was introduced. This allowed non-Portuguese passport holders to obtain a resident’s license if they had spent EUR500,000 or more on a property. The result was quick: elegant, historic properties in prime locations were renovated and the Airbnb market boomed with a variety of trendy properties as Lisbon was rediscovered. (*NB. As of January 2022 property in Lisbon is no longer eligible for the Golden Visa scheme. Read More. House sharing in London: The cost of renting a room in each borough revealed.Pandemic moves. ‘I traded WFH in a small London flat for pet-sitting opportunities in beautiful homes across the country.’ In 2014, Lisbon established the requirement for an AL Licence (Alojamento Local) for short-term rentals. The rules were tightened further in 2018 when the city restricted the issuing of the licence in certain areas. An AL Licence is required for property owners. It takes approximately one week to get and lasts five years. Since 2018, only 25% of any one neighborhood will be granted this licence. This means that large areas of the historic city center are not eligible for allocation. These zones are reviewed every six month. Rental licences are not currently available in central areas such as Alfama and Baixa, Bairro Alto, Avenue de Liberdade. AL Licences require that properties be furnished. Mid-term lets: Rentals for at least six months. These can be allowed with or without an AL Licence. Owners are subject to the same tax if they rent without an AL Licence as if they rent long-term lets. Renting with one is subject to a tax of 8.75 to 16.8 percent. This depends on whether the owners are Portuguese tax residents. These are not required to have a rental license.