Words: Aoife Ní Bheirn
Approved at the end of March, it will now become compulsory for property owners to rent out apartments that remain vacant for more than two years in high-density areas.
Last Thursday, a so-called “forced rental” measure was been approved by the Council of Ministers in Portugal. Part of the country’s More Housing programme, the initiative will prevent “a necessary asset being taken away from market access while charging an affordable rent” according to the leader of the Portuguese government, António Costa.
“We live at a time of great housing shortage in our country, at a time when, in particular, the younger generations are facing increasing difficulties in their autonomy,” said Costa to the Portgual News.
The Portuguese government will also give away vacant public properties and land to help increase the supply of housing, in partnership with the private sector.
According to 2021 Census, there were 723,215 empty homes in Portugal, of which around 348,000 were placed on the sale or rental market, with a further 375,000 meeting the criteria to be considered vacant properties.
However, the measure does not extend to holiday homes.
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