If you’re an expat moving to Lisbon, congratulations! You’re in for a treat.
This beautiful city has so much to offer, from its stunning architecture and rich history to its delicious food and friendly people.
But before you can start enjoying all that Lisbon has to offer, you need to find a place to live. And that’s where our housing tips for expats come in.
In this guide, we cover everything you need to know about finding a place to live in Lisbon, from determining what between renting and buying is better to what to consider when renting and signing rental contracts.
Ready? Let’s dive in!
To buy or to rent in Lisbon?
If you’re considering a move to Lisbon, one of the first things you’ll need to decide is whether to buy or rent a property. Both have their pros and cons, and there’s no easy answer.
On one hand, purchasing a home gives you the security of owning your own place in the city. This can be a great investment, especially if you plan on staying in Lisbon for a long time.
However, it is important to remember that as a foreigner, you may not have the same legal protections as Portuguese citizens when it comes to buying property. Additionally, purchasing a home is a big financial commitment and can be quite expensive.
Renting property in Lisbon is often more affordable than buying and offers flexibility in terms of length of stay. If you are only planning on living in Lisbon for a year or two, renting may be the better option.
There are also many rental options in Lisbon, which can be ideal for expats who are not planning on bringing any furniture with them from home.
What to know about renting in Lisbon
There are a few things you should keep in mind when looking for a place to rent in Lisbon. The first is that prices can vary widely depending on the neighborhood you choose. In general, the closer you are to the city center, the more expensive rent will be.
Another thing to consider is the size of the apartment or house you need. One-bedroom apartments are typically the most affordable, but if you have a family or need more space, you may want to look for something larger.
We also highly recommend getting help from an expert. A good estate agent will be familiar with the Lisbon rental market and can help you find a property that meets your needs and budget. Most will also be happy to advise you on the best areas of the city to look for rental properties.
Finally, be prepared to move quickly once you find a place you like. Competition for rental properties in Lisbon is high, so if you find something that meets your needs and fits your budget, don’t hesitate to put down a deposit and sign the lease.
Signing your rental contract
When you find a place to rent in Lisbon, you will be asked to sign a tenancy agreement or “contrato de arrendamento”. This is a legal document that outlines the terms of your rental agreement.
Before you sign, make sure you understand the contract and all of the terms. Here are some important things to look for:
The length of the lease
Most leases in Portugal are for one year, but some may be for six months or two years.
The rental price
This should be clearly stated in the contract. If there is an increase in rent during the lease, it should be specified in the contract.
Check to see if utilities are included in the rental price or if you will need to pay them separately.
Maintenance and repairs
It’s typically the tenant’s responsibility to maintain and repair the property, but this should be specified in the contract.
You may be required to have renters insurance while living in Portugal. Make sure this is stated in the contract so you can budget for it accordingly.
Once you sign the contract, be sure to keep a copy for your records. Remember, breaking a lease can be difficult and expensive, so be sure you’re ready to commit to living in one place for the duration of the lease before signing it.
Welcome to Lisbon!
While there’s more to know about housing in Lisbon, these tips should help you get started on your search. Portugal is a beautiful country with a lot to offer, and we hope you find the perfect place to call home during your time here.
With a little patience and research, you’re sure to find the perfect spot to hang your hat (and enjoy some amazing Portuguese food while you’re at it). Buena Suerte!