How to rent a House in Portugal: A Complete Guide


The first thing we think when moving to another country is WHERE TO LIVE and HOW TO FIND IT, right? Thinking about it, we’ve put together a little guide to help you find a cozy place to call home, with the best sites, tips for searching, necessary documents, how to rent without having a guarantor and how to avoid scams. Come with us:

Houses in Portugal for rent: How to Find

The first step is to know which region you want to live in Portugal, analyze the cities in the region, weigh their advantages and disadvantages to make sure that the place really meets your expectations and needs. 

Only after defining the city in Portugal you want to live in, it’s time to get to know the parishes (neighborhood) of that city. Here, you must ponder your needs and safety.

For example: if you are going to study, better look for the same parish or one that is close to the university, right? That way, you end up saving travel time and money with public transport in Portugal. Or if you like trendier neighborhoods, where there will be a lot of shops, bars, restaurants and people walking around all day, the parishes that are part of the city center and its surroundings will make more sense. However, be aware that rents in these regions are high.

Therefore, analyze your needs and what really matters to you to define the regions of interest when carrying out your search

Best websites to look for a Home in Portugal

The main ones are Idealista, Imovirtual, Uniplaces, Airbnb, Casa Sapo and OLX – yes, OLX is a trend in Portugal, trust us!

Use filters to narrow down your searches

Now that you have the best websites in hand and the region, your search will be much easier. And to make it even more efficient, you can use the typology filters (number of rooms), if you want an apartment with or without furniture, maximum price you are willing to pay, square meters, among others. Each of the websites for renting a house in Portugal has its own filters and they are very intuitive.

Search real estate sites

Another option for renting an apartment in Portugal is through a real estate agency. This option tends to be more bureaucratic with regard to documentation and guarantor. But on the other hand, having the support of a consultant can be a great help for those who are planning to live in the country.

The three largest real estate companies in the country are:

Re/Max, Century 21 and Era.

How to rent a property in Portugal

After finding a nice place that meets your expectations, get in touch by phone, email or message on the site itself.

When you get the owner’s feedback, try to schedule a visit to see place to meet the possible landlord and check if the house corresponds with the photographs you saw on the website. If you are still abroad and cannot visit the apartment, having the help of a real estate consultant is a must.

Try to talk to the owner to find out what is needed to rent: documentation, guarantor, deposit, advance of a few months of rent, etc. Understand all the conditions for renting the property. Don’t be alarmed if he demands a long list of conditions, but be aware of abuses and keep in mind the Tenancy Law in Portugal to know what the landlord can really demand of you.

The important thing is not to get discouraged and always try to negotiate the conditions. Remember that you already have the “no”, so fight for the “yes”, especially if you really like the apartment. If they come to an agreement, it’s time to sign the contract and make the move!

How to rent a property in Portugal without a guarantor

One of the most difficult points when renting a property is finding a guarantor in Portugal. Many owners demand it and still ask that they’re Portuguese. For immigrants, especially new arrivals in the country, this is almost impossible.

We said ALMOST! Because there is a solution for everything. And in this case, the solution has a name, Easy Sponsor. A platform that seeks to facilitate the bureaucracy regarding the documentation for those who are going to rent a house in Portugal.

Through a request on the website and upon proof of income and other documents, Easy Sponsor will analyze your profile and, if you are approved, they will replace the guarantor or security deposit (if applicable). Everything will be done simply and quickly.

Tips for renting a house in Portugal

Now that you know which are the best sites to rent a house in Portugal, how to get a guarantor and how to do the search, let’s talk about some precautions you need to take. After all, false leases are part of the list of the most common scams in Portugal. URGH!!!

Check out the list we’ve prepared for you:

  • Whenever possible, visit the apartment;
  • Be wary of prices below the market average;
  • Never, we mean it! NEVER transfer money to strangers and not even before signing the contract. If you need to carry out a financial transaction to rent a house, seek expert advice;
  • Airbnb (and other sites) does not deliver keys and is not even responsible for intermediating visits or signing rental contracts. This scam is extremely common and is usually accompanied by a story that the owner received a job offer outside the city or country and is renting the property at a lower price;
  • Always check the information: google the address, check the photographs, look for owner references.

And finally, if you really want to move to the Portuguese lands, planning is fundamental. Without it, the dream can quickly turn into a nightmare. And if you can, having a team by your side every step of the way can make your life much easier. And that’s why we, from Live Abroad Portugal, are here. Get in touch with us whenever you need.

Good luck in your search for a house in Portugal and happy moving!