Forced rental measures passed by parliament
The Portuguese parliament has approved a controversial law which allows private properties which have been left standing empty two years or more, and show no active utilities contract in terms of gas, water or electricity, can be forcibly rented out by municipal councils to tenants in need of housing.
Under the terms of the new law, which was widely criticised by property and other civic associations as an assault on the legal property rights of private citizens, the owner(s) of the properties have 90 days to reply after being notified to either undertake improvement works or use the properties themselves.
A municipal council may officially or at the request of any interested party determine if the property is being used or not, when, for what purpose and if standing empty for over two years with no signs of utility bills being paid, advance with the notification. The council may check any irregularities to do with rental or sub-letting of the vacant property.
The Portuguese parliament has also voted to end the issue of Golden Visas for investment in residential housing. This will not affect those who already have Golden Visas and need to renew them.