“There is unanimity against the freeze on increasing rents”, said João Caiado Guerreiro, president of the Portuguese Association of Property Owners.
“What is reasonable is the rate of inflation”, he stressed, after a “constructive conversation” with minister Marina Gonçalves.
According to August inflation figures recently released by the National Statistics Institute (INE), the value of rents could increase by 6.94% in 2024, if the Government does not establish a limit on updates, as it did this year.
Following this scenario, the Minister of Housing, Marina Gonçalves, called on the two unions, as well as associations of tenants, owners and consumers, to hear them about the update of rents for 2024 and the rules for contracts prior to 1990.
In the opinion of João Caiado Guerreiro, “the State can support those who need it”, but “investors should not be the ones to support them”.
“There must be support from the State for tenants who have the most needs, which are just a few”, he noted.
One of the possible solutions would be to “distinguish between leases, with a certain value, for people who need it, and leases much higher, as is done in Spain, which have no limitation on the increase”, he proposes.
“Commercial leases should stay out of this. It is not clear why, for example, Caixa Geral de Depósitos or Millenium or Microsoft need a limitation on the increase in rents”, he explains.
For the Portuguese Association of Homeowners, the Mais Habitação package, presented by the Government and which is expected to be approved today, in parliament, after a presidential veto, has “positive things, such as the “reduction of bureaucracy” in the construction of houses.
“Houses need to be built quickly to lower rent prices”, he highlighted.
Before being received at the same meeting, Luís Menezes Leitão, president of the Lisbon Owners Association, challenged the joint hearing of the three owners associations, accusing the Government of not wanting to “effectively listen” to the different positions.
Regarding the increase in rents, he stressed that the brake applied last year was “a mistake” and pushed houses off the market.
“The result of this will be absolutely calamitous. This has already been the case and it will get worse next year if the brakes continue”, he warned, recalling “the principle of updating rents in line with inflation since 1985”.