COVID-19: more help for renters in Portugal in 2021

The Portuguese Government has decided to extend rental support measures in Portugal until 1st July 2021.

Rent assistance in Portugal
Photo by Jason Briscoe on Unsplash
12 January 2021, Redaction

There is more help on the way for renters in Portugal in 2021, as MPs have approved the extension of the exceptional regime for late payment of rent in the housing market due to the COVID-19 pandemic where residential tenants get assistance with the rent they have to pay. This help to rent scheme in Portugal has been extended until 1st July 2021, while the government has also detailed plans for a "fair and progressive" scheme for converting loans from the Institute for Housing and Urban Rehabilitation (IHRU) into non-repayable grants.

"The increase of situations in which the effort rate underlying the payment of rent in Portugal is totally disproportionate makes the extension of the regime in the first half of 2021 of utmost importance, and for this reason, we are prolonging support for rental payments due from 1st April 2020 until 1st July 2021," the Ministry of Infrastructure and Housing in Portugal said in a statement.

Along with this extension of the rental support scheme in Portugal, the government also detailed plans for a "fair and progressive" scheme for the conversion of IHRU loans into non-reimbursable financial co-payments (i.e. a non-repayable grant), with the co-payment being equal to the total value of the loan in the case of households in which the effort rate is equal to or greater than 100%. "This conversion into a non-repayable grant also applies, in compliance with the PEES (Economic and Social Stabilisation Programme), to loans already granted", reads the document.

In order to have access to this loan, explains the Executive, the tenant can opt to submit a declaration of their own, under a pledge of honour, and then have access to the support granted without preliminary verification of the loss of income. They then will have 60 days to deliver proof, and in case of false declarations then the tenant will have to return the amounts already received.

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