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COVID19 and Rental Contracts

The Portuguese government, among many other measures to face COVID19 pandemic, has approved an extraordinary and temporary legal regime to protect tenants in the context of rental contracts.

Such regime suspends the legal effects of any unilateral termination of a Rental Contract agreements done by the Landlord until the pandemic crisis is declared over by the Portuguese Authorities.

That means that if, under the contract or any legal mechanism, a Landlord has sent the Tenant a letter (or a valid email) terminating a rental contract, such communication will only be effective after the Portuguese Healthcare Ministry or the Portuguese Healthcare Institute declare the pandemics is over.

However, such regime does not include and does not suspend the effects of i) terminations by the Tenant, ii) terminations by mutual agreement or iii) terminations by the elapse of the contract´s duration.

Therefore, if you have a Rental Contract currently in force that will expire soon please check the Contract´s wording to confirm if it is renewable or not. If the answer is positive, you just have to make sure you are comfortable with the renewal time. On the other hand, if the contract says it is not renewable the Tenant should immediately contact the Landlord and agree by email the renewal term.

In any case,  as eviction legal proceedings are also suspended during the pandemic crisis Tenants will not be expelled during this period. However, it is important to have a rental contract in place all the time to avoid problems and litigation after these extraordinary circumstances are over and transitory the legal regimes are no longer in force.

This information has as sole purpose clarifying the legal measures approved by the government about rental contracts and shall not be deemed as legal counseling and we recommend that, if possible, you consult a lawyer to obtain a proper assessment on your particular situation.

Click here to get a template for Lease Agreement with fixed term.

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