Two out of three local accommodations (AL) in Lisbon correspond to “ghost licenses”, since only a third of them are currently active and carrying out the activity, according to data from a report on the sector released this Tuesday by the City Council .
According to the municipality, the Characterization and Monitoring Report of Local Accommodation also shows that the period of greatest expansion of licenses was between 2014 and 2019 and that the Municipal Regulation of Local Accommodation to regulate and contain this market appeared in 2019 “too late to avoid a phase of enormous expansion in several neighborhoods of the historic center”.
The report also indicates that the announcement, at the end of 2021, of the municipality’s intention to suspend the issuance of new AL titles generated a race for licenses, but “these requests are made preventively and a large part is never used for exploration effective”.
“We are therefore talking about ‘phantom licenses’. Only about 36% of licensed Local Accommodations are active, which means that practically two out of every three licensed accommodations are not actively operated”, highlighted the municipality.
The conclusions of the report served as the basis for the proposal to revise the Municipal Regulation for Local Accommodation, the instrument that establishes the rules for the AL market in Lisbon, and both documents will be presented this week by the councilor for Urbanism, Joana Almeida, to the councilors without a portfolio in the municipality. The proposed revision of the Regulation will be presented shortly at a Lisbon City Council meeting.
According to data released today, the AL “is a very relevant source of income for thousands of families”, since 73.6% of license holders in this sector are natural persons and almost 70% of holders have only one unit of AL.
The period of greatest growth in the local accommodation market took place between 2014 and 2019, “a period of five years in which 91.1% of the AL units that exist in Lisbon today appeared”, which will be around 20,140.
During this period, an average of 3670 new local accommodation titles were issued per year, it is highlighted.
The municipality also underlines that it was “demonstrated the importance of starting inspections for new titles in 2022”, which found that, “on average, only one in every 10 units met the conditions to enter into activity”.
With regard to complaints about noise, garbage or illegal works received by the Lisbon City Council and forwarded to the Office of Commercial Urbanism and Local Accommodation (GUCAL-CML), “it appears that, after inspection, only one in 10 complaints refer to situations related to AL”, the rest being associated with another activity installed in the housing lease fraction.
The Characterization and Monitoring Report of Local Accommodation will be made available in full for consultation after the presentation meetings to councilors.