FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Find here the answers to frequently asked questions about the suspension of social housing rents

Show all answers
Hide all answers
  • Which measures have been put in place and to whom do they apply?

    Housing

    All social housing rent payments will be suspended until 30 June 2020. This measure will benefit 24,000 families and 70,000 people.
    After the aforementioned date, the amount not charged can be repaid over 18 months, free of interest and charges.
    Families will be entitled to request a review of their monthly rents at any time, namely in case of lower household incomes and/or unemployment.

    Trade

    Full exemption from rent payments for all commercial establishments in municipal spaces (city council or companies), which are closed. This measure is effective until June 30, 2020.
    Kiosks and stores installed in municipal neighbourhoods, even though they remain open, benefit from the exemption.
    The rental payment exemption period starts on April 1, 2020 and ends on June 30, 2020.

    Institutions

    Full rent exemption for all social, cultural, sporting and recreational institutions installed in municipal spaces until June 30, 2020.

     

     

     

  • Over which period (rent invoices) are rent payments suspended?

    Rent payments will be suspended between April 1 and June 30, 2020.

  • When are rent payments suspended?

    Rent payments will be suspended in April, May and June.

  • Can I decide not to join this new regime?

    The decision is of the owner, who must communicate his intention to the City Council.
    Receipts will continue to be issued to allow those who so decide to maintain payment within the contractually established term.

     

  • Will I continue to receive rent invoices?

    Yes. Invoices will continue to be issued on a monthly basis. A message will be included to inform tenants of the ongoing measure, which grants them an additional 18 months for payment.
    Invoices dated 01/04/2020 do not include this message, as they had already been issued before the decision was made to implement this measure.

     

  • Can I continue to pay my rent?

    Yes. The measures announced, which aim to support families, businesses and employment as part of the municipal response to the COVID-19 pandemic, apply to all.
    However, you can always make your monthly rent payments. In this case, you will not need to set up a repayment plan after 30 June.

     

  • I pay my rent by direct debit. What happens in this case?

    For tenancy agreements stipulating that monthly rent payments are to be made by direct debit, the bank will continue to debit the respective amounts to your account. Nevertheless, tenants will be entitled to request a return within 56 days of payment, in which case the amount debited will be returned and the debit authorisation remain active for the following months.
    Should a tenant cancel the direct debit authorisation, the monthly rent will cease to be debited to their bank account. However, a new form will need to be filled out to reinstate this payment method in the future.

     

  • I am unable to pay the rent from April to June. How can I benefit from this measure?

    From July onwards, you will be able to pay the due amount over 18 months, free of interest and charges.

  • How will overdue rents be repaid?

    After 30 June, the due amount can be paid over 18 months.
    For instance, you may set up a payment plan including monthly instalments.

     

  • I live in a social house/flat allocated within the scope of the Agreed/Affordable Rent Programme. Can I request a rent review?

    Monthly rents set within the scope of the Agreed Rent Programme are not based on household income.
    Therefore, the corresponding amounts are not subject to review. However, you will be able to pay your April-June rents over 18 months.

     

  • I bought the house from the Municipality and I am paying monthly installments. Can I stop paying?

    Yes. Although you are the owner, nature is residential. You can make the payment after June 30, 2020, without interest.

     

  • I have a debt repayment agreement in place. Do I stop paying the instalments for 3 months?

    Yes, although payments should be kept up if possible. If you are unable to make your payments in April, May and June, your Repayment Agreement will be automatically reviewed in July.

     

  • Can I apply for a rent review during this period?

    Yes. You will be able to apply if your household income is lower, e.g. due to unemployment, medical leave, family members moving out, lower salaries, etc.

     

  • How can I apply for a rent review?

    Preferably by e-mail or telephone call made by the tenant or an authorised representative, or by sending a letter to the head office of GEBALIS.

     

  • Which documents will I need to apply for a rent review?

    Proof of current income of all household members and a statement listing all family members residing in the house/flat in question.

     

  • How do I obtain these documents?

    Social security payments

    Tax Office

    • Temporary payslips: www.portaldasfinancas.gov.pt (password required). If you do not have the passwords, you must request them on the respective websites

    Employment income

    • wage slips and/or statement from the employer.

    Please note that additional documents may be requested in case of doubt.

  • My tenancy agreement expires during the period while these measures are in place. What should I do?

    Tenancy agreements ending before 30 June will be automatically extended up to that date.
    You will still be required to pay the April-June rents, but can do so over 18 months.
    Should you wish to terminate your tenancy, please contact GEBALIS by telephone or e-mail to schedule a date for handing over the keys.

     

  • Which companies are not covered by the payment exemption?

    Those that, under the terms of the Decree-Law of the State of Emergency, or by decision of the City Council, must remain working, or those that, should close, remain in operation.

  • Are the stores and kiosks in Municipal neighbourhoods also covered?

    Yes.

     

  • Companies and Institutions. How will the payment exemption be carried out?

    Payment will continue to be done on the 3rd of each month. However, if payment is not made, no later than June 30 will be considered exempt and until this date no settlement will go to the tax enforcement procedure.
    Invoices will be issued with the contract value.
    The collection documents dated 01/04/2020 have already been issued, before the decision of these measures and, therefore, don't foresee the exemption from payment. However, these documents should only be paid if the entities so wish to do it.