Why UK landlords are flocking to Portugal

by Mark Alexander

9:18 AM, 9th August 2018
About 2 years ago

Why UK landlords are flocking to Portugal

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Why UK landlords are flocking to Portugal

Did you know that UK landlords do not have to pay tax on their UK dividend income from incorporated rental property businesses if they live in Portugal?

Have you ever heard of the Portugal non-habitual residents scheme?

By the time you have finished reading this short article I think you will probably want to find out more, and I will be pleased to help.

The non-habitual resident (“NHR”) taxation regime came into force in Portugal in 2009 and is proving very successful at attracting individuals of independent means to establish residency in Portugal for tax purposes, while not being subject to minimum or maximum stay requirements.

The NHR regime essentially grants qualifying individuals the possibility of becoming tax residents of a white-listed jurisdiction whilst legally avoiding or minimising income tax on certain categories of non-Portugal sourced income and capital gains for a period of 10 years.

Taking the UK/Portugal convention as an example, if you are a resident of Portugal but receive dividends from the UK, then the UK has the power to tax them under article 10, although it does not do so if the recipient is not a UK resident. On the other hand, Portugal will not tax such dividends in the hands of a NHR either, because the UK has the ability to tax them under the convention but doesn’t do so. Accordingly, the non-habitual resident of Portugal may receive dividends from UK sources completely free of tax. Similarly, there is no CGT to pay in Portugal on capital gains realised in the UK and HMRC only tax capital gains made after April 2015 for non-residents.

So, for landlords who have already incorporated their rental property businesses, they could take advantage of the NHR scheme and pay no tax at all on their dividend income.

For landlords who have not incorporated, perhaps due to having “latent gains” (mortgages exceeding base costs), the NHR scheme also provides an opportunity to re-set those base costs at the April 2015 value of their portfolio.

If you are already a UK landlord living in Portugal I would love to hear from you in the comments section below. Questions which immediately spring to mind are:-

  • Do you already have NHR status?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of emigrating to Portugal?
  • Are you happy you moved?
  • How has it changed your life?
  • Have you incorporated your business and if not, why not?
  • Can you share any tips?

If you would like to learn more about incorporating your property rental business, and how the NHR scheme could help you to optimise your tax position pre and post incorporation, please book a tax consultation with me.

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Comments

Mark Alexander

9:14 AM, 18th August 2018
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Kenneth Fowler at 18/08/2018 - 08:59
Hi Kenneth

What is your definition of a long term let?

To qualify for NHR status it would need to be at least a 12 month tenancy. The problem with that is that they are as scarce as rocking horse manure based on my research. Owners tend to let cheaply by the month during the off-season and then whack the prices right up for holiday lets in the peak season.

I have resigned myself to the fact that if my wife and I decide to relocate from Malta to Portugal we would need to buy. The saving grace is that mortgages seem much easier to obtain than you might imagine. I am 50 years old and my wife will soon be 45. We have been an Ex-Pats in Malta for nearly three years now. However, a 75% LTV repayment mortgage over 25 years doesn't seem to be a problem, providing we can service the repayments from 35% of our provable net income net of any other personal finance costs.

If you can find a suitable bank repossession, sometimes they offer 90% finance or a long term lease purchase deal. Apparently, it is easier for the banks to repossess a lease purchase than it is a mortgaged property over there, but from a buyers perspective it is otherwise the same thing pretty much. The downside to repo's is that you will probably need to do work and spend money on them to bring them back up to standard. The ones I've looked at tend to have had quite a few of the fixtures and fittings ripped out, e.g. cookers and extractor hoods, fitted white goods, AC's and sometimes even internal doors.

NW Landlord

10:27 AM, 18th August 2018
About 2 years ago

I recommend caveorio if anyone is considering moving to Portugal it’s lovely not to far from airport and has kept its original Portuguese traditions.

Mark Alexander

11:28 AM, 18th August 2018
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by NW Landlord at 18/08/2018 - 10:27
I went there 30 years ago for a holiday and apparently it has not changed so for anybody wanting traditional Portugal then i would agree.

Personally, I'm a bit more cosmopolitan.

Lee Gough

12:09 PM, 18th August 2018
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Kenneth Fowler at 18/08/2018 - 08:59
Hello Kenneth, like Mark said long term lets i.e. 12 month contracts are very hard to find, normally these are by word of mouth.
These are some sites that do long term lets, again mostly will be winter lets.
https://www.casasdobarlavento.com
https://www.lagoslonglets.com/
http://www.almaverde.com/en/
The last one ‘Almaverde’ we did a ‘long let’ month to month but they would not do a long term contract only a holiday contract so was no good for NHR.
We had to buy in the end as wanted to get NHR as soon as possible.
I hope this helps.

Appalled Landlord

15:58 PM, 18th August 2018
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Kenneth Fowler at 18/08/2018 - 08:59
Hi Kenneth

There are 2 sorts of long-term rental in Portugal: 12 months or the "winter" months Oct-March. The latter are cheap, but then the owners naturally put the price up from April to September.

This is a good introductory article: https://www.portugalist.com/algarve-long-term-rentals/

Some further rental portals (the first two also do sales):

https://www.idealista.pt/en/arrendar-casas/faro-distrito/mapa

https://www.green-acres.pt/en/rentals/regions/algarve.htm

https://www.longtermlettings.com/find/rentals/Portugal/Algarve/ On this site some people offer long-term but when you contact them they say winter only.

A lot of research into Portugal can be done from home.

When I was looking for somewhere to buy in Spain I had to buy a book about it. Now you can get information on the internet for nothing:

https://www.livinginportugal.com/en/

https://www.livinginportugal.com/en/why-portugal/one-of-the-best-places-to-live/

http://gottakeepmovin.com/lessons-learnt-living-in-portugal/

https://www.cheapestdestinationsblog.com/2018/07/13/what-it-costs-to-live-in-portugal/

https://www.neverendingfootsteps.com/why-i-moved-to-lisbon-portugal

https://www.expatica.com/pt/housing/Where-to-live-in-Portugal_105521.html

https://www.blevinsfranks.com/download/tax-guides/3904

Those are just some of the sites on page 1 of Google results for Living in Portugal.

You can monitor live weather data here: https://www.holiday-weather.com/country/portugal/

This website also gives data for each town, for example Funchal: https://www.holiday-weather.com/funchal/

You can get data on any town by putting its name in place of funchal in the website address. The site also describes the town, and gives details of the weather per season.

Just by putting the name of a town or region in a search engine you will get a wealth of other information.

This site tells you what the Algarve is like per month: http://www.algarveuncovered.com/algarve-info/out-of-season.aspx

If you are interested, you can find advice, and agents, by googling Buying in Portugal. Unfortunately the portals do not show SSTC, so you can be disappointed to find that a property you like has been reserved by a holding deposit which will lead to completion. But if you choose locations and a price range, the portals will send you daily updates, including price reductions and properties where SSTC fell through..

When I was thinking of buying in Spain I read that people who have not sold their properties in the winter put them back on the rental market for high rents in the summer season, then put them up for sale again in the autumn. This makes sense in any country, so I would expect the same thing to happen in Portugal as well, fairly soon. Other landlords will let their properties between October and March at much lower rates.

Having decided which Spanish region to buy in, I booked accommodation for a week and drove to every location on the coast. A quick look gave me an idea of whether it would be dead in winter.

If I was considering moving to Portugal I would select a region based on the information from the websites above, book temporary accommodation for the off-season, and have a good look round.

You can buy or rent a place as a non-resident this year. But do not apply for residence until January because NHR applies for calendar years, so you will get one more year of NHR if you become resident in January rather than earlier.

You will then have to register your driving licence with the Portuguese authorities within the following 60 days.

I have read in a couple of blogs, that once resident you will not be allowed to drive a foreign-registered car in Portugal, whereas a non-resident is allowed to drive one for a total of 183 days. You would have to import it or export it

You can apply for NHR the same day you apply for Portuguese residence. That is because you get the residence certificate on the spot.

If you’re thinking of buying in a condominium, the size of the service charge will depend on the amenities it has. A smaller, cheaper flat or semi in a resort that has tennis courts, a restaurant, a concierge service, or a security service will have higher annual charges than a larger, more expensive property that does not have these things. Those amenities are great for absentee owners and help them to let the flats/semis in the high season for high rents - which cover the service charge. But if you are not going to use them, or let your home in the high season, you have to consider whether the charge is an acceptable additional cost.

Good luck!

Miascot

17:22 PM, 18th August 2018
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Lee Gough at 18/08/2018 - 12:09
Fabulous websites Lee, would never have found them on my own! Plan is to come out over the winter months this year and see if it is for us. If all is well we will either find something for 12 months going forward or buy something.
Thanks

user_17131

17:52 PM, 18th August 2018
About 2 years ago

Obfuscated Data

Miascot

20:56 PM, 18th August 2018
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Appalled Landlord at 18/08/2018 - 15:58
Hey Appalled Landlord

That is a huge wealth of information you have given me and I really appreciate it. You have definitely made my life easier as I often give up looking for things online. You google something wanting a simple answer and ther are 17 million of them lol

We are considering Spain too, where are you and why did you choose there?

I spent 6 years in Florida and am wishing now that I hadn’t come back as I have to start all over again. I hade broken the shackles and will have to break them again. Well worth it as you Lee and Mark well know.

Section 24 has been a good thing although it has taken me two years to realise that; I am shedding flats I would never have shed and will be in a better financial position than ever before. Most of us were just soldiering on being controlled by the monster we created but s24 has stopped us in our tracks and made us think about what is really important in life; it is not money!!!

The recession saw me head to Florida and s24 will see me on my way to the next adventure - I get bored easily and look forward to the move.

Thanks again for your time

Mark Alexander

21:28 PM, 18th August 2018
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Miascot at 18/08/2018 - 20:56
Spain is awful for tax in comparison to Malta, Portugal, Cyprus and Andorra.

user_17131

21:44 PM, 18th August 2018
About 2 years ago

Obfuscated Data
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