If you live in a rented room
1. I live in a rented room with no certifying document. I pay in cash they don’t give me any receipt. They’ve told me I have to leave and find somewhere else to live. What rights do I have?
A room rental agreement is regulated in the first place by the will of the parties, and failing this by the rules of the Civil Code in rental matters (Art. 1554 and following of the Civil Code). Although a verbal agreement would be valid (but not advisable), it is recommended that it be set out in writing so that the parties know what rights and obligations it entails, in addition to stating its duration.
If the agreement has not been made in writing, the difficulty will be proving its existence, particularly concerning its duration and the price of the rent if the landlord does not even want to issue receipts for payment.
In this case, it will be necessary to prove the existence of the agreement by way of witnesses, documents certifying that the person lives at that address (municipal census, bills, correspondence) or written communications prior to making the agreement.
2. What procedure does the landlord have to follow if he does not want me to continue living in the home?
If the owner considers that the person is not entitled to continue living in the same home, the legal procedure to be followed would be a civil claim for squatting.
In the event that the renter of the room fails to pay the agreed rent, the lessor may exercise the eviction procedure for non-payment of rent provided for in Section 250.1 of the Civil Procedure Act, since this type of procedure is permitted for the recovery of possession by the lessor of a property, whether or not it is subject to regulation by the Urban Leases Act nº 29/1994 (LAU).
3. Can I demand a contractual document of my room rent? What if they don’t want to give me one?
A room agreement is not an agreement that the law requires to be in writing, so the parties cannot be obliged to formalise one.
The situation is different in the case of home rents, in which Section 37 of the LAU specifies that one party may demand from the other the formalisation of the agreement in writing, but as we have said, room agreements are not regulated by the LAU.
4. What is the maximum price that can be asked to rent a room?
A room rent agreement is regulated by what is agreed between the parties, and failing this by the rules of the Civil Code in matters of urban leases (Arts. 1554 and following of the Civil Code). Therefore, there is freedom of agreement in regard to the rent of the room because it is not regulated.
- If the person who lets the room is the homeowner: there is freedom of agreement, and therefore the rent is subject to the market laws of supply and demand.
- If the room is sublet by the renter of the home: in accordance with Section 8.2 of LAU, the rent obtained from subletting can never be more than the contractual rent.
In the event of the tenant subletting a room without the prior consent of the lessor, this would be grounds for termination of the agreement.
5. If I live in a room, am I entitled to rent assistance? Who can help me pay for the room?
At present there is no specific assistance line addressed to room rentals. In the event of social emergency, you can contact the social services of your municipality.
6. Does renting a room entitle me to register myself in the home?
A person living in a room can register in the home provided they have the permission of the tenant, in the case of a sublet, or of the owner, in the case of a room agreement.