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Factsheet for measure PT-2020-14/978 Updated – measures in Portugal

Protection of rent payments for renters and landlords

Proteção do arrendamento habitacional

Country Portugal , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 01 April 2020 – 01 October 2021
Context COVID-19
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Measures to prevent social hardship
– Keeping or obtaining a safe home
Author Heloisa Perista and Maria da Paz Campos Lima (CESIS)
Measure added 13 July 2020 (updated 07 February 2022)

Background information

The Resolution of the Council of Ministers no. 41/2020, of 6 June, that approved the Economic and Social Stabilisation Programme extends the exceptional support to renting houses until September 2020 and enlarges its scope.

According to the Law 4-C/2020, of 6 April, amended by the Law 17/2020, of 29 May, these exceptional measures were approved to be in force during the State of Emergency and the following month.

Although the state of emergency was already lifted, many families will take some time to reach financial stability and to recover the income lost. Therefore the extension of the support was approved until September.

Additionally, despite the six month period following the granting of the financial support for families to start the reimbursement, and taking into consideration the situation of most vulnerable families, the loan may be converted into a non-repayable grant.

Content of measure

Under the scope of the exceptional measures to support housing renting, a financial support granted by IHRU, I. P. (Institute of Housing and Urban Rehabilitation) was created. This was oriented to households with significant losses in income and to landlords with low resources, with a significant loss in income due to the non-payment of rents. The financial support, under the form of a loan, was approved to be in force during the State of Emergency and the following month.

Tenants can ask for an interest-free loan to support the difference between the monthly rent and a maximum effort rate of 35% of the household income, allowing them to pay the rent. The outstanding income cannot be inferior to the Social Support Index.

Landlords who have demonstrated reductions in their household income above 20% of the previous month, and whose tenants did not make use of the IHRU loans (see above), can request an interest free loan to compensate the monthly rents that have not been paid, if the available household income diminishes below the Social Support Index for that reason.


The following updates to this measure have been made after it came into effect.

30 December 2021

Order 325/2021 of 29 December proceeds with the second amendment to Order 91/2020 of 14 April, amended by Order 26-A/2021 of 2 February.

Article 6-A of Order 91/2020 of 14 April is amended to read as follows: Borrowers are presumed to comply with the conditions inherent to the request for conversion of loans, in whole or in part, into non-repayable financial assistance under the terms of paragraphs 2, 3 and 5 of Article 5 of Law 4-C/2020 of 6 April, in its current wording, are assumed to be fulfilled if they say nothing to the contrary within 10 working days after the notification of the IHRU, I. P., made on the Housing Portal, in the specific area for loans, without prejudice to the delivery of the corresponding proofs being a condition of effectiveness for this purpose.

The provisions of Order 91/2020 of 14 April, as amended by this Order, are applicable to all loan applications submitted under Article 5 of Law 4-C/2020 of 6 April, in its current wording, regardless of the stage at which they are at.

07 July 2021

Decree-Law 56-B/2021of 7 July makes the sixth amendment to Law 4 -C/2020 of 6 April, amended by Laws 17/2020 of 29 May and 45/2020 of 20 August, by Decree-Law 106-A/2020 of 30 December and by Laws 75-A/2020 of 30 December and 75-B/2020 of 31 December, which approves the exceptional situations of delay in the payment of the rent due under the terms of housing and non-housing urban lease, under the COVID-19 pandemic.

These measures were initially envisaged to be in force during the duration of the state of emergency and in the following month, supporting, in the case of housing leases, households with significant drops in income as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic context, or low-income landlords with significant drops in income caused by non-payment of rents under the provisions of the law.

Taking into consideration that the epidemiological situation has required continuous consideration and re-evaluation of the protection measures implemented, the evolution of the pandemic in Portugal has led to these having been successively extended and that, to date, the adoption and maintenance of exceptional economic and social measures remains relevant and necessary.

As a consequence and in relation to housing rental, there is a need to maintain a set of measures aimed, in the short term, at safeguarding the right to housing through the present extension of the loans already granted or under evaluation by the Instituto da Habitação e da Reabilitação Urbana, I. P. (IHRU, I. P.), up to three months after the termination of the exceptional regime in force.

Additionally, these changes aim to ensure that the beneficiaries of this support, between the time of submission of the application for support and the final decision by the IHRU, I. P., are not subject to the effects of delay or breach of contract, with the consequences that this may entail.

19 April 2021

Order 26-A/2021, of 2 February, proceeds with the first amendment to Order 91/2020, of 14 April, due to the changes introduced in articles 3, 5 and 14 of Law 4-C/2020, of 6 April, by Law 75-A/2020, of 30 December, by article 168-B of Law 27-A/2020, of 24 July, and by Decree-Law 106-A/2020, of 30 December.

The aim of this Order is to certify the adequacy of the regulatory norms that ensure the execution of the exceptional regime for situations of delay in payment of housing rents, established by Law 4-C/2020, of 6 April, in conformity with the referred alterations.

It provides for an exceptional regime for situations of late payment of rents, given the epidemiological situation caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus and COVID-19 disease, and the terms under which the demonstration of the drop in income is made for the purpose of applying that exceptional regime to situations of inability to pay housing rents due from 1 April 2020 until the month following the end of the State of Emergency.

30 December 2020

Decree-Law 106-A / 2020 of 30 December amends exceptional and temporary measures relating to the COVID-19 disease pandemic. This Decree-Law proceeds to the fourth amendment to Law 4-C / 2020, of 6 April, amended by Laws 17/2020, of 29 May, 45/2020, of 20 August, and Law 75-A / 2020, of 30 December, which establishes an exceptional regime for situations of delay in the payment of rent due under the terms of urban housing and non-housing lease agreements, within the scope of the COVID-19 pandemic.

With the amendment of articles 3, 5 and 14 of Law 4-C / 2020, the support scheme for the payment of rent is extended until 1 July 2021 and changes to this exceptional and temporary regime are introduced in view of the effects of the COVID-19 disease pandemic. These changes are in line with the Economic and Social Stabilisation Programme, ensuring that loans granted to low-income borrowers, whose effort rate for the payment of rent exceeds 35%, are converted in an equitable and progressive way into non-refundable financial contributions. On the other hand, it is intended to ensure that beneficiaries can join the scheme through a faster model and under an honorable commitment to proof of the drop in income.

Use of measure

Information not available.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Does not apply to workers Does not apply to businesses Applies to all citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
National funds

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Consulted Consulted
Form Consultation through tripartite or bipartite social dialogue bodies Consultation through tripartite or bipartite social dialogue bodies

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • No involvement
  • Main level of involvement: Peak or cross-sectoral level


Tripartite consultation involving the government, the trade union confederations CGTP and UGT and the employer confederations CIP, CCP, CTP and CAP at the Standing Committee for Social Concertation.

Views and reactions

Social partners were consulted at the Standing Committee for Social Concertation. Their views are not known.



Eurofound (2020), Protection of rent payments for renters and landlords, measure PT-2020-14/978 (measures in Portugal), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,


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Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.