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COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch

Database of national-level responses

Eurofound's COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the crisis, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for case 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 July 2021
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Measures to prevent social hardship
– Keeping a safe home
Author Heloisa Perista and Maria da Paz Campos Lima (CESIS) and Eurofound
Case created 13 July 2020 (updated 22 January 2021)

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 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, case PT-2020-14/978 (measures in Portugal), COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,

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