Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
Renting can seem like a minefield of information and you will have so many questions that you need answers to. We have put together a list of our more frequently asked questions which we hope you will find useful.
Q: What happens about damage caused by guests?
A: We take a security bond from our guests, this is normally around €200. Once they vacate, we check the property and if we discover something of value damaged or broken, we start a dialog with the guest giving them first the opportunity to explain. If needs be, we will deduct any costs from the damage bond to make good. This can be a very sensitive matter, and we need to consider future guest relations and reviews. We would not take or with hold any money for a broken glass, plate or cup, as this could be detrimental to future rentals. You also need to not be too precious about your property, minor damage does occur and wear and tear does happen. We will always do our best to make sure your property looks it's best.
Q: Do I need to go and buy linen and towels?
A: No, we as a company provide your property with good quality white line, towels, bath and bath/shower mats. This will hopefully be a big saving for you. All we ask is that you supply protectors for the mattresses, and pillows. We also ask you to provide duvets and beach towels, you only need one set of beach towels as we aim to wash these in the property, again saving you money on laundry costs.
Q: Why do I need a rental licence & Fire Safety Equipment?
A: This is a legal requirement in order to rent. It then means you are completely legal with the authorities and that your property is safe and meets a required standard. We will only rent legally rentable properties and we can arrange the rental licence for you at a very reasonable cost. To complete the licence your property will need fire safety equipment, again to comply with the licence and law. We use a company that installs all of the correct equipment in the right place. We can manage this and the installation on your behalf and we can work on it at the same time as the licence. The cost of the licence includes all charges from the local Camara and fees associated with the inspection etc.
Q: What if I what to book my property for friends, family or even myself?
A: Of course this is fine, all we ask is that you double check with us first that the dates are free and we can book them out to you. Some of the websites we use charge us a financial penalty if we cancel, change or unable to fulfil the reservation. Although we aim to update calendars as soon as they happen, we may have any enquiry in the pipeline or be in the process of entering a booking. This is simply to avoid disappointment before flights are booked etc. Just be mindful that we are acting on your behalf to rent, so if you start giving high season dates away, this is going to impact on your income. You may become very popular being a 2nd home owner abroad and if you want to take the sting out of asking your friends and family for money, then feel free to send them our way and we will do the asking for you, with a discount of course!
Q: What happens if the kettle blows, will you arrange a replacement?
A: Yes of course, we will deal with any issue within the property that we effect your guests stay. We won't call you or email you if something like the kettle blows or we need to replace some light bulbs, we will just get on and replace it. The cost of any replacement will appear on your next statement.
Q: What happens about friends or family arriving?
A: If your guests have a key, then we don't need to be involved, unless you would prefer. We are more than happy to meet your guests, we just ask that they contact the manager meeting them as they leave the airport so we can be at the property before them and we also charge you the meet and greet fee of €20+IVA. We are always on hand should your guests have any issues or need our advice.
Q: Why do I need the services of an accountant in Portugal.
A: When you offer your property for rent, you are effectively operating a self employed business (activity) here in Portugal. Your accountant will then submit your end of year tax returns and assist you with issuing Portuguese invoices (Factura) to any Portuguese guests that require one. This is also the law and you have to be able to offer this facility when you are renting. The accountant we recommend is very helpful and will explain everything to you in detail. You can do all of this remotely by email if needs be, you don't need to see them in person.
Q: What is the situation with SEF and who will do this?
A: SEF (Servico De Estrangeiros E Fronteiras) the immigration and boarder control agency, as a renter, your legally obliged to register any guest thats stay in your property, no matter how long they stay, paying or non paying guests and this includes children and family or friends. The way the world is these days, this is a very important tool for governments to monitor the movement of people. We are fully registered with SEF and we submit this information on your behalf, so you have no need to worry as you will be completely compliant with this facility.
Q: How much tax will I pay, this all sounds a bit expensive.
A: If you are a foreign property owner, the Portuguese Government offer you a slightly favourable rate if you are non resident. Your accountant will assist in explaining this better, so please seek their advice. Under normal circumstances, you can earn €10,000 before having to pay income tax (subject to conditions)
Q: How come I have to pay commission to these websites for advertising.
A: Like you, these guys don't work for free and the majority of them are big market player when it comes to generating bookings and enquiries. We use the top sites in order to generate maximum opportunity for your investment. We do our best to use the sites to our seasonal advantage and where possible obtain direct bookings. Over the past 2 years, we have seen a massive increase in our direct bookings and enquiries and this we hope to grow year on year with a view to saving you even more money.
Q: I am a bit worried about entering into a contract with you, what if I am not happy?A: We understand and we are also very realistic about relationships. This is also a 2 way street, and we hope that within a short space of time, we will both feel comfortable working together. It has a lot to do with trust and we understand that we need to earn your trust. If after a few months you don't feel happy with us, if we can't put right your worries or concerns, we can part company and finalise our agreement and go our separate ways. The trust element does work both ways, and although you may have an opinion on how you think we can increase and improve bookings, we also wouldn't dream of telling you how to run your business. This doesn't mean we are closed to ideas, we just know what works and with all due respect, we know what we are doing. If we don't do you a good job, then we understand that you will walk away.
Q: When and how will I receive my rental income money?
A: At the start of every new month, we will send you a statement which details all your income and expenditure, once you have check this and agreed it, we will then arrange shortly afterwards to transfer funds to your Portuguese account. Sometimes, we may wish to leave a small amount in the pot to cover some future expected expenses that you will hopefully be aware of. Normally we would look to do this in the middle of the new month.
Q: How many sets keys do you need?
A: We need 4 sets of keys, one as a master set which will be held by the manager, one for the cleaner and then 2 available for the guests use. We may not always use the 2 guest sets, but at least we have this flexibility if we get 2 couples renting your property.
Q: Why is the first year the hardest.
A: You have just come to the market place with your new property and it takes a little bit of time to get noticed. Guests can also be wary of no reviews and this can have an impact on potential guests wanting to book. Please be patient around this, if your place is good enough and it is in the right location, then it will rent. We will obviously do our very best to fill your property as quickly as possible.
Q: What happens about guests and mid stay cleaning and linen changes?
A: If guests stay for 13 days or less, then traditionally we don't offer a mid stay linen service or clean. We tend to try and be a bit flexible around this, and if we have a returning guest who has paid a premium rent, then as a gesture of good will, we may offer this service. When we do, this will show as a cost on your statement. Guests who stay for longer winter rents have a similar set up, because the property is offered at a discounted rate, any cleaning and laundry is normally at an extra charge to the guests. We also work closely with a Swedish Golf Tour company who can somethings rent for a month at a time, in these circumstances, we do offer a mid stay clean and linen change as this is the deal we have with this company.
Q: Do I need an Energy Certificate?
A: Yes, since November 2013, it is compulsory if you rent for all rental properties to have a valid Energy Certificate. If you have purchased your property since 2009, your property records should contain the certificate. The certificate is valid for 10 years. We can assist in obtaining an up to 3date Energy Certificate if needs be.
Q: What if I decide to sell my property?
A: Our priority is to make sure our guests rent the property they have booked with us online, as it's also our reputation which could be at steak. If your looking to sell, we will probably look to take your property off line as not to disrupt staying guests with viewings etc.
Thank you, if you have any further questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to speak with us.