The Food and Economic Security Authority (ASA) suspended ten units of local accommodation in two years time. According to data to which the public had access, in 2016 only two of the 571 local accommodations (LA) that were inspected were closed and in 2017 only 4 were forced to close in a check of 1,104 of these places. Already in the first half of 2018, however, the number of closures reached 4 (a total of 247 spaces analyzed). In summary, 0.5% of the analyzed spaces were closed.
According to the official source cited by the newspaper, the decisions were based on non-compliance with the requirements laid down in the current legislation to be active on the market, such as the fact that they have a direct window to the outside and " adequate conditions "provide maintenance and operation of installations and equipment" or even "lack of periodic inspection of the gas installation".
The suspension of the activity of local housing units is now being given a new perspective, with changes to the law – and a number that will enter into force in October. Among the changes, for example, the assembly of condominium owners will have the same power as the one that the ASAE now has, in the sense that, if there is "a decision of more than half of the permilagem of the building" [ligado ao valor atribuído a cada fração, com base em fatores de área]"And there is a" reasoned decision, which derives from the repeated and proven practice of actions that disrupt the abnormal use of the building, as well as cause discomfort and affect the rest of the owners, "the same system will" be able to to oppose the exercise of local activity referred to. of the break. "
This new amendment comes from the ranks of the PS, and the changes to the applicable law were approved by the socialists and by PCP, BE, PEV and PAN (PSD and CDS voted against). To initiate one of these LA suspension processes, the owners of the complex need only present evidence as a violation related to actions that disrupt the normal operation of the entire building and its neighbors. These tests are then submitted to the mayor of the Chamber concerned, who analyzes them. According to the report that accompanied the text of replacement of the proposed law – the first predicted that the condominium might even veto the establishment of an AL – the Socialist Party explains that once the room becomes aware of the cases presented by the joint owners the municipality will make a decision and then "listen to all parties and analyze the evidence of repeated practices that introduce disturbances in the condominium."
The move that will soon take effect gives more power to condominiums and seems to be more of an "antibody" to avoid a number of problems related to the deportation or de-characterization / gentrification of certain areas, communities or buildings. One of the critics is the Portuguese Association of Condominium Management Companies (APECAG). Fernando Cruz, the president of this organization, says he prefers a system of "prior consent of the majority of the general meeting of the condominium", a reasoning in the original formulation of the idea that the PS has proposed. The new construction of this law, "he says, is a little negative", because neighbors now have to "call the authorities" and can only file a complaint by "successive violations against noise or behavior". which is "almost a stimulus for conflict".
Other critiques of the new model are presented by Eduardo Miranda, chairman of the Association of Local Accommodation in Portugal (ALEP). "Any party who receives a different decision from the chamber can appeal to the court to cancel the decision," explains the leader. ALEP and even the Association of Hospitality, Catering and Similars of Portugal say they do not agree with another amendment to the law that will come into force in October, namely the amendment that allows local authorities to identify zones under pressure Of LA & # 39; s and provides for the establishment of a kind of "containment zone" in which only new units previously approved by the municipality can be installed.
As expected, investors are already responding to these new measures, as the ALEP president says, a "rush to record" is needed so that new LAs can be regularized before the law goes into effect.