Until recently there was no legislation in place for hostels in Portugal.
Published on August 29th, Decree-Law nº 128/2014 regulates the legal regime for local housing. One of the main innovations of the referred diploma is the regulation of hostels.
Hostels proliferate in all major European cities and in Portugal they lacked proper judicial and fiscal legislation.
According to the current regime hostels are regulated under article nº14 of the diploma and required to be mainly dormitory such as units with a minimum of four beds or a required equivalent in bunk beds.
Aside from specific requirements, hostels must obey to general requirements mainly their fiscal responsibility to declare the start and alteration of the activity to that of service provision and submitted to tax authorities.
The dormitories must have a window with direct communication to the exterior that ensures adequate ventilation.
Each bed must have appropriate storage conditions and operation of facilities and equipment such as a kitchen and dining area.
Sanitary facilities can be divided according to gender or mixed, in which case they must guarantee that showers are autonomous spaces, separated by doors with an interior lock.
The holder of the right to operate the establishment must update all the information and provide it to the “Single Electronic Counter” within a maximum of 10 days.
This new regime is extremely important as it provides this category of housing which is increasing in demand, proper legal treatment.