Cancellation of long-term leases

Hey everyone,

We rented an apartment in Lisbon at the start of January 2023 with a 5-year lease, but now we’re thinkin’ of bailing out soon for various reasons. The notice period’s three months.

  • Should we let the landlord know with a certified letter (is that normal), or is just an email enough?
  • Also, do we have to pay 20% of the rent owed for the whole 5-year lease—which is crazy expensive for us—or can we work out a deal that just uses the deposit instead?
  • And one more thing, is an inventory check required for renting? It wasn’t mentioned in the lease we signed.

We’re not totally sure about the rental rules in Portugal, so any tips would be super helpful :pray:, especially if you’ve gone through something similar.

Best regards.


Hi Baril!

So, let’s go point by point:

  • As this is a 5-year contract, I would definitely follow all rules. which means going through the certified letter. You can attempt to resolve matters through email or in person, but treat the letter as a duty and plan your final day accordingly.

Also, if this is a commercial building, write it up, my friend. Better safe than sorry.

  • Usually landlords allow it to be paid with the deposit, but you must check with them if there is any way around it.

Again, the contract’s terms are crucial if it’s a commercial building.

  • While not all landlords request it, it’s advisable to do so (at least on your own). Some landlords may end up locking in deposit money if they miss something relevant.

Some questions here,

When do you plan to leave? if it is no fault of the apartment and the plans are to leave in 2025, maybe the landlord will let you out with an offer from a qualitied renter. My wife and I are looking to move around spring of 2025.
I don’t know if this helps or if it is even possible, but I thought I would throw it out there.