The Portuguese Supreme Court of Justice (STJ) has ruled in a recent decision that homeowners of residential units may affect homes to “alojamento local”, even against the will of the condominium.
This is the first time that the Supreme Court of Justice has ruled on this matter.
After the Lisbon and Porto Courts of Appeal have made opposing decisions regarding the right of an owner to allocate a house to the local accommodation, when the condominium manifests itself against that intention, the STJ now gives reason to the owners’ arguments. The Supreme Court of Justice considers that the activity of local accommodation that is exercised in a fraction destined for housing does not violate the respective title that rules the horizontal property, and the condominium, by this way, can not prohibit the exercise of the local accommodation activity.
Initially, the Lisbon Court of Appeal decided that, if the title of the horizontal property establishes use only for habitation purposes, the assembly of condominium owners may not allow the house to be used for another type of use.
This is because, this court considered, the local accommodation as a commercial activity. However, this argument has not been accepted by the Supreme Court.