I am getting ready to sign a 2-year lease with a new apartment in Lisboa/Lisbon near the Alfama and the landlord ask me for a fiador. I am a 28-year old college grad from Indiana with perfect credit and sufficient funds but back in my hometown bank. What is this new cost? Is it like a co-signer?
I read through the lease in Google Translate and seems like it is. He is asking for first month rent, last month, a security deposit and a fiador. Rent is only 1100 euros but still this is alot of money at one time. Advice!
You are 100% correct a fiador is the guarantor or co-signer which will sign with you your loease contract. They will be liable for if you damage the apartment, miss a payment or break the contract early. The reason for this is that in Portugal landlords do not have a lot of power in the courts so a fiador /co-signer helps give them a “just in case”
How to get a fiador in Portugal you might ask?
If you are on a new contract with a Portuguese firm ask HR if they do fiador services. Lots of times companies that attract foreign workers will become the fiador for you.
There are also people in the expat communitie willing to fiador for you. Ask in Facebook groups and on Reddit. They usually will ask for 1-months rent and also hold your credit somehow in your local country. It’s kind of a loan shark, but I have heard some are good people.
How do I get out of getting a fiador?
Tell your potential landlord you are a foreigner and here is 4-6 months rent in advance . Most will nod there head, take the cash and run. Remember Portugal is a poor country and just rebounding from the crisis so “cash is king”.
What is the final renting process like with and without a fiador?
Each landlord is different but usually they ask on the contract:
- NIF (Fiscal Number here in Portugal)
- Copy of Passport or ID card
- Copy of your Taxes (Portuguese ones are better)
- Check stubs from your job (3-months is standard) or copy of offer to work
- What your job title is. I am CEO so thats on the good side. Docs good. Interns bad.
- Proof of Financial means if you are a pensioner.
Can my realtor just do my Apartment lease in Portugal?
So…realtors in Portugal are pretty bad. Understand a Realtor here represents the sell/landlord not you. So they are not in agency with you. Because of that they will not get back to you on calls. They will tell you one thing then do another. If you need a realtor join our Private Blanca’s Circle. We can connect you with Lawyers, Doctors, Language Teachers, Handymen and Realtors in Lisbon are who won’t rob you.