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Renting in Ericeira: know what to do


I must say, renting in Ericeira is no easy task.

Having said that, I keep on meeting people who have managed to do exactly that.

So, if you are thinking of renting in Ericeira, rest reassured that we can help you. Follow our expert tips below and start your house-hunt with the right foot.

The Wind Mill (Moinho) residential building site in Ericeira. The picture was taken by Delinete on 09 March 2019

In case you are wondering what makes renting in Ericeira so special, it has to do with a sudden rise in demand. In the last 5 years or so, Ericeira has left behind its ordinary fishing village life to become the trendy World Surf Reserve in Europe. Thus, attracting the attention and the interest of a worldwide public.

Just then, to add insult to injury, there come the Travel Awards titles of “leading destination” and “best city destination” to Portugal and Lisbon. As you may well imagine, these awards have cast Ericeira, in the outskirts of Lisbon, even further into the limelight.

Renting in Ericeira: market overview

As one would expect, several properties in town have become local accommodation (AL), responding to the growing tourism. This means that those properties are no longer available for long-term renting.

The sudden conversion of residential buildings into AL, along with the growing resident population, is resulting in a shortage of available places.

There are a few reasons to think that our little Ericeira is following Lisbon’s steps on this housing issue. Just like in the capital, the renting market around here is becoming inflated, whilst the properties to let are far from abundant.

But, here is the first good news: this is all about to change!

No more Local Accommodations?

Since November 2018, the opening of new local accommodation (AL) has been suspended in the center of Ericeira. The licensing for the new AL is on hold while the city hall works on the new rules for local guest houses. These new rules, aim to protect the balance between residents and tourists occupying the town center, and will soon be enforced. When that happens, there might be no more new AL opening in the town center, the stretch between the N247 road and the sea.

The enforcement of more restrictive rules is good news to all of us. This is especially true for the people living in the town center, and above all, for those looking for a place to rent.

What is the story with the new buildings in town?

If you are thinking of renting in Ericeira, do not give up!

Residential Ocean Prime building site in Ericeira. The picture was taken by Delinete on 09 Mach 2019

Our local developers have been busy building brand-new residential buildings that may well be your future home. Some of these new places will be ready for moving in as soon as the end of the year. And, according to our source at The Ericeira Real State, about 40% to 50% of these properties, which have been already sold, were bought to let.

Renting in Ericeira: winter 2019

OK. although the renting landscape is about to brighten up, we are not quite there yet.

Running online research on idealista now, in mid-February, I have found these 16 properties for renting in Ericeira and surroundings:

  • T0, 1 in Fonte Brincosa, 380 euros
  • T1, 1 in the center of Ericeira, 800 euros
  • T2, 6 in ericeira, from 790 to 1000
  • T3, 8 in Ericeira, from 800 to 2200. These include 3 moradias and 1 duplex

Although this is the best time of the year for finding a place to rent, and idealista may be the best website for online search, the options are still limited. Considering that, you are more likely to find a home if you happen to be looking for a three-bedroom place.

However challenging finding the right place may be, it is certainly worthwhile the pursue. With that in mind, let’s get to work by checking our top tips for renting in Ericeira.

Renting in Ericeira: Top Tips

Our friend Mauricio who was an estate agent in Ericeira until a few months ago kindly shares his best tips for renting a property in town. Our estate agent friend is also an expert as a tenant himself. Mauricio and his family have recently rented a lovely apartment with a sea view in Ericeira, where they currently live.

1 – Do not tie yourself up to one agent

Rather, stay free to take whatever property you think is best, whenever the opportunity comes. Finding a place for renting is not easy, and so, you will want to maximize your chances of succeeding.

2 – Be proactive and look for yourself

Check online on Ericeira Real Estate, Imovirtual, idealista, Casa Sapo, Custo Justo and OLX.

Ask people around the neighborhood where you would like to live. Ask around in public places, in coffee shops, for example, especially in the places where you usually go. We know of people who have found a home by doing exactly this.

3 – Time your search

You will need to be here for renting a place. This means that you might be staying in an Airbnb or a hotel while doing your search, so timing your move according to the market may be a good idea.

The best time for renting is from October and, especially, in January and February. This is the easiest time to find a place because most people prefer to move to Ericeira at the beginning of the summer. The usual reasons for this preference are to enjoy the good weather, the beach and the long days. Also, a new start feels easier when everyone is out and about. But, for renting purposes, you may prefer to go with the saying “new year new life” and take advantage of the off-peak moving season.

4 – Understand the property market lingo

  • T0 refers to a studio, T1 to a one bedroom apartment, T2 to a two bedroom and so on. T stands for typology.
  • Similarly for houses, called “vivenda” or “moradia” in Portuguese, V1, V2 and V3 are applied to indicate the number of bedrooms. However, the general T is commonly used instead.
  • “Cozinha equipada”, or equipped kitchen in English, means stove or hob, oven, fridge and washing machine.
  • “Mobilado” means furnished in English.

Most properties are non-furnished but have equipped kitchens. Furnished or not, prices are generally the same.

5 – Expect to pay more

The average prices are currently about 800 euros a month for a two-bedroom apartment and 1100 for a three-bed. However, you may not find these prices if there are only a few properties on the market at a given time.

Moving from abroad, and assuming that you do not have proof of income and a guarantor, the usual practice is to pay 6 months’ worth of rent. This will cover a 2-month deposit and 4 months’ rent upfront. Some friends of ours secured their place by offering a whole year’s payment upfront. This also allowed them to negotiate a better rate.

6 – Become familiar with the area

Ericeira and its immediate surroundings make up a relatively small area, and every little stretch of which has a different name. While this might turn out useful later as you become familiar with the area, it may be confusing until then.

To give you an idea, the council of Mafra is organized in freguesias and Ericeira is one of them. Other freguesias include, for example, Santo Isidoro and Carvoeiro, which are the closest to town. Mafra and Encarnacao are a bit further from Ericeira, but might still be the right options for you. I would avoid the center of Ericeira, as this can be hectic in the middle of the summer. However, if you are not driving, the center of Ericeira, and especially the center of Mafra, might be good options for you.

The immediately obvious advantage of reaching out to Ericeira is the smaller price for more space. On top of that, each place has its attractive features, of course. Mafra, for instance, has a wide range of amenities and excellent access to Lisbon. Whereas, Santo Isidoro has Ribeira d’Ilhas at its door and the center of Ericeira just a few minutes further south. Encarnacao has a relaxing countryside vibe and can offer the quiet that some are looking for, or can feel too far off instead, depending on personal preferences. The map tool on idealista.

7 – Expect humidity

Damp is common in Ericeira, especially in older properties. For tackling the humidity issue, locals generally like using portable moisture extractors. These dehumidifiers also seem to help with keeping the space warm, especially important in houses with no central heating, also fairly common around here.

8 – Have your documents ready

  • Passport. Although the Portuguese may expect to see a Citizen Card, know that this, actually, only applies to the Portuguese and eventually, the Brazilian.
  • NIF, your tax identification number, from Loja do cidadão in Mafra.
  • Bank account. You will need your NIF for opening a bank account.
  • EU Citizen Registration Certificate. Find out how you can get yours.

And, finally, keep calm and good luck!

Share with us your own experience with renting in Ericeira. Tell us about your house hunt, what worked or did not work for you. We look forward to hearing from you!

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8 thoughts on “Renting in Ericeira: know what to do

  1. Thank you so much! This is exactly what I need, especially the “Top Tips”, since I haven’t been very successful in renting an apartment for my parents here in Ericeira, I have been checking with local agencies, but so far we haven’t got any news yet, because my parents are coming in May, I guess that is the starting of peak season, so it’s more difficult.
    The rental price is surprisingly high, this article explains well the reasons, we may need to change our expectations. And I will keep trying the top tips, hopefully we will find something suitable.

  2. Thank you so much for this article! We will be looking for a property to buy in Ericeira however to start we would like to rent for 6 months. Fingers crossed we will be abe to find something suitable for our family with 2 dogs! 🙂

  3. Thank you for the great information!
    We are looking at renting fully furnished for a while and will need medium to long term storage for our own furniture till we buy a house. Ideally easily accessible to fetch and use the odd item. Do you have any storage recommendations?

    1. Dear Adril,
      Thanks for your encouraging words.
      Usually, rented apartment come with a handy storage room and garage space. You might be able to use both for storing your furniture.
      Other then that, I could not recommend any storage service, as we have not used any. Have you tried asking in the Facebook group Expats in Ericeira area?
      Good luck with your move.
      All the best,

  4. Hello, in 2023, do you have any update on the AL license situation in Ericeira? I am very curious whether it is allowed or not allowed by the municipality, and what is situation now? Thx!

    1. Hi Lapchih,
      Yes, as far I know, the city hall is not issuing new AL licenses for the town center at the moment. But no problem with the surrounding areas. Bare in mind this a very small town, you can probably walk the town center in 10 minutes. And anywhere else within 20 to 30 minutes.
      You can fin out more in the city hall page
      All the best,

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