Brazil, a vast South American country, stretches from the Amazon Basin in the north to vineyards and massive Iguaçu Falls in the south. Rio de Janeiro, symbolized by its 38m Christ the Redeemer statue atop Mt. Corcovado, is famed for its busy Copacabana and Ipanema beaches as well as its enormous, raucous Carnival festival, featuring parade floats, flamboyant costumes and samba.
Today Brazil ranks as the 13th largest economy in the world, following a recent boost in GDP. And such growth is set to continue, with the nation’s economy predicted to become the fifth biggest on the planet by 2035. Such figures bode well for investors, though with the global recession biting there is a degree of caution that should be exercised.
Brazil has found itself suffering from the downturn almost through no fault of its own, but is feeling the effects all the same. Government measures to try to head off the worst of the recession by promoting strong growth and reducing debt burdens has created some inflationary pressures. As a result, rental yields in many areas are now below the level of inflation, reducing the attractiveness of rental investments.
Low Season (May-Sep)
Aside from July, which is a school-holiday month, you'll find lower prices and cold temperatures in the south. July to September are good months to visit the Amazon or Pantanal.
(Apr & Oct)
The weather is warm and dry along the coast, though it can be chilly in the south. Prices and crowds are average, though Easter week draws crowds and high prices.
High Season (Dec-Mar)
Brazil’s high season coincides with the northern-hemisphere winter. It's a hot, festive time, though expect higher prices and minimum stays (typically four nights) during Carnaval.
Overseas investors are free to buy and own property and land in Brazil; indeed the Brazilian government pro actively promotes foreign investment into the country's real estate market. Also, foreigners have the same property rights as Brazilians and will obtain a free & clear title to the property.
The purchase process in Brazil is relatively simple once you have obtained your CPF (taxpayer identification) number, however it is crucial that you seek the advice of a good, independent lawyer. This is especially true if you are buying a resale home, as checking for clean title can be a complicated and painstaking process. Once all of the relevant searches have taken place you will need to open a local bank account, as the purchase funds must be visibly traceable from the buyer’s bank account into the vendor’s. In addition, all monetary transactions will need to be registered as a foreign investment with the bank of Brazil, but this cost should be covered in your legal fees.
You will be required to pay a deposit of around ten per cent when you have had your offer accepted – although this figure can range from five to 20 per cent. The balance is paid on completion, and the entire process is overseen by a notary. Even though all contracts are processed in both Portuguese and English, it is advisable to hire a translator if your solicitor isn’t fluent in both languages.
Currently it isn’t possible to get a Brazilian mortgage, therefore the most common way to raise finance is to remortgage a UK or other country property in order to release equity. However, the domestic mortgage market in Brazil is reforming and developing, and with the levels of foreign interest in property purchases in recent years, it is entirely possible that finance for foreigners will become available at some point in the future.
The new-build versus resale argument in Brazil really boils down to the traditional mantra of location, location, location. If you are after a city abode then a resale property is likely to work well – simply because all of the good plots were snapped up years ago. Serviced apartments are proving popular in the urban areas as buyers – and their tenants – can then benefit from hotel services coupled with the privacy of their own home. If buying in city however, ensure that your property is located in a safe and reputable area.
In total, fees and taxes come in at around seven per cent of the purchase price.
This is broken down into legal fees of two per cent, stamp duty of two to three per cent (depending on the price of the property) and registration fees of two per cent. Estate agents fees of up to six per cent are paid by the vendor.
Once you have obtained your CPF number, you will automatically become liable for income tax if you rent your property out – this operates on a sliding scale of 15 to 27.5 per cent.
Rental properties are widely available in Brazil. Prices vary throughout the country, with higher rents in large cities such as São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.
Brazilian long term rental properties are usually unfurnished and without any white goods, lights or even shower heads fitted. Electricity and other services are also disconnected. Furnished apartments and houses for rent long term in Brazil are very rare (but can be found). Vacation and short term let apartments and houses in Brazil are always fully furnished and equipped.
The contract is signed by the landlord and the lessee. Each signature of the lessee on the contract is notarised (reconhecimento de firma) at the Cartorio (Local Registry Office), where the lessee has their signature accepted and registered as legal and correct. This is carried out by the estate agent or owner, who usually also covers the small cost of doing this. The lessee does not need to be present.
When applying for a lease the applicant will have to provide a certain number of documents. The minimum requirements are generally:
Contracts are usually a term of 30 months.
The tenant's obligations are as follows:
When renting property in Brazil, the deposit (deposito) amount is typically between two and three months' rent. This is paid to the estate agent or owner, and used as security against breakages and damage to the property or unpaid rent.
The security deposit is required to be kept in a dedicated bank account. Any interest accrued on the deposit belongs to the tenant. It is possible to negotiate a situation where the deposit is kept in an escrow account rather than a landlord's account although this is not a legal obligation.
Rental agreement contracts are prepared in Brazilian-Portuguese, and it is recommended that those who are not able to understand the clauses should consult an English-speaking property lawyer or seek translation of the document through an independent translation company before signing.
That the lessee must re-paint the inside of the property before leaving
IPTU payments can be paid by the owner or the tenant. Most advertised rental properties in Brazil will have the IPTU monthly payment mentioned alongside the actual monthly rental payments. If the owner pays this tax, the rent charged to the tenant will be increased to cover it. Another option is for the owner and the tenant to split the payment equally, the tenant will pay their percentage on a monthly basis to the owner. If the property has two joint owners expect to pay 33 percent of the IPTU.
The commission is usually paid by the Landlord for the Agent.
Two - Three months rent for deposit.