The process of renting an office in Brazil can be very bureaucratic. From the choice of the property to the regularization process there are some particularities involved. Learn in this article how to rent an office in Brazil and what are the particularities of this process.
Choose the property
The first step is to choose the property. This can be done through classified portals, signs on the buildings or through a real estate agent. Whatever your choice is, have in mind that you must always consider if the property meets your needs in terms of:
- Characteristics of the neighborhood;
- Infrastructure services (water, lighting, sewer, telephone, parking lot and so forth);
Check if the property meets legal and regulatory requirements made by the municipality, the state and federal government. At the local prefecture, ask for the floor plan to check if there were no subsequent changes or reduction of the initial area. Ask for “habite-se” and check the zoning law (lei de zoneamento)
There are some classified portals that may help you out regarding the choice of the real estate. Here are some of them:
Some of them work better for a specific area of Brazil, like Lugar Certo, that has most of its ads in Minas Gerais state, and Pense Imóveis, that is practically restricted to Rio Grande do Sul and Santa Catarina. Also, be aware that all information is only available in Portuguese.
Documents and lease agreement
The agreement is issued by the real estate and will only be available in Portuguese. Also, the tenant will have to notorize his/her documents in a special category, called "valor econômico", and the costs for this notarization will must be paid by the tenant.
Ask the landlord for the updated documents that prove his ownership of the property. This document is issued by the notary office (cartório de registro de imóveis).
Also, here are the items that are mandatory in the contract:
- Name and qualification of the landlord, tenant and guarantor;
- Description and address of the rented property;
- Renting price and index for the yearly increase;
- Payment method and where it is going to be executed;
- Guarantee modality (guarantor, previous deposit or “seguro-fiança”);
- Specification of the charges to be paid (condominium, water, lightening, IPTU and so forth);
- Specification of how the property will be used (commercial or residential purposes);
- Contract duration;
- Duration clause;
- Inspection term (must contain the description of the property conditions);
All the expenses related to the lease agreement must be paid by the landlord.
Legal aspects and seguro-fiança
The “Lei do Inquilinato” (something like “the tenant law”) allows the landlord to demand from the tenant some form of guarantee that can be:
- A deposit check (using as guarantee the tenant’s house, vehicle or any other property that can be used for such);
- Cash, deposited in a savings account shared by the two parts. In this case, the amount cannot surpass three times the rental price and must be reimbursed to the tenant at the end of the location if the payments were made within the established date;
- Guarantor, a third person involved in the process (not the tenant or the landlord) who takes full responsibility for the payment in case the tenant is unable to pay the rent;
- Seguro-fiança, made by an insurance company, it is a guarantee that the lessor will receive the payment for the rental, even if the tenant does not pay for it;
The best option for a foreigner coming to Brazil would be the deposit, as he/she probably does not know anybody here who could be a guarantor. However, over the last couple of years, the seguro-fiança has been practically mandatory for anyone who wants to rent a property.
According to real estate agents, there are only two insurance companies offering the service, which are Porto Seguro and Mutual Seguros. Both of them charge a fee of approximately BRL 100,00 (prices vary a little between the two) to analyze a series of documents the tenant has to provide in order to prove that he/she is able to pay the rent.
To get the approval for "seguro-fiança" is not something easy as it requires several different documents and the procedure is somewhat arbitrary. But in case the documents get to be approved, the tenant will have to pay the equivalent for one month rental. Differently from the deposit, this amount is not reimbursed when the contract is over. Also, the BRL 100,00 fee paid to the evaluation will not be reimbursed.