How to rent an apartment in Brazil
Whether your plan is to rent a flat or a house, or to buy property, it is useful to know what to expect before beginning your search.
Rental properties are widely available in Brazil. Prices vary throughout the country, with higher rates in 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 rental apartments and houses in Brazil are always fully furnished and equipped.
Finding a Rental Property
Brazilian rental properties can generally be found through real estate agents' rental departments, in the classified sections of local papers or by word of mouth. Although there are one or two websites that are useful to use, rentals are still easiest to find by looking offline.
In Brazil "for rent" signs may be displayed on the property itself, either hanging from an apartment window or attached to the front gate of a house, most commonly bearing the word Alugo. If the property is available for a short-term rental period, normally during the summer tourist season in coastal towns and cities, the sign will read Alugo Temporado.
If the words "trater com proprieadade" are on the sign, this signifies that the owner must be contacted and dealt with personally. In these cases, the strictly enforced rental requirements demanded by rental agencies may be by-passed and rental price and/or deposits can be negotiated.
There are many options available to rent a place.
Flat - appart hotel
The flat is an entirely furnished apartment, generally with 1-3 rooms, a bathroom and a kitchen, and all expenses included (internet, TV, telephone, housework...). These appartments often include other ammenities such as a pool, a gym, valet service and a secuity guard and are located in very expensive neighborhoods. Prices tend to be around R$ 1500 and R$ 2000 per person per month.
República - Collocation
Living in República is probably the most economic option in São Paulo. Most students or young professionals choose to share a big house or apartment between 2-8 people in this area. The monthly rate turns around R$ 800 and R$ 1800 depending on the neighborhood.
How to find a location?
Weeks before your arrival, we suggest you start looking at these websites:
easyquarto and okupe.net offer accomodations open to foreigners. We recommend visiting the place before making your choice. Many options come and go quickly, so there is no rush in reserving something before arriving
airbnb offers short term rentals between private individuals for one night, one week or one month. The service is pretty expensive but you will be well received
sampahousing.com is managed by a Brazilian couple and offers great apartments in São Paulo
If you could not find anything before arriving, São Paulo has many very welcoming hostels and pousadas. In general, one week is necessary to find the perfect place.