Rent an appartement in Rio

Hey everyone.

Mooving to Rio de Janeiro my Carioca boy friend and I are looking for a flat in the center or above (I will have a visa working holiday for a year). Looks complicated to go though agences...

Do you have any ideas ?


Looks complicated - why, it does not need to be so? Or are you trying to beat the system and get the cheapest deal possible?

Hey everyone.
Mooving to Rio de Janeiro my Carioca boy friend and I are looking for a flat in the center or above (I will have a visa working holiday for a year). Looks complicated to go though agences...
Do you have any ideas ?


Avoid those portals ( loft, quinto andar ) if you can. All of them were subject to massive layoffs recently. 

Chances are, if you started with someone to handle your rental, then you end up with someone else, and something might get amiss.  It happens very often.  All you need to do in checking my claims is to go through reclameaqui dot com dot br and plug in the names above.  You will see, from landlords and tenants, a sleuth of gripes. 

You are better off if you  zero on a neighborhood you want to live, and then type, using Copacabana as a template, "imobiliaria neighborhood" or in this case, "Imobiliaria Copacabana" at your Google Search. Collect the entries, match the address to the neighborhood, toss aside others.  Take all of the collected entries and run through  One of two complaints, it's ok.  Brazilians tend to be "Nagging Nellies:.   You want to see repeating patterns.

Then allow yourself to seek apartments through a broker. The local agencies often allow you to get the most number of doors opened up.

Other than a bi-lingual broker, pay attention to how he/she dresses, handles other people, handle the door man, and punctuality.  If you see anything shady, then go through the viewings but pick someone else.  I should mention listings, specially rental ones, are by and large, non exclusive.   you need to deal with someone who will represent you in good faith .

Use your VivaReal dot com dot br  portal, to baseline yourself on rental rates practiced at your choice of neighborhood .   I would love to praise,. but in Rio, there are chances they will use it for expats, and as an excuse to gouge you on rates. 

Also, avoid the overhyped neighborhoods such as Ipanema, Copacabana, you will end up paying up more than you should.  There are other deserving and neighborly places you can park. Not being from Rio, here's from my grapevine....

Santa Teresa


Urca  ( the beach there is frequented by locals, not a touristy spot, very underrated )



Centro Historico ( Downtown )


Jardim Botanico ( Botanic Gardens, on the summer, one of the most soothing places to beat the summer dog days ). 


What you need to know on dealing with term leases....

1.They are made to last 12-30 months. You will often sign on a 30 month lease.  The law allows you to break the lease without penalties, after the 12th consecutive month of tenancy, granted you are in good standing with your lease covenants. 

2.Appliances are not mandated by landlords.  So you chalk  any range/stove , fridge as a nice thing to have. And so does for your washing machine.  As for the washing machine, if you have a washboard./tank, it will make do, if you plan to be moving around.   Forget the dishwasher.

3.Wardrobe chests  or built in closets are common items in older houses/apartments.  So skip the flashy  trendy units in newly developed buildings, unless there is an appliance set, and go to the oldies.  Besides, older units have more generous floor plans.

4.As matter of law, you are on the hook for utilities, property tax dues, condo association (HOA) monthly fees, and the rental rates.  The first three items are non negotiable, as far as who pays, and the going rate. Don't even bother to haggle on those.  If any haggling, it is on the rental rate.

5.Tenancy laws change over last year. As of now, if  you miss rental or fee payments, you are to be evicted within 15 days, and no more than one eviction notice.  And if it goes through courts, your name will be out there, for the general public viewing.

6.Make yourself familiarized with the Condo Association by-laws. There are notations  about this  on the contract you will need to abide by. 

7.Translated contracts that are valid in court need to be Certified by a State Appointed Translator, therefore   are a possibility, but this is an out of pocket expense borne  by you.  You can have a contract translated and not certified, but it has null value in court. That's a R$ 300, give or take it, expense.

8.Application processing fees are borne by the landlord, It is illegal for tenants to pay for it. 

9.The practice of paying escrow money has been abolished and it is illegal. 

10.Security Deposit and options. The most a landlord can charge you is a 3 month up front deposit. And not a single cent is to be used as rental payment.

Other options, all self exclusive...

a.Security Deposit, as Mentioned. It bears interest and it is redeemable after the lease is terminated, if you maintained payments, and returned the property the way you found.

b.Local Cosigner ( know as Fiador ). The new law allows you to change co-signers once your first term is up.

c.Renters Insurance. You are on the hook for premium installments up to until the lease is terminated. You can parse payments in 10 annual installments.  The insurer might deny you premium.  And all of the premium payments are non refundable.

Your landlord will be on the policy rider as a beneficiary. Insurance Annual Premium  ballpark cost,  13-1/2 divided by 12 ( including HOA and Property Tax ). Now take that money and divide by 10. Those are  your installments .

d.The same insurance carrier might, then often offer you a bond. On that bond, the number of months escape the 3 month clause. The most common bond amount ranges from 4-6 months worth of rent.

11.Always be kind to the doorman and building super. Make sure to  greet them, and try your language with them.  They take pride in their jobs. Most of them were once, Northeast labor migrants, and this is a good gig for them. They know the city, they are true gatekeepers, and the keep an eye for you.. 

12.Familiarize yourself with your local eateries, your lunch counter. Avoid fast food places, and fancy restaurants. Not only you will save money.

I am a licensed Real Estate Broker in Sao Paulo, therefore, this is as far as |i can help you.

Almost forgot....

1.Broker fee (usually one month's rent ) is paid by the landlord. Always.

2.If a broker charges you for viewings, skip him or her on the spot.  At most, you can foot the cab fare.   

3.Unfortunately, there are not "Fair Housing Laws" on the books. Blatant racial/sexual orientation/religious faith/Class is not widespread here, but at times is covert.  You have no recourse on these claims. Skip anyone who is prejudicial to you.  It's the best I can come up with.