Lease agreements in Brazil cover a very long period and include many additional costs as well as an article which allows an annual rent increase. Before signing a contract make sure it gets double-checked by a Portuguese speaking lawyer or your company. Short-term rentals are possible but depend on the landlord and have to be arranged individually.
Normally the cost of utilities is not included in the lease price and has to be paid additionally. If you are living in a Condomínio or an apartment with certain services, a monthly fee for the caretaker, security staff, elevator or swimming pool is added to the lease price.
The Brazilian government raises very high council taxes (IPTU) for property which in many cases has to be paid by the tenant. If the landlord takes over the tax payments this usually results in higher rental prices. Pay attention to the fine print in your contract and all the additional costs which are not evident at first sight.
Make sure the contract contains a section that ensures that the charges for larger repairs are the responsibility of the landlord.
In order to apply for a rental property you might need a guarantor co-signing the contract. Both the tenant and the guarantor have to provide certain documents before signing, like proof of sufficient salary, the CPF (Cadastro de Pessoas Físicas) or the CIE (Cédula de Identidade de Estrangeiro) numbers. The tenant's company can also act as a guarantor which will simplify the application process as a company offers more security to an owner than an individual person.
Termination and renewal of the lease
The rental contract is automatically renewed if neither the tenant nor the landlord has given notice for a termination before the lease agreement expires. The renewal term is usually another 12 to 30 months.
If not stated differently in the contract a notice has to be given in written form 3 months in advance by the person who wants to terminate the contract (either the tenant or the landlord). The tenant may also give 30 days notice but will then loose his deposit and will probably be charged an additional fee.