In Brazil "Alugo" (“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. If the property is available for short let, (normally during the summer tourist season) the sign will read “Alugo Temporado”. If “trater com proprieadade” is written this means that you must contact the property owner directly. This can be an advantage since the rental price and/or amount of the deposit may be negotiable, but you will not have the service or protection that a rental agency provides.
Brazilian rental properties can generally be found through estate agents' rental departments, in the classified sections of local papers such as the Folha de São Paulo Folha de São Paulo and through internet sites, or simply by word of mouth.
Two of the biggest property rental websites are:
Such websites are very useful when searching for accommodation in a sprawling city like Sao Paulo since you can focus your search on specific areas (“bairros”). It is also possible to search under sales (venda) or rentals (aluguel), by type of property (tipo de imóvel), and maximum price (valor máximo).
Never enter a rental agreement just on the basis of photos, make sure your look over the property thoroughly yourself before signing anything. Visits can be arranged by e-mail, over the phone, or in person with estate agents or property owners. Bring a friend or hire a translator to accompany you (if the real estate agent does not already provide one), so you can fully understand the details of the property and contract.
Generally landlords are helpful but it may be assumed that since you’re a foreigner you are well off, so take care to not be taken advantage of. If you sense a problem, ask people in your circle of friends or acquaintances that have relevant experience or speak to your real estate agent.
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