Accommodation in Rio de Janeiro

Finding suitable accommodation in Rio de Janeiro is likely to be a daunting task for new arrivals. Although there is a wide variety of accommodation to choose from, space is limited in this bustling metropolis and finding a home in a good area of Rio can be a challenge.

Expats looking for housing in Rio will have to act fast when they find what they’re looking for. Competition is fierce and decent apartments in good areas do not stay on the market for long.

Types of accommodation in Rio de Janeiro

There is a variety of accommodation available in Rio and generally something to suit every taste and budget. Property ranges from apartments to condominiums and houses with gardens. The majority of expats live in apartment blocks or closed condominiums with onsite facilities such as swimming pools, gyms and 24-hour security.

Most accommodation in Rio is rented unfurnished. This may even include the absence of light fittings and basic kitchen appliances. Generally, the standard of accommodation in Rio is good, particularly at newer establishments. Apartments in newer blocks and condominiums are usually quite large, and some even have additional rooms for domestic workers.

The cost of accommodation in Rio can vary depending on the area and amenities available, but, generally, accommodation in the more popular expat-friendly neighbourhoods is extremely expensive. The proximity of accommodation to Rio’s city centre and beaches will influence the cost of rent. The closer one is to the city centre or beaches, the more one will usually pay.

Finding accommodation in Rio de Janeiro

Rentals are usually advertised in the local newspapers and classifieds. There are also a number of online portals that specialise in rental properties in Rio de Janeiro. Word-of-mouth and networking is a good way to go when it comes to finding accommodation.

Renting accommodation in Rio de Janeiro

Most property owners and landlords are unlikely to speak English, and it’s a good idea to take a friend or trusted colleague who can speak Portuguese along to assist with the negotiations. It may also be useful to work through a rental agent who will be able to provide listings of appropriate properties. They will also be able to negotiate with the landlord and will understand all the legalities involved.

Leases in Rio are usually signed for one- to three-year period, although shorter-term options are available, and landlords are sometimes willing to negotiate.

A deposit equivalent to one to three months’ rent is normally expected. Electricity and other utilities, as well as property taxes, are usually excluded from the rental price and need to be paid on top of the monthly rental. It is often the tenant's responsibility to organise utility accounts with their local municipality.