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Real Estate in Brazil: Key Legal Insights for International Investors

Updated: Aug 11, 2023

Brazil, with its impressive economy leading Latin America, a strategic position, and breathtaking landscapes, has always been on the radar of global investors spanning various economic sectors.

Indeed, Brazil offers countless reasons for both investment and residency.

However, before planting roots, understanding its legal framework is crucial to navigating and preventing unexpected obstacles.

When it comes to property acquisition in Brazil, investors should note that the country's system differs from European nations. It may sometimes involve intricate bureaucratic processes, necessitating a careful approach from buyers. By grasping the subtleties of the legal procedures, buyers not only remain vigilant but also streamline the acquisition process, ensuring it is both efficient and secure.

Key Advice for Property Acquisition in Brazil:

1. Seller’s Property Rights

In Brazilian legal parlance, there's a saying: "If it's not registered, you don't truly own it." As per Brazilian laws, a property's ownership only transitions to the buyer once the acquisition deed has been formally REGISTERED (through a definitive public deed of sale, donation, etc.) at the appropriate Real Estate Registry Office (CRI).

The CRI oversees the registration and management of urban and rural properties within specific regions. It's only post the deed's registration at the relevant CRI that the buyer officially becomes the property owner.

To confirm ownership, the PROPERTY REGISTRATION CERTIFICATE, procured from the CRI where the property is listed, is the sole authentic document.

2. Document Verification regarding the Property and the Seller

For a secure real estate transaction, one must scrutinize the legal status of both the property and its owner (the seller). This examination entails obtaining various certificates, including those from courts, notaries, and tax departments.

Engaging a professional for this task, preferably an attorney with expertise in Real Estate Law, is highly advisable.

3. Restrictions on Property Sales

Before making a purchase, investors should verify if there are any legal or environmental restrictions or prohibitions set by Brazilian law on property sales.

For instance, there are constraints for foreign nationals when it comes to buying properties within maritime zones or huge rural lands.

To ensure a smooth transaction and to determine its feasibility, Estate Brazil is here to assist you in all the steps. Just contact us for more information.

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