The Law nº 5.709, of October 7 of 1971 and the Decree 74.965,
of November 26th of 1974 are the Brazilian laws currently in force
when it comes to the acquisition of countryside properties by both
foreign companies and individuals.
The most relevant rules pertaining to any countryside real
estate acquisition in Brazil by a foreigner individual according to
these laws are:
a) Only foreign individuals with official Brazilian residency can
acquire countryside real estate properties, limited in extension by the
equivalent of 50 land modules (maximum extension limit for a single
property, or group of properties summed up).
b) The land must be put to productive use.
c) As a rule, the sum of the properties owned by foreigners in
the same municipality must not exceed 25% of its total area. Within
these 25%, no more than 40% of the land can be owned by companies and
individuals of the same nationality.
d) If the property has an extension larger than 3 modules, the
acquisition is conditioned by a previous INCRA approval. If the property
has more than 20 land modules, a project of use must also be presented
for previous analysis.
e) Once the official INCRA permission is granted, the parties
have 30 days to have the property title made with the Notary Public (the
“escritura”) and additional 15 days to proceed with the title
registration. The INCRA approval, when required, must be expressly
mentioned in the “escritura”, otherwise the title can’t be registered.
f) The inclusion in the deed of the foreigner’s Brazilian
identification card number and official proof of residency in the
country is obligatory (the ID for residents is the RNE).
g) The INCRA approval, when required, is conditioned by a
declaration from the foreigner stating: 1) if he/she owns other
countryside real estate properties; 2) if with this new acquisition the
total of 50 land modules won’t be exceeded, and; 3) which is going to be
the productive destination of the property in case it’s larger than 20
h) Any acquisition deviating from this set of rules is deemed
null and void by the Law. If by any chances a property ends up
registered despite the outlined legal discipline, the Notary Public and
the Title Registrar will be hold responsible for any financial damages
suffered by the parties, irrespective of any criminal liabilities for
the misuse of their official attributions. The property vendor must
refund any monies disbursed by the foreign buyer (Law nº 5.709, art. 15;
and Decree 74.965, art. 19).