In the judgment of the Special Appeal 2.003.209/PR (REsp 2.003.20/PR), the STJ decided that the shopkeeper has the right to demand from the lessor the accountability of the amounts paid (rent, condominium, promotion fund, etc.) every 60 days.

The discussion began with an action filed by a shopkeeper against the administrator and the lessor of the shopping center demanding the accountability. The purpose was to verify if the charges made were right, under the allegation that the releases that were provided were not detailed.

Although the rental of stores in shopping centers have a special rule that prioritizes the freely agreed conditions between the parties and expressed in the lease agreement, such lease is still typical and is subject to the procedural rules provided for in the Leases Law.

The enterprising lessor of a shopping center must comply with the obligations imposed in the Lease Law (Law 8.245/91), including the accountability of the amounts paid and to exhibit  the proof of the expenses paid, when requested by the lessee. It is also the obligation of the lessor to detail the charges made to the lessee, which must be provided for in the shopping center budget and in the general rules of the enterprise.

In the present case, the lessee claimed that, although the lease agreement provided the payment of the expenses inherent to the shopping center, the carried out collection did not break down the charges paid.

The lessor was ordered to execute the accountability of the amounts in the first instance, but appealed on the grounds that the lessee could only require proof of expenses for the 60 days prior to the request. As the deadline was not respected, there would have been the loss of the procedural right and, therefore, the proof was no longer due.

In the judgment of REsp 2.003.20/PR, the STJ confirmed that the requirement of accountability by extrajudicial means is a faculty of the lessee. It also noted that due to the complexity of lease relationships in shopping centers, the deadline provided for in the legislation concerning lease agreements is only a minimum interval to be respected by the lessee between one and another request.

As for the loss of the procedural right, the 3rd Panel of the STJ understands that the preclusive period provided for in the Brazilian Civil Code for filing the action for accountability is unequivocal and that the term foreseen at the federal legislation concerning lease agreements is not applicable to demand accountability to the lessor.

We understand that the interpretation of the STJ was correct. Therefore, we recommend that entrepreneurial landlords of shopping centers that are not following this legal obligation organize their accountability procedures internally. In this way, they can prevent shopkeepers from judicially demanding that they present the accounts in a detailed and complete way.


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SCAVONE, Luiz Antônio. Real Estate Law: theory and practice. 16. ed. – Rio de Janeiro: Forense, 2021.

SOUZA, Sylvio Capanema. The law of the tenant commented: article by article. 12. ed. – [2. Reimpr.] – Rio de Janeiro: Forense, 2021.