Knowing the process for renting a short-term apartment in Argentina

3:45 PM Sandra Gutrejde 4 Comments

This is a long overdue post. I know many people like the idea of renting an apartment for their stay in Buenos Aires, but feel discouraged by the rental procedure.

Staying at an apartment is one of the best ways of knowing the city and feeling like a local. It is also more economical than staying in a hotel, specially for stays of one week or longer. The rental process may seem complicated at first, and you have to be aware that there is much cash payment involved, so it's important to know the temporary rental procedure before making a decision.

Make sure to read all the terms and conditions of the company you will be dealing with before making a reservation. Some items may vary, but most of the rental companies work in the same way:

Administrative fee:
Rental companies charge an administrative fee that is not included in the rental amount.

Reservation Deposit:
You will be required to send an advanced deposit to confirm a reservation. Depending on the company, this deposit ranges from 20 % to 50 % of the total rental amount. With many of the established companies, this deposit can be send via PayPal, Western Union, or wire transfer to a bank account. All charges for these transactions will be on your expenses.

Rental payment:
Almost without exception, the balance of the total rental amount has to be paid cash upon arrival. Usually you are met by the landlord or a representative, who will be waiting to hand you the keys to the apartment and receive the payment.

Security deposit:
You will also have to leave a damage security deposit that, depending on the length of your stay, can range from one week to 1 month rental fee. This deposit has to be paid cash as well. Make sure to check the inventory and any damages existent in the apartment before handing the deposit. Also, make sure everything in the apartment is working properly: stove, water, air conditioning, telephone, TV, etc. The security deposit will be kept by the landlord or rental agency and handed back at the end of your stay, usually in the same sealed envelope, provided the apartment is returned without any damages.

Rental agreement:
Upon arrival, you will sign a rental contract agreement. According to the Argentine law, the only valid language for contracts signed in Argentina is the Spanish. You may ask for a translated version of the contract to be sure of what you are signing. You will also be asked to sign a copy of the inventory. The contracts for temporary rental can not be extended. If you wish to extend your stay, you will have to sign a new contract.

Cancellations and refunds:
Ask for the cancellation policy of the company you are dealing with before sending any reservations. Some companies will hold the full amount of your reservation deposit, others the equivalent of some day's rental amount, depending on the days of advanced notice. Usually, once the contract is signed and the rental amount is paid, if you want to shorten your stay the amount paid will not refunded.

Extra fees:
Ask for any extra fees that can be applied to the total rental amount, such as:
  • early check-in / late check out
  • extra cleaning / maid service
  • phone calls
  • taxes
  • utilities
  • internet

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  1. Anonymous3/26/2009

    What if you rent an apartment for, say, 6 months, paying monthly? After 2 months, you decide you want to move, so you give the landlord and/or leasing agent one month's notice that you wish to leave. Are they entitled to keep the security deposit as damages? (There is no language in the contact that addresses this eventuality). Thanks.

  2. First of all, make sure to notify the landord, in written, via a "Carta documento", that you want to leave within a reasonable time. There's usually a penalty for leaving before the contract length, but this has to be clearly stated in the contract. Depending on the type of contract you signed, the owner may claim to be entitled to a compensation even if not stated in the agreement. To give a right answer to your question it will be necessary to see a the contract you signed. You can contact me by email if you need further assistance.

  3. I am just starting to plan a trip to Argentina and hope to include Bolivia. I am thinking of 6 weeks if I can afford it. I like the idea of staying in Buenos Aires in rental apartment for some of that time, to use as a base to see city and surrounding areas. Can you explain how your services might help me in finding a rental unit?

    1. Bonnie, please send me an email so you can explain all your requirements and I will tell you how I can help you in finding a suitable apartment.