How to Find Long-term Accommodation in Buenos Aires

How to Find Long-term Accommodation in Buenos Aires

Are you planning to move to Buenos Aires for a couple of months? Or maybe even longer? It might not be as hard to find long-term accommodation in Buenos Aires as in many other more popular big cities should as New York, London, Paris (you name it). But you still need to be aware of the ins and outs of renting in Buenos Aires because there are quite a few things to keep in mind.

In Argentina, in general, there are two ways of longer-term rental:

  • Alquiler temporal (temporary rental): the easier but more expensive option
  • Alquiler con contrato de 3 años (rental with a 3-year contract): the more difficult but more economic option.

Keep on reading to learn more about the difference between those two and many more valuable insights into long-term rentals in Buenos Aires!

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Temporary rentals (alquiler temporal) in Buenos Aires

Temporary rentals are the easiest for foreigners since it has fewer requirements. But the contracts are also the most expensive option for long-term accommodation in Buenos Aires. Temporary rentals are normally fully-furnished or partly-furnished apartments.

Requirements for temporary rentals

Generally speaking, the requirements for temporary rentals are:

  • One month’s rent
  • One month’s rent as deposit (to be returned to you when you move out)
  • A photocopy of your passport (or Argentine ID card if you have one)
  • Fees of the real estate office (called honorarios de inmobiliaria) if you rent through an office
  • The owner might also ask to see proof of ongoing studies and/or proof of income.

By Argentine law, a temporary rental contract can only be of 3 months. However, many apartment owners are open to renewing the contract if you wish to stay longer than the 3 months in the apartment. The 3 months limit is a legal issue. Remember to ask your landlord or real estate office about the extension before you sign the contract and move in.

With the ongoing economic crisis in Argentina, Argentines and foreigners who have invested in property and rent it out their apartments as temporary rentals might ask you to pay the rent in USD. If you have the possibility to pay in USD, it might save you some headaches regarding exchange rates.

By paying your rent in Argentine pesos, you are secured to benefit from any devaluations the Argentine peso might suffer. That is why it is recommendable to try to find long-term accommodation paid in pesos since it will become cheaper for you in the long run.

But again, many Argentine landlords will argue strongly for you to pay in USD, so they are protected against these devaluations.

Airbnb

Another option if you are only planning to stay a couple of months in Buenos Aires, is to look for an apartment on Airbnb.

I have heard many stories of foreigners who just rent a place on Airbnb for a couple of days. When they arrive, they ask the owner if they are interested in renting the apartment long-term outside Airbnb.

However, mind that this way tends to be through illegal rental contracts (or no contract at all) which does put you at risk if you end up with a bad landlord. Read more about illegal rentals below.

Standard 3-year rental contract (alquiler con contrato de 3 años)

The apartments that are being rented under the standard contract of 3 years are what the real estate websites mostly just call alquiler (rental).

These rental contracts tend to be cheaper than temporary rentals, but they have a lot more requirements than temporary rentals.

Requirements for standard contracts

The requirements for standard rental contracts are normally:

  • One month’s rent
  • One month’s rent as deposit (to be returned to you when you move out)
  • Fees of the real estate office (called honorarios de inmobiliaria) if you rent through an office
  • Proof of income
  • A property guarantee (garantia de propiedad) or a surety insurance (seguro de caución)

The difficult part comes in the last two bullet points: Proof of income and property guarantee or surety insurance

Proof of income

For the proof of income, the real estate offices tend to only accept registered income in Argentina, i.e. that you need to be legally registered for an Argentine company.

This normally means that if you earn your money abroad as a freelancer or contractor in an international firm, your income will not be taken as valid by many estate offices.

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Property guarantee (garantía de propiedad)

The property guarantee is proof that someone puts their own property in guarantee in case you mistreat or vandalize the property that you are renting. Generally, Argentines have some close relatives that own a house or an apartment which they can use as a property guarantee when renting.

On top of that, within the City of Buenos Aires, the real estate offices tend to only accept a property guarantee from within the city itself.

Surety insurance (seguro de caución)

In case, you don’t have a property to put in guarantee for your rental contact, more and more landlords and real estate offices are also accepting the surety insurance or a seguro de caución as it is called in Argentina.

The surety insurance is insurance that you pay to guarantee the landlord that in case of incompliance of the rental agreement regarding payment of rent, building expenses, etc., this insurance will cover. Only special insurance companies that are regulated under a governmental entity are allowed to offer this kind of insurance.

The surety insurances charge you between one to two months of rent. In case you stop paying your rent, the landlord will notify the insurance company and they will cover the unpaid rent. Afterward, the insurance company will charge you the rent plus a lot of administrative fees. Read more about the seguros de caución here.

Which areas to look for long-term accommodation in Buenos Aires?

Most expats, tourists, and other foreigners in Buenos Aires live in these neighborhoods:

  • Palermo (also, the largest neighborhood in Buenos Aires and consists of many smaller sub-neighborhoods)
  • Recoleta
  • Belgrano
  • Puerto Madero
  • Villa Crespo

There are also other nice areas such as Almagro, Villa Urquiza, and San Telmo.

When you are looking for accommodation in Buenos Aires remember that not every neighborhood is the same. Some areas as serious issues with crime – and being a foreigner will mostly not make you safer!

Where to look for long-term accommodation in Buenos Aires

There are plenty of websites to look for long-term accommodation in Buenos Aires. Some of the most popular ones are:

These sites are mostly for standard 3-years contracts. However, some of them also have the option to search for temporary rentals.

Another option is to look for rentals in Facebook groups. Here many people post offering within Argentina is referred to as “dueño directo” which means that you rent directly through the owner of the department and avoid paying some of the many fees that the real estate offices charge you. Nevertheless, watch out for scrams and illegal rentals (see more below).

Here are some of the Facebook groups for long-term rentals that I have followed over the years in Buenos Aires:

Facebook groups focused on rental to English-speak expats in Buenos Aires:

Facebook groups for rentals in Buenos Aires in Spanish:

Legal versus illegal rentals in Buenos Aires

There is a lot of illegal rentals going on in Buenos Aires. A rental contract is only legal if they fall under one of the two formats explained above: 3-months temporary contacts or 3-years standard contracts.

Any other type of contract is not legally binding. And if you run into problems with your landlord the Argentine Justice system will most likely not help you out.

However, this doesn’t mean that all illegal rentals are scams. I have been living in rooms and apartments where the contract was not legally binding and I didn’t have any major issues with the landlord.

But there are also many many rental scrams out there, and it is important for you to keep in mind when you start looking for long-term accommodation in Buenos Aires. Read more about how to avoid scams when apartment hunting in Buenos Aires.

Are moving long-term to Buenos Aires? Did you find this post useful or is there anything else you would like to know about long-term accommodation in Argentina? Share your questions and comments below!

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