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Megan and John

But what about renting!?

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I see a lot of postings on the pitfalls of purchasing property in Costa Rica, so much so that I wonder why anyone would even consider doing so. What about renting? Is there a standard procedure? How about an idea of normal practices... Any ideas of where to look for listings? Things to look out for? Common mistakes? What about in more rural locations? How to know when you are paying too much? Any answers would be great... Thanks!

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Hi M & J,

 

I would suggest that once you get to CR that you look for listings (or ask, if you speak spanish) at the local pulperia, or on the bulletin boards at the main grocery stores (like Mas X Menos, Palí, MegaSuper) in town. A lot of 'finding of rentals' seems to depend upon networking, which is how I found my apartment after haunting the listings on CraigsList, in The TicoTimes, etc. Actually La Nación Dígital's economicos.com can be pretty good.

 

Unlike owning a home though, renting can be a better deal. The laws in CR favor the renter over the landlord.

 

But in my case I found a place when my friend (who was living in the apartments) cued me at the right moment when another tenant was about to leave and I immediately contacted the landlady (with whom I had spoken with several months before) and made my interest known which got me the apartment. Fortunately, my landlady is a treasure and the place was a real find.

 

A suggestion I once heard was directed at a gringo who was preparing to sell out in the US and bring his money to CR and buy a big house. It was suggested to him that if he were to bank the proceeds from the sale of his home and property, he could live on the interest and afford to rent a really nice place in CR with money enough left over on which to live quite comfortably -plus his principal would remain intact in the bank to produce the interest each month.

 

Also when you rent you can pick up and move if need be, for whatever reason, whereas selling a property may take who knows how long, Costa Rica not being a seller's market.

 

When you first go to CR, stay in a B&B for a month perhaps, and look around, make friends. Many times the people that run the B&B may be able to locate you some suitable leads. Then once you have found a suitable place, live in it for a few months or longer and since you will then have no big urgency to find a place, somehow you'll seem to have people start telling you about other places. That is what happened to me.

 

Anyway, some thought to ponder on....

 

HTH

 

Paul M.

==

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pardon me for jumping in, if you are looking for an object near to Quepos/Manuel Antonio, please get in touch - I am planning to rent out my property (rural area) for next year.

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This info so far is great. We will be staying in CR for at least a year and will need a long term rental. Not sure yet where we will be. It will all depend on where we end up teaching. I know that the majority of teaching jobs are in or near Heredia but we are going to be looking elsewhere too. I agree that anything over $600 is more than necessary. We will definitely be looking for something much cheaper...

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when you get here, go to ARCR's seminar (last Thr, Fri each month but Dec) - they discuss renting.

Some snippets of info:

Usually there is a contract.

Renters have a *lot* of rights

Minimum term is 6 months (but we have rented for shorter times "off book" - without a contract). Then it is up to the renter to leave or stay.

Max term is 3 years, then the contract is supposed to be renewed. At this time, the owner can say "no more of you guys."

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Megan & John, don't forget to ask your employer to provide you with or help you to get a working visa, as it is illegal to work here unless you have permanent residency. They probably won't do this, though, so be prepared. Work visa are very difficult to obtain and your salary will be minimal.

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Megan and John, in accordance with Costa Rica law, if you pay in colones, there is a 15% increase in rental each year, where in dollars the rent is not subject to increase. We rented a "tico" home for $100 per month the first two years in Costa Rica while building, and while it was not up to the usual American or Canadian standards, it was fully adequate for our needs during that period. Ask around the area you are in, look on bulletin boards in grocery stores such as Pali and Maxi Bodega, or as indicated before the local pulperia or soda........

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Megan and John, in accordance with Costa Rica law, if you pay in colones, there is a 15% increase in rental each year, where in dollars the rent is not subject to increase. We rented a "tico" home for $100 per month the first two years in Costa Rica while building, and while it was not up to the usual American or Canadian standards, it was fully adequate for our needs during that period. Ask around the area you are in, look on bulletin boards in grocery stores such as Pali and Maxi Bodega, or as indicated before the local pulperia or soda........

 

I pay in U.S. dollars and am subject to the 15% increase each year. The attorney who collects my rent says there is no legal restriction on raising the rent if paid in dollars, it is only a "courtesy." If someone has access to a law that says it cannot be imposed I would like to show it to the attorney.

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[What about in more rural locations?

Megan and John]

 

I can give you some info about my rural location, don't know about others. I just rented a 3-br house for $120. I did have some help from a Tico friend who knows everybody in town. I have lived here for six years and have sold my property and am now renting so many people in town know me and know that I am not a "rich gringa." This may be one of your pitfalls in a small community. I would talk to various people at the grocery store, hardware store, bakery or whatever there is in the community and tell them you are teachers. I have found that teachers are respected in my little community. To rent this house, I paid first and last month's rent and agreed to rent it for at least 6 months. Nothing in writing, no lawyer, just a handshake. Hope this helps -- good luck.

 

Eleanor

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I think that CRF's response got less attention here than it should have gotten. (for one thing, M & J never responded to her). If these folks have not made sure that they will be legally able to teach in CR, rent vs. buy, house vs. apt., and other options become moot. I think they should make sure that they have gotten past that hurdle before they worry about where to live.

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Shea, re your question on paying in colones versus dollars, www.costaricalaw.com is a good place to visit, also look at the website www.globalpropertyguide.com/latin-america/costa-rica/landlord-and-tenant which is cited by a well known law firm in Costa Rica.........

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Shea, re your question on paying in colones versus dollars, www.costaricalaw.com is a good place to visit, also look at the website www.globalpropertyguide.com/latin-america/costa-rica/landlord-and-tenant which is cited by a well known law firm in Costa Rica.........

 

Thanks. I'll check it out.

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I pay in U.S. dollars and am subject to the 15% increase each year. The attorney who collects my rent says there is no legal restriction on raising the rent if paid in dollars, it is only a "courtesy." If someone has access to a law that says it cannot be imposed I would like to show it to the attorney.

 

Look at the last paragraph of article 67 of Law 7527 at the following link (Official site of the Legislative Assembly of the Republic of Costa Rica):

 

http://www.asamblea.go.cr/ley/ley7000.htm

 

Loose translation:

 

If the rent is in a foreign currency, then the rent cannot be adjusted during the term of the contract.

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Hi Shea

 

I pay in U.S. dollars and am subject to the 15% increase each year. The attorney who collects my rent says there is no legal restriction on raising the rent if paid in dollars, it is only a "courtesy." If someone has access to a law that says it cannot be imposed I would like to show it to the attorney.

 

We have talked about this. You are listening the the attorney who collects your rent and works for the landlord??? Might there be a conflict of interest here?

 

As I told you before, they can NOT raise your rent 15% if your contract is in dollars, and you need to confer with YOUR attorney, not your landlord's.

 

TG

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