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Hi All ~ Hopefully someone on the Forum has dealt with this problem and can offer some expertise. #1) Yes, an attorney appt. has been set up for Monday a.m., 13 May.

 

Here's the scenario: I have a new neighbor who previewed the house next door with an agent. There was furniture in the house and she asked the agent if it went with the house and was told, after he checked with the owner, "yes, except for the computer desk". When she moved in with only her personal items, the house was virtually empty. There was a twin bed in one BR, a Qn. bed in the other BR, a dining table & 4-chrs. and a very, very old well-worn refrig. There were no dishes, pots, pans, toaster, coffee maker, silverware, no TV, no lamps, no living room furniture... it was a virtual warehouse.

 

The contract says "Fully Furnished" to include a land line and Internet connection. There is no land line available, and it took one week to get CableTica to hook up the Internet. The landlord brought in some dishes & silverware, some patio furniture after her mother left for Europe, an old leather couch that the former tenants had had her take out due to mold--and which my new neighbor had removed for the same reason, and bought a TV. My neighbor bought a convection oven (there is no oven, of which she was aware, a computer desk & chair; I loaned her two living room chairs and a floor lamp so she could see the computer and read.

 

The rental amount includes utils., the Internet connection, use of the pool and the services of a gardener. She will be here one month on Monday, and the grass still hasn't been cut and there are areas in the large yard and garden that are being overtaken by weeds.

 

In addition she cannot take the heat here, and needs to return to the cooler temps of Grecia.

 

She wrote a (nice) email to the owner today explaining her health needs and the misrepresentation of the property, said she'd have asked for a lower rent if she'd known it was unfurnished, and said to please use her dep. as the next month's rent (due Monday), that she would be leaving at the end of the next month's rent. The owner called the agent who related the rent needs to be paid Monday "or else"... So, my question is: does my neighbor have the right to cancel the contract due to the misrepresentation?

 

CRF & Epcatt--hope you get a chance to see this & respond prior to Monday. A little self-assurance would do my neighbor a world of good right now. Anyone else out there with experience in this issue, please give me your thoughts. Thanks so much!

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Hi Tom & Marcia ~ I agree with you re: the tilt of the law; however, the rub is that she hasn't secured a new place yet (looking almost every day) and needs to leave the country for two weeks mid-month. She'd like to stay out the month & offered to let the place be shown to prospective tenants starting this coming week. The landlord (a woman)seems to have taken a turn for the worse....

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Barb, sorry not to be able to offer any help in this instance although we are renting for the second time, after being here 13 years. The first was for couple of months when we first arrived. Neither time did we have a lease... just a 'hand shake'.

Personally I wouldn't have mentioned that the heat was a problem and just 'stuck' with the misrepresentation from both the agent and owner but by staying there she really had accepted the conditions.

Recently, a Tico friend who had made arrangement to rent a house from the mayor of a nearby town, and was asked to vacate over 'differences', still had problems to get him to leave on the date specified, even when accompanied by two local police officers....

I would suggest that she does not pay her rent, and waits it out for the next month, then leaves. If the mayor cannot get someone removed, I don't think the owner will be any more successful. Maybe she could find other temporary accommodations.

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Hi CRF!! Always a treat to hear from you! I will pass on this info. My first lease was written (in Spanish & I never got my gringo copy) and all was well. I did leave early due to the house being sold and we had a verbal agreement for a $$ incentive, which he honored. I moved to my 2nd rental in 3+ years and this one is a verbal & a handshake/hug. So far, so good...actually he's a pretty good guy, and I love the house. Actually had my eye on it for a year--knowing I was going to have to move sooner than expected. If you two are ever planning a trip down this way, please feel free & invited to spend a night here.

 

Thanks again for the info! Barb

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Epcatt--THERE you are! I knew you and CRF would respond! I already pulled out my trusty copy of The Legal Guide to Costa Rica and read from it to her. Sounds like she's got it when it says the total descriptions and furniture must be listed. The contract merely says "fully furnished"... right! I'm not familiar with Senor Castro's website, but will also pass that on to my disillusioned friend. As usual, THANKS!

Barb

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I would suggest that she does not pay her rent, and waits it out for the next month, then leaves. If the mayor cannot get someone removed, I don't think the owner will be any more successful. Maybe she could find other temporary accommodations.

 

Barb,

 

CRF's advice here is really very apropos and it is also why I recommended your neighbor go asap and find herself a copy of THE LEGAL GUIDE TO COSTA RICA, since the author explains when one can be evicted and when one has a case for breaking the lease if the landlord misrepresents the property. But now, of course you've read the pertinent parts to her. (Of course it i going to help a lot since she actually does have something in writing which says that the the property was to have been rented furnished.)

 

Buena Suerte!

 

Paul M.

==

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If your friend doesn't move out before she leaves for 2 weeks, she should make sure her rent is paid. Who knows what could happen to her stuff if she leaves her place empty with an unresolved dispute. If her things are gone and nobody knows what happened, what can she do?She can always just move when she gets back.

 

T

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