Finding a long-term unfurnished apartment is the way to go if you´re staying in Buenos Aires for a year or longer. You´ll end up saving a lot of money, and you can furnish the apartment however you want. Unfortunately, getting the apartment will likely cause a BIG headache, mainly because of the infamous, horrible, nasty, evil GARANTÍA.
For those unaware, a garatía is a property used as collateral against your apartment rental, and it serves two main purposes. The first is that if you total the apartment you are renting, the owner can then use the property under the garatía to pay for damages. The second purpose is that if for some reason you are unwilling to leave when your lease is up, then the owner of the apartment (who is unable to force you to leave) can potentially gain ownership of the apartment under garatía.
So how are you supposed to rent an apartment without a garatía? I´ve done it three times, and although it´s not easy feat, it’s definitely possible. Here´s what you need to do:
1 – always deal with the landlord. Inmobiliarias are less likely to allow you to rent without a garantia, and they are also a complete rip-off.
2 – so how do you deal with just the landlords? First, check out soloduenos.com. It’s a site that is for owners who are selling or renting their property, eliminating the inmobiliarias from the picture. The other option is to look through La Nacion and El Clarin classifieds, and search for ads stating “por dueño.” This means it is the owner renting the place out.
3 – the next step is to call up the owner and find out when they are showing their property. Don´t mention that you don´t have a garatía at this point. In fact, don´t even bring up the subject. This is where you need to start making a good impression.
4 – Go to the property during the specified time. While you’re there, it is important to meet and speak with the owner. Be friendly, and convince them that you are a good, trustworthy person. It is very important to Argentines that they like the character of the person renting their apartment, and this can sometimes even surpass the importance they put on a garatía.
5 – Once you are finished looking at the apartment and you´ve chatted with the landlord for a while, it is time to ask them what the requirements are to rent the apartment. This is when they will mention a garatía. You can then explain that you don´t have a garatía, because you are a foreigner. Ask them if there is any way around this, perhaps paying a three/six month deposit to them. Hopefully they will agree.
Finding a DECENT unfurnished apartment in Buenos Aires is never easy, and it is far more difficult without a garatía. It will require a lot of persistence and determination, and be prepared to be turned down a number of times before you finally make a deal. In the long run, all your hard work will pay off.
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