If you are thinking of renting an apartment in Buenos Aires and are planning on staying for a year or longer, you may want to consider a long term, unfurnished apartment. The major advantage is that you can find them for much cheaper than any furnished, short term apartment, and you will end up paying the same price as any Argentine. Over a year´s time, the amount of money saved is usually quite substantial, even after factoring in the cost of to furnish the apartment and paying all of the bills. The other nice thing about your own long-term rental, is you will furnish it yourself, meaning you get to choose how the apartment looks and you can buy the things that are important to you.
If you decide to go this route, there are a few things you sould be aware of. In Argentina, you may have heard of the infamous garantía. A garantía refers to an Argentine citizen that has some form of equity and who will guarantee that you will pay for the apartment until the end of your contract, and that you will pay for any damages done to the apartment. If not, the guarantor will be responsible to pay in your place. It is known that in Argentina, you always have to have a garantía to rent an apartment, though this is only partly true. There are ways around it.
If you want to rent an apartment and the owners are requesting a garantía, you can usually get around this by paying for various months up front, usually six, which acts like a giant deposit. When you rent the apartment, you will have to pay for six months all at once. However, you will not have to pay any more until you´ve been there for 5 months, at which point if you want to stay another six months, you will have to pay those six months once again. This is a common way to get around the garantía, and will usually work. Your other option is just to talk to the owner and try to make some kind of deal. Although at first they may require a garantía, you may be able to find some other way around it if they get to know and trust you, Furthermore, if you work for an Argentine company, they may act as your garantor, if willing to do so.
Another downside to long-term rentals is that you will be responsible for all additional charges, and setting up your own accounts. You will have to set up a natural gas account, electricity, water, internet, phone, cable, etc. If you have a problem with one of these, you will have to contact the companies yourself. This can pose a problem if you don´t speak much Spanish.
It is also important to be aware that you will likely be responsible for paying “Las Expensas” which are similar to condo fees. Depending on the size of the apartment, these can range anywhere from $200 to over $500 pesos per month. Complementing the high inflation of Buenos Aires, these “expensas” tend to go up a few times every year.
Although long-term apartment rentals in Buenos Aires can be a big hassle, they are a good option if you plan on staying for more than a year, and especially if you are here for the long run. You end up getting a better place, and for much less money.
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