Temporary Rental vs. Traditional Rental
Renting an Apartment in Buenos Aires
Temporary Rental (Up to 3- or 6-month contract) vs. Traditional Rental (3-year contract)
Before you consider renting an apartment in Buenos Aires—either permanently or temporarily—make sure you have everything that is required to sign a traditional or temporary rental contract in Buenos Aires. Traditional Rental contracts are surprisingly difficult to secure for most tourists and expats. We’ll explain why.
It is important to understand the similarities and differences between temporary rentals and traditional rentals. It may not be the most fascinating topic you’ve ever read about, but by spending just a few minutes getting to know the lay of the land, you could save yourself time, money, and hair that you won’t end up pulling out in frustration. (Trust us—these things are worth knowing.)
The main similarity is that both are governed by the same regulation: Urban Rental Act No. 23,091 (Ley de Locaciones Urbanas).
A traditional rental apartment is usually unfurnished, whereas a temporary rental apartment comes fully furnished and equipped.
In traditional rentals, the contract period is for a minimum of 2 years, whereas for temporary rentals it can be as short as 1 week, or as long as 6 months—and the contracts can be renewed.
So, let’s boil it down: if you are planning to stay in Buenos Aires for less than 3 years, traditional rental is not really convenient, but in case you are moving to Buenos Aires for the long term, let’s go ahead and talk about Traditional Rental first.
Requirements for renting an unfurnished residence for 36 months in Argentina:
- Pay stub showing a monthly salary equal to or greater than three times the rental cost.
- PROPERTY GUARANTEE from a family member or friend who owns property in Capital Federal (Buenos Aires city proper). This serves as a guarantee in case the renter fails to meet their contractual obligations. This property may not be mortgaged, nor a family (jointly-owned) property, nor belong to a retired person.
• GUARANTOR. Relative or friend who serves as a guarantor, who must provide proof of economic solvency and good credit report scores.
- DNI (National Identity Document)
If a property guarantee cannot be obtained, one may request Surety Insurance. This also involves meeting certain requirements, including pay stubs proving a sufficient income plus the costs of the insurance, which is around 150% of the rental price.
Now, keep in mind that for an unfurnished property, there are additional costs beyond the basics like rent, utilities, and internet—and the prices paid in Argentina for home essentials are often shocking to visitors from North America and Europe.
Furnishing an apartment in Argentina
Let’s imagine, for example, a one-bedroom apartment. What are the basic things we need immediately to live in our new home?
First, we need a place to sleep. The most viable option is a full-size bed, from $15,000 to $25,000. For the living room we’ll need a sofa, a coffee table, curtains and lights, which can cost between $60,000 and $90,000 all together. We will almost certainly need a chest of drawers, for which the prices are not so high: they can be bought for $3,500 to $5,000. Then, in the dining area, we will at least need a table and four chairs, which will run us between $20,000 and $50,000. For the kitchen we will definitely need a refrigerator and a full kitchen set, which will cost at least $40,000 (with freezer) and $8,000 respectively. On top of that you will need electrical domestic appliances such as a washing machine, coffee maker, microwave, toaster, blender, iron, etc. In broad strokes, these are the appliances that we would need right off the bat to equip an apartment. Just counting these necessities, we would spend around $60,000 depending on the space and the quality of the furnishings for a two-bedroom apartment. A 32-inch LED television of the very cheapest model will cost at least $25,000. Air-conditioning units start at $40,000.
On top of all that there are other, less expensive items that are definitely necessary, such as kitchen products (glasses, utensils, plates, etc.), bedsheets, pillows, a set of towels, etc.
In rough terms, to make an unfurnished one-bedroom apartment fit for living in the middle of the city, we would need between AR$265,000 and AR$360,000 depending on the space and the style and quality of the furnishings. All in all, there are a million details that add up to a cost that is often unpredictable.
On the other hand, not everything is so difficult for the renter who is looking for a traditional lease, with respect to real estate commissions. In August 2017, the Buenos Aires legislature passed Law 5,859, which establishes that real-estate commissions must be paid only by the property owner, and not by the renter. Meanwhile, temporary rental has a service commission that depends on the length of the stay; the shorter the stay, the greater the costs.
In other words, short-term rentals are fully furnished, require only basic documentation such as proof of work or proof of studies (or airline tickets if you are a tourist). Rental prices of the unfurnished apartment are lower than the furnished ones, but keep in mind that services are not included and in the end, the difference is small. Short-term rentals include all expenses, as well as services like ABL (street lighting and sidewalk maintenance), utilities, internet connection and sometimes weekly maid service, while 2-year term contracts generally do not include any of the above.
In both cases, the tenant is required to pay a cash deposit as collateral, which will be reimbursed upon the termination of contract and if the apartment is in the same condition as when it was rented.
To sum it up: foreigners who pursue a traditional rental in Buenos Aires must confront significant obstacles—both legal and financial. Unless you’re planning to put down roots here and stay for two years or more—and sometimes, even if that is your plan—temporary, furnished rentals are always much less hassle and they’re after all cheaper, too.
My Lovely Apart offers an extended selection of apartments for temporary rental in Buenos Aires, best locations: Palermo, Belgrano, Recoleta, Almagro, San Telmo and more. Rent a furnished apartment at the best locations of Buenos Aires for short and long terms stay.