The Lease Agreement
Understand what to expect from the tenancy agreement when renting property in Argentina…
The rental agreement or tenancy contract (Contrato de locación) stipulates the terms and conditions of the rental arrangement as well as the rent to be paid. It must be signed by the landlord (alquilador), or the estate agent on behalf of the landlord, and the tenant (inquilino).
Temporary rentals are usually offered on either a daily or weekly basis. For this reason they are often more expensive than long-term rentals.
Long-term accommodation is generally leased for a 24-month period, but can be leased for up to ten years.
- For a sample rental agreement, provided by the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights: Click here (in Spanish)
The rental agreement should contain the following information:
- The length of the contract
- When the rent should be paid
- How the rent should be paid
- Details about landlord inspections
- The conditions of the contract (including termination and any repairs that are deemed the tenant's responsibility)
- The utilities included in the monthly rent
- The amount of the deposit
The contract should be dated and signed by both parties.
On application for a lease a foreign applicant is normally requested to show the following:
- Passport and often national identity card (DNI)
- Guarantor documentation
Landlords may also ask for a guarantor to sign the agreement as well, thus ensuring payment is made if the tenant fails to pay the rent.
A guarantor can either be an Argentine resident, an employer or a bank. If a bank is to act as guarantor, this needs to be organized between the bank in the home country and the one in Argentina.
Some landlords may ask the tenant to sign an Eviction Agreement (Convenio de Desocupación) as Argentinian law protects the tenant more than the landlord, making it hard to evict a tenant. In this agreement it is specified how a tenant can be evicted and under what conditions. By signing this agreement, tenants agree to leave the rental property under the stated conditions.
It can be arranged for the landlord to keep certain utilities in their name and bill the tenant later for the costs. This should be arranged beforehand and be included in the contract.
It is normal for an inventory to be made when renting a furnished property. It is advisable for the tenant to carefully check for any damage prior to moving in, and to make a note of or photograph any damage to the interior or soft furnishings at the earliest opportunity.
The deposit is usually the equivalent of one month's rent. By law it cannot be more than one month's rent per year of the contract. In addition, if the tenancy is organized through a rental agency it is necessary to pay the first month's rent in advance as commission. The agency fee is generally five percent; the equivalent of one and a half months' rent.
The deposit amount cannot exceed two months' rent and must be paid in advance when signing the lease agreement together, with the first month's rent and the agency commission, if applicable.
Note: it is therefore necessary to pay just under four months' rent in advance to rent a long-term property.
Other costs and taxes
Other service charges may or may not be included in the rental agreement as part of the rent. It is important to check exactly what is included in the monthly rental. Additional taxes are not required to be paid in addition to rent.
The tenant's obligations are as follows:
- To pay the rent in full by the agreed date
- To pay service charges: water, electricity, and communal maintenance (for an apartment)
- To use the property "appropriately"
Unless agreed in the rental contract, a tenant may not:
- Use the property for commercial purposes
- Sublet the property
- Make any major changes to the property or structures without the landlord's consent
Terminating a Lease
The rental agreement can be terminated after six months, at the cost of forfeiting the deposit. An agreement can be reached with the landlord, but either one or two months' notice should be given. Terminating the rental agreement earlier than six months will result in additional costs; the amount of these varies depending on the property.
The deposit is generally returned within 30 days of leaving the property.