The Rental Deposit and Inventory Report

Find out about the regulations regarding rent deposits and the inventory report when renting property in Panama...


For long-term rentals, the deposit can be held by the Ministerio de Vivienda (MIVI), Panama's housing department, although this is optional. At the end of the lease term, the tenant must request a signed letter from the owner/landlord stating that the deposit (or an amount of) can be returned to the renter. The renter than takes the letter to the MIVI along with the housing contract and their passport, and asks to have the deposit returned.

It is safer to have the deposit held with the MIVI, especially for larger amounts of money; however, it can take a very long time to have the money returned - up to two months after a request is made.

If the deposit is not held by the MIVI, it is entirely up to the owner/landlord when the deposit is returned, although a renter usually asks to have the deposit counted as the last month's rent. This should be acceptable to the lessor, unless there has been some damage, or there has been some other kind of problem between the renter and the lessor.

Inventory Report

For a furnished residence, or an unfurnished residence that includes some appliances, there is also an inventory report that must be acknowledged and signed by the renter.

Housing insurance is required.

Maintenance and Repairs

The landlord is responsible for any maintenance or repairs; the renter is responsible for everything else.