Renting in Argentina is relatively simple, and owners are happy to rent to foreigners.
The process for renting is very simple – you don’t have to prove employment or income, or even your residency in Argentina. It’s a good idea to bring your DNI or passport with you at the time of the lease signing, but that’s all the documentation you’ll need (and it’s typically not a requirement). Because it is a down market, you will be in the position of taking your time on making a decision. Most properties sit for a while before they are rented, even the best ones. Keep in mind that the contracts are in Spanish, as per Argentine law, so it’s good to have someone with you who can translate. Most of the apartment locator services have agents who speak English who will talk you through the lease.
For long-term renters, it is common to sign at least a 2-year lease, however keep in mind that there is a trial-period of 6 months, in which neither you nor the owner can break the lease. After the trial period, you will have the option of breaking the lease without penalty if you give adequate warning. Make sure the exact terms are covered in your lease. Contracts tend to be simple and stipulate the owner, the renter, the address of the property to be rented, the price per month, any deposits that are included, and anything extra that the monthly payment covers.
In unfurnished apartments it is not usual for the monthly rent to cover things like utilities, cable, internet, or phone, and you will be responsible for setting these up and paying for them. Your landlord will make recommendations, and it is always advisable to go with a recommended provider because the quality of service changes in different areas of the city. You will generally be required to pay a refundable deposit, in cash, worth one month’s rent. Most landlords require that you pay your monthly rent in US$, which can be a real hassle every month and get rather expensive with the exchange fees. If you can, try to get your landlord to stipulate in the contract that rent can be paid in pesos. All contracts will be in Spanish, as per Argentine law, and many landlords who are not affiliated with a property locator or realtor won’t necessarily speak English. There is much less security in this process, but you will save a lot of money as well.
There are many apartment locators who specialize in fully furnished and fully serviced apartments in the city with long-term leases available, and the prices are still quite reasonable. Below are listed some companies:
Apartments BA is a luxury apartment locator with hundreds of properties all over the city. They specialize in fully furnished and serviced luxury rentals, with prices ranging from $900 US a month upwards of $3,000 US a month.
ByT Argentina is another full service apartment rental, you can search by neighborhood or price range, and they are very accommodating with English-speakers. Be prepared to pay a deposit, most are 100% refundable.
Buenos Aires Flats has apartments and lofts in a range of sizes, prices, and neighborhoods, as well as a concierge service for information. They are quick to respond to questions, are very helpful, and speak English.
The below are some websites with classified listings for unfurnished apartments for price comparison:
- Clarín (online newspaper classifieds) http://www.clarin.com
- La Nacion (online newspaper classifieds) http://www.lanacion.com
- Craigslist http://buenosaires.en.craigslist.org/ This is a popular student-oriented website, and there are a plethora of apartment listings available. Most prices are in pesos, so be sure to do the conversion, and many of them are shared rooms in houses or large apartments.
Price ranges tend to stay the same in the different barrios, with Recoleta and Puerto Madero being the only real exceptions. There are very few apartments that aren’t rented by agencies in Puerto Madero, but be prepared to pay at least US$1,000 for a basic studio here. In Recoleta, there is a bit more variety and you can find studios starting at about US$750. In both of these barrios, the majority of rental properties you will find will be fully furnished and serviced, with prices ranging from $800 US to $3,500.
In San Telmo you will be able to find a lot of rooms, shared homes/apartments, and unfurnished options for rent. The base for the shared homes/apartments starts around $250 US and go up to around $400 US for the nicer options. These do tend to be sparsely furnished with a twin bed, desk, and armoire. They will typically be in a home with a mixture of people living and a high turnover rate of roommates. The leases tend to be flexible and casual, often times verbal. Enter into these options with caution, and realize that you will get what you pay for. Unfurnished apartments start around $550 US for a studio, and can cost upwards of $1,200 for a 1 or 2 bedroom, depending on size and furnishings. Most apartments have only one bathroom, a small “half” stove, and very little natural light. If you want a balcony or lots of windows, be prepared to pay extra for it. The leases for these options tend to be a bit more formal, but there is still a lot of wiggle room (on renter’s end AND landlord’s end), so enter into them with caution. You will be able to find more classic Argentine houses, with an internal solarium, they tend to be narrow and several stories. These can rent, fully furnished, anywhere from US$800 to $3,000, depending on how newly they’ve been renovated (if at all), and what kind of furnishings they have.
The Microcentro sees a lot of business traffic, as do Congreso and Tribunales, and as such, there are a plethora of options in the furnished and serviced apartments. You will not find houses in this area. Apartments tend to rent for between $600 and $2,000 US for 1-3 bedrooms. Most buildings have security, but be sure to ask. Unfurnished apartments start around $400 US for a studio and will range up to $2,500 for a 2- or 3- bedroom furnished option. The apartments tend to be more nicely furnished, and will frequently have a small patio or Romeo & Juliet balcony (French doors that open up to the outside without adding any square footage to the space) because most of the residential buildings in this area are new or have been recently renovated.
Palermo, Recoleta, Barrio Norte, and Belgrano all have a variety of options, but you will generally not see anything for under $600, unless you are willing to rent out just a room. For fully furnished and serviced options, expect to pay between $800-$2,400 US. There are several new apartments and homes being built and/or remodeled in these areas, so there are a lot of choices. Many students and expats live in these areas, and are always looking to rent out a room or have someone take over their lease. If you can find a shared option that is suitable, you can expect prices for a room to range between US$350 and $500, depending on the exact location and furnishings. Again, in the shared options, the contracts tend to be less iron-clad, and very informal. Expect to pay some sort of a deposit, but make sure the landlord is crystal clear with you about returning it. (Some locals do have a reputation for taking advantage of unsuspecting foreigners, unfortunately, so be cautious and make sure you rent with someone of good repute.)
In Once, Abasto, Villa Crespo, Caballito and the surrounding areas, you can generally find slightly better deals. Unfurnished studios will go for $400-$550 US and shared options will garner prices close to those of San Telmo, starting around $250 US. The fully furnished and serviced apartments will range from $600 US upwards of $2,000.