Temporary Accommodation Guide
Furnished apartments are readily available throughout Buenos Aires for short-term rentals. They range from small studios where you can barely fit your suitcase to large penthouse homes in brand new skyscrapers with rooftop pools and patios. Decent studio apartments generally start around US$600 per month, and most will include utilities, internet/cable and cleaning services in the price. If you’re looking for something bigger and in the high-demand real estate zones of Recoleta and Palermo, US$800-$1,000 is a more realistic starting range.Using an apartment locator to help you navigate through the maze of neighborhoods and buildings is the best idea, and many locators speak English or have at least a working knowledge of terminology. Contracts are always in Spanish, but the best locators will translate them for you and make sure you understand the details. Most landlords are willing to negotiate on price if you rent an apartment for longer than a few weeks or a month. Generally speaking, if you want to sign a six-month lease, you have some bargaining power with the price, so don’t be afraid to ask for a discount.Make sure come that your furnished apartment is equipped with: landline with local (non-cellular) calls included, internet or WiFi, cable, all utilities and water, trash disposal service, and cleaning service (sometimes bi-monthly, but frequently a weekly service). As the maids (or ‘mucamas’) are not always known by the landlords or renters, and they will have keys to your apartment (unless you stipulate otherwise), it is always a good idea to hide any valuables out of the way. For the most part, mucamas are trustworthy and they are there to do a job, but it’s always best to play it safe and keep valuables out of eyesight.
Also, when making a reservation, keep in mind that deposits using credit cards are rarely accepted because of the economic issues in Argentina. Most companies and landlords will ask you for cash, either deposited into a bank account or wire transferred, while some will offer a PayPal service.
BA Flat (http://www.baflat.com): This site has an extensive list of fully furnished apartments throughout the city, and you can narrow your search by barrio. There is a non-refundable deposit that is 20% of the total rent as a deposit. This can be paid using PayPal or Western Union. The remainder of the balance and refundable security deposit is due upon signing of the contract. They are quick to respond to requests, typically within 24hrs, and their staff is friendly and speaks English. Many of the apartments come with the use of a cell phone for the duration of your rental agreement, as well as a concierge service for needs like concert tickets, dinner reservations, car rentals, or excursions outside of the city.
Lets Go Argentina (http://www.letsgoargentina.com): You can scroll through lots of apartments, searching by neighborhood. Each listing shows the price per week and per month, in US$, with accompanying photos. In order to make reservations, you have to pay 20% of the total amount your stay will cost as well as an 8% administrative fee by either transferring money, using Paypal, or a money gram. The rest will be paid, along with a refundable security deposit at the time the contract is signed. The staff are friendly and speak English, and the website is all in English.
ByT Argentina (http://www.bytargentina.com): This is a thorough website listing hundreds of apartments all over the city. It is in English, and there is an option to open up a live chat with someone to answer any of your questions. There is also a link at the bottom of the page for Host Families, if you’d like a more authentic temporary stay. The refundable security deposits change depending on the property and length of your stay, and there is a non-refundable $45 administrative fee. Through the website you can also book day trips and outings, as well as longer all-inclusive trips.
Buenos Aires Habitat (http://www.buenosaireshabitat.com): If budget is not as much of a concern, this service may be for you. They specialize in upscale and more luxurious apartments and lofts, many of which have balconies with a parrilla (Argentine grill). They also have a real estate division and they can assist you with purchasing if that is your ultimate goal. The staff is friendly and helpful, and if problems arise they tend to be available and prompt to fix them. The deposit is 20% of the total cost of your stay, plus a $35 administrative fee. All the prices are in US$, and payment of the deposit can be made by wire transfer, PayPal, or Western Union. The refundable security deposit is due, along with the remaining amount of your stay in cash.
Casa 34 (http://www.casa34.com): This site allows you to search by price, neighborhood, or property type. The website is in English, and the staff also speak English and are very friendly. If you are wanting to stay on a tight budget, they have many options. Their flexibility and willingness to work with your schedule or any special requests is really where they shine, and they’ll also assist you with activities and excursions. There is a $30 administration fee, and they require a 20% deposit to confirm reservations, with the total being due, in cash, upon signing of the contract. They accept payments via PayPal or wire transfer. However, if these options don’t work, let them know and they will work with you.
If you prefer to book an extended stay in a hotel for your visit, Biz-stay (http://buenos-aires.biz-stay.com) has a listing of establishments that offer good long-term rates. They are mostly three, four and five-star hotels located in or near the center, as well as bed-and-breakfasts throughout the city. Your expenses for a hotel will be higher, of course, but you’ll be more comfortable and won’t have to worry about scouting around for your own place.
There are many options for furnished and serviced apartments in Buenos Aires; you just have to be willing to look through hundreds of apartment photos. And always be sure to (politely) negotiate a discount on a longer-term contract.