A True Story, Tenant Versus Landlord


Mar 6, 2012
Thought I would like to share my expirience in the rental business here in Buenoas Aires.
Seems like it gives a lot of negative bias against landlords in general.....reason for deposits, garantias etc etc.

So, this is the story:

I bought a nice flat in Palermo like 8 years ago, nice penthouse with a spectacular terrace.
It was meant for rental from the start, to expats or executives of firms etc.
I was in need of the right tenant, that mean a solvent, single secure tenant, (Apartment is a single bedroom loft). I found a midaged American "Lady", lets just call her Jennifer...fitted perfect into the deal. She owns several US properties and do rentals herself in the states. I therefore also agreed on, to allow her to sub-let apartment in the times she would not be living here. The apartment got rented, without garantia or anything, only 1 months deposit. Lease was a one year with an option of another year, no rent increase! She managed to stay for two years and pay the rent, though many day to day issues, "Water is cold", "a light bulb broke", "internet is down" etc etc. So end of the 2 years lease she asked if she could extend it another year without any increase on rent or anything........I agreed and a new contract extension was made, (US dollars like the original). From that day on the sh.. started! By the first rental payment of the extension, she said she could not live in a hole like that and refused to pay rent! So, 12 long months, a lot of costs for lawyers, loss of rental income and and and. At the end I needed to have a lawyer and a notary come and announce the end of the rental contract, one step before eviction process. (Please keep in mind: This is a grown up middle aged woman, well off, doing rental business herself). Maybe it is worth mentioning, the lady of course subletted the apartment in the time, cashing in hard dollars and just screwing me.
After 12 months struggle, I finally got her out, thank god!
Now the new contracts are made up by top lawyers, eviction papers pre-signed by the notary etc.

So, just wanted give a little perspective to the old landlord/tenant threads!
There is a reason why its hard to rent and why the landlords here behave how they behave....
(Remember a thread here, someone asking if its ok to pay a landlord in pesos if the contract specifies dollars only...sorry....its just to dirty game!)

Thank you for sharing your experience. People are people, no matter where they were born or reside. Something seems to happen to ex-pats and they change, becoming oppórtunistic. Not only ex-pats, but people of all ages who have never left the country where they were born.

You can never anticipate when the "transformation" occurs, but someone who has been very trustworthy and helpful turns into an extortionist, thief, or scoundrel overnight. Just because, "they can". There are few deterrents for such behavioural changes. The landlord or employer is generally the one who suffers. I have had similar experiences to you in Europe and here in Argentina, with renters, employees, contractors and managing agents, even when from the USA!

A person takes more of a risk in any business transaction when living in a foreign country. Scoundrels and opportunists come "with the territory". Only advice to be offered is,

"Landlord / employer / contractor" .. BEWARE: This transaction may be hazardous to your health and your wealth. :eek:
Sorry to hear. I must warn you that the pre signed eviction means jack s**t. She can get " sick " etc and you will end up screwed up anyways. You should have payed a couple thugs to go into the apt, dump her stuff outside and change the locks. That is the way to go.
What about going directly to a good relocation & rentals real estate?
I work in one, in La lucila and the have been in this bussines from 46 years now.
If you have a pain in your body you go to a medic.
If you have problems in your car, to a mechanic
In rentals everyone has an opinion!!
its really amazing
You were very lucky she didnt get some " piqueteros" for free in the flat,
Then, you would really have a nightmare
Anyone have some good advice and tips if you are planning on renting to Expats? I am planning on renting my apartment because I want to start living in Zona Norte, but I don't want to sell it at this moment in time to buy in Zona Norte. I am planning on renting to Expats in dollars. Any sort of tips would be appreciated.
You are also lucky that she didn’t bring along a baby and a dog. Luckily, she was an amateur a**hole. I think webmistress is right, that it is such a shame how this country makes people opportunistic. After coming back from a year in Santiago, Chile (fome) and 3 months in the Midwest in the US, it is a little bittersweet for me to come back here. The culture of screw or be screwed is one of the most unfortunate things about BsAs in a place that is otherwise full of great people and places.

That being said, I do have to say, though, I think that Argentines renting to foreigners in “dollars only” through a rental contract is just another way to screw over and piss off a tenant, with the possible exception of short-term only rental.

A newbie coming here (who doesn’t first inform him or herself through the forum) has NO IDEA how difficult it can be to get dollars possibly until they arrive. Even reading up a little, they might think, “I have dollars in my account back home, how hard can it be?” Argentines know the history and their own obsession with the dollar and betting against their own moneda; they know that things can change at any time. This happened to my Colombian classmates who rented in dollars only starting in 2010 before the dollar restrictions buying, a caveat they didn’t understand at first. When s*** hit the fan in 2011 with AFIP restrictions, they were asking around to all their Argentina friends if anyone had permission from AFIP and could help them buy dollars worried they would be kicked out before finals since she refused to accept any other moneda for payment…just because some cheta in Recoleta wanted to put dollars in her mattress.

Buy an apartment as an investment, rent to foreigners, increase the rent according to inflation, but charging in dollars is screwing your tenants. Accept deposit and first month’s rent in dollars only (and remind them to to bring it with them) or peg the rent to some measure of the true market price of the peso argentino (casas del cambio online buying price, for example), but a two year contract accepting only dollars is dishonest and more often than not, money laundering. If someone is really in the country for two years, you will have their a** running all over town desperate to find dollars.
Count yourself as lucky that you never get a tenant like this:

I was thinking of renting in dollars to expats with bank to bank transfer in the USA, personally. Is there something wrong with doing that if renter and tenant agree? Alternatively, I can rent in Pesos, certainly an option. What do you think, Expats?
Thanks for all your reflections!!!!!

To elaborate a little on the rental issues:
Most expats, foreign landlords, have USD or Euro obligations themself......just like me, I have an European mortgage to pay.
Therefore I have had USD only rental contracts.
Anybody can decide whether to sign or not to sign....so, there is for me no excuse for breaking a contract that specifies it that clearly!
All users on this board knows that a dollar is not 5 peso but 8, basta!!!
If a tenant really has that difficult getting USD, I am more than sure that many landlords would accept pesos, (At the rate they can change the peso to a dollar at, which means 8 at the moment). I would have had not problem accepting pesos, if I would be able to buy my dollars/euros myself. Taking advantage of CFK sick measurements and justifying it to your own favor is just to cheap!!!!
Dont sign a USD rental contract if you dont have/can get dollars!!!!! I cannot buy a Hummer if I dont have money for petrol, or????

A little tip to other landlords in same boat: A lawyer told me to have in the contract USD or pesos at the official New York rate, (Close to blue). That would tricker international law over national law. That means that the right to pay in peso would be intact, but without screwing the landlord. (I am not a lawyer , so please dont hang me up on all this....consult with your own lawyers).
@Jaredberryman, there would be nothing wrong with this, as long as you stated that up front. There are plenty of rentistas or people who work remotely here or who have savings. If you have a Paypal account linked to your US bank, that would facilitate the transaction further.

I personally would not transfer any money to any landlord before leaving the country and seeing the property. And even then, I would want proof of payment of deposit and first month's rent WITHIN the country rental by way of receipt and to receive the keys at the MOMENT of the initial payment transfer. (Another friend of mine was screwed by an American landlord abroad when she paid first month's rent and a deposit for an apartment she was "shown" and when she showed up on moving day, there was a guy living there "confused" as to why she thought she could move into his apartment.) What I mean is, allowing a deposit and first month rent payment to be made in person in cash at the time of the contract and key exchange would insure the renter they weren't just transferring money to you with no rental service rendered and no retribution within the country in which the rental laws hold.

I think the unethical thing is when foreigners are forced to produce physical dollars in Buenos Aires without realizing up front that they may have to technically commit a crime in Argentina in order to buy the dollars to pay their rent!