Caution when collecting rental deposits!!!


Feb 20, 2006
I rented an apartment from ByT and as part of the rental agreement I had to pay a deposit up front. During my stay the landlady at this rental property on Santa Fe near Malabia claimed that the maid that she had contracted to clean both of our apartments had found and stolen the deposit money. She fired the maid and was complaining about how hard that it would be for her to recoup the money. When I was leaving I was relieved to see that she returned the money in full without a hassle. I am living in Quito, Ecuador now and I used the deposit money to pay for my new apartment. The next day after paying my landlady presents me with a notice which states that one of the $100 bills was counterfeited. Now the bank won't release the bill and I had to pay twice for the same service. Don't let this happen to you. Check your money carefully and it might even be a good idea to invest in one of those counterfeit detection pens. This is a hassle that you don't want to have to deal with believe me. Be aware that there are plenty of smiling "estafadores" in Buenos Aires waiting to take advantage.
there are plenty of honest people around for sure if youre lucky enough to find them, but ive been here 5 years, without boring you all with examples, i can tell you how ive never met any other people who can look you right in the eye and lie and lie like the argentines can. sometimes i dont even understand the point of the lie, its over something small. but im lied to all the time. they show no remorse or shame in general.
one of the first things you learn when you live in argentina, is to never trust anyone here. maybe that explains the freaked out frightened look in everyones eyes.
Does anyone recall hearing of the govt. rounding up a band of counterfeiters, i havent. the situation hasnt changed since 2001 when i got here. fake money all around and nothing done about it.
People, people please.
Watch your language here for some people ( those who love BsAs so much they do not want to hear the negative side of Argentina - OK so the US has its bad side too) tend to get the twitching of the eye, face turning red, clenching of the fist and the all time favorite- facial tick when they read these kind of language and talk. We will all be told to stop complaining, pack our bags and head to the hills. I tell you...any minute now.
That is truly awful what happened to you with your apartment in Buenos Aires! Yes, I have encountered truly bad situations however I am not going to say its all an " Argentina" problem. I have been ripped off many times in the U.S. There are many great things about living here just as there are bad, I guess its "buyer beware" for anything however, I am not going to be naive or live in fear either.
The American embassy recently sent a Citizen Service email with interesting tips. One was a suggestion that Americans who pay deposits in dollars record the serial numbers of each bill and then have the person with whom you are doing business sign the paper. The deposit must then be paid back with the very same notes. As for being cheated in the US, I can only say that I have never in my life received a counterfeit bill in the US.
Try to see if they accept Pay Pal ( payments so then when they have to give you your money back PayPal will credit your account and nobody touches any money or exchanges financial info. All you need to use pay pal is an email address.
Actually I did use Paypal but you have to remember two things. First, when using Paypal with ByT you are charged 4% of the transaction in order to transfer the funds. Your deposit still needs to be in the hands of the owner of the property during your stay so even if you pay online a check will be generated by ByT and the owner will receive cash. It is a real hassle for the owner to send this money back to you via Paypal (especially if they do not have a Paypal account which they usually don't) so when you leave the property they will turn right around and give you the money back in cash and you could wind up in the situation that I was in. As for people's respective opinions of the Argentine people that is a personal matter which each individual will base on their own experiences. I am just posting this because I have never in my life been passed a counterfeit bill and I wouldn't wish the situation that I went through on anyone else. The suggestion about copying the serial numbers and having the owner sign a statement seems like a good solution.