OK, I'm Having a Meltdown


Feb 12, 2009
First week in BA ...I'm looking for an apartment with my friend, who is from here, and we go to a rental agency where they want thousands in cash upfront and they talk amongst themselves ... (they forgot she understands Spanish) and it's unbelievable that they're skimming from both the apartment owner and me. I felt like going home today.
What pirates!

Does anyone know of an owner that could rent me an apartment? The rental agencies are a rip off!

Are you looking for a temporary apartment, or are you trying to rent an apartment on a two year lease?

For temporary apartments, the standard is that you will pay the amount of the lease up front. And yes, depending on how long you are going to be here (the longest legal temporary lease is 6 months) it couldb e thousands of dollars they are asking.

DON'T go to a real estate agent to lease a temporary apartment. There are MANY agencies you can find online that specialize specifically in renting out temporary apartments. In fact, I have two friends that are in the business, both from the US, and could help you if you were interested in that.

If you want a two-year lease it will be very very very difficult to do. If you can even get a real estate agent to tlak to you about renting as a foreigner (not easy to do) the best you will probably get from them is "we might be able to find an owner who won't require a guarantee, but they'll want you to pay the 24 months in advance, plus damage deposits."

Thing is, the way the law is here, it is very difficult to get someone out of an apartment if they don't pay the rent. It could take a couple of years of legal crap to actually evict someone.

What owners require here is to attach a property as a guarantee against damages and not moving out or not paying the rent. The rule is usally that the property you are using must belong to a relative and be in Capital Federal, although there is some negotiating room in there. My guarantee for the house I'm renting is actually an apartment of a friend, in Cordoba.

The last apartment I was in I sublet from a friend who had to return to the US. I managed to live there just about a year. He had to pay the entire 24 months rent in advance in lieu of a guarantee and when he went back, he wanted someone to take it over to recoup the last 12 months he couldn't use.

Before that, I lived in about 8 different temporary apartments over two years.
It is difficult ... I want to rent for five months only.,

Victoria, I went through the exact same thing!!

First the agent wanted 7.5% commission because I would only sign a one year. Then she said because I had no guarantee it would be for 6 months and 1 month commission. I offered to pay the entire year in full CASH and I thought we had a deal... A signed agreement, I left 600 pesos as a deposit only for her to come back the next day and say I would need to put a security deposit of 2 months! I told her that I didn't trust her, asked for my money back and ripped up the so called agreement in-front her colleagues!!

I was so pissed!! :mad:

I did find an apartment where I paid NO commission because it was direct from the owner. I paid 5 months in advance and 1 month security. I was also able to get a good deal because I agreed to a 1yr lease. I got $265USD off the rent each month.

The owner showed me 3 apartments across the street from Alto Palermo Shopping, all of which were new, just completed this year. Two were still empty as of Nov 1st.

The owners name is Magali she is super nice and speaks very good English.

Here is her contact info: +54 911 (15) 63358310 +54 11 4807 8277

Hope this helps and good luck :)

If you can work out something with iStar's contact, that would be excellent. In case the apartment is rented, or you can't come to a deal on a shorter term lease, here is an example of a reasonably reputable company that manages renting temporary apartments:


I used them quite a bit in 2007 and beginning of 2008. The worst case scenario is that you find an apartment for a couple of months, and then either move or try to make a deal in advance with the owner of the apartment you're in to sign another couple of months' lease after that.

It's part of not having been here awhile yet. It's sort of an initiation :) After awhile, you get the feel for how things are done, make contacts, find the right situation, etc. However, sometimes you get lucky, like possibly you might with iStar's contact and bypass some problems.
Thanks, everyone. I almost think it would be easier to buy something than to rent (I am joking).

How utterly Byzantine the rental agency's rules are ... like, yeh, I walk around in Buenos Aires with $3,000 in my purse to make things easier for you.

victoria said:
Thanks, everyone. I almost think it would be easier to buy something than to rent (I am joking).

How utterly Byzantine the rental agency's rules are ... like, yeh, I walk around in Buenos Aires with $3,000 in my purse to make things easier for you.


Victoria, I laughed when I read this, and please don't take it personally, because I wasn't laughing at you :)

As Lee so aptly stated, "Welcome to Argentina" (there Lee, you're not alone!).

I laughed at remembering how difficult it was to live a stable, non-shifting life, constantly worried about what my daily ATM limit was and when I had to have the wad of cash required for my next lease. Carrying suitcases down to the curb and getting a cab to install me in my next apartment. A lot of fun sometimes.

It gets better. There are plenty of things to enjoy here once you get rid of the anxiety about finding a place to live for awhile.