- Purchase the complete Expat Arrivals Argentina Guide (PDF)
Argentina offers a wide variety of properties for expats looking to buy or rent accommodation. From modern apartments in Buenos Aires to colonial-style houses in the countryside, there is something to suit every taste and budget. A recent decline in property prices makes it an opportune time for expats to invest in real estate.
While the process of buying or renting is relatively straightforward, expats should be aware of some challenges they may face. For example, navigating the legal requirements and paperwork can be daunting for those unfamiliar with the local language and customs. However, a reputable real-estate agent can provide valuable assistance in navigating legal requirements and paperwork.
Aside from the favourable real-estate market, Argentina has much to offer expats. The country boasts a rich cultural heritage, a vibrant arts scene and delicious cuisine. Additionally, the relatively low cost of living and the favourable exchange rate makes it an affordable destination for many expats.
Types of accommodation in Argentina
Argentina offers a diverse selection of accommodation options that cater to the varying tastes and needs of expats. The type of housing that expats can expect to find in Argentina will depend on their location and budget. Below are some different types of accommodation available in Argentina.
Expats who prefer to live in the city centre of Buenos Aires and other major cities will find high-rise apartments in modern buildings. These apartments come with a range of amenities such as swimming pools, gyms and 24-hour security. They are particularly popular among young professionals and expats who enjoy the convenience of having access to shops, restaurants and nightlife.
Those looking for more space and privacy may prefer to live in the suburbs. Large, stand-alone houses in residential areas are common in the suburbs of Buenos Aires and other cities in Argentina. They often come with gardens, swimming pools and garages and are particularly popular among families with children.
Colonial-style houses are common in older neighbourhoods. They typically feature high ceilings, large windows and intricate woodwork. They are popular among expats who prefer historic charm and character in their living spaces.
Gated communities are a popular choice among wealthy Argentinians and corporate expat employees. These communities offer a high level of security and privacy, with amenities such as swimming pools, tennis courts and golf courses. Gated communities are typically located on the outskirts of cities or in the countryside.
Expats who enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking, horseback riding and fishing may prefer to live in a country home. These types of properties are available across Argentina and range from comfortable family villas in hilly La Cumbre to Swiss-style chalets in Bariloche and even rustic homes in vineyards in Mendoza. Country homes offer a peaceful and serene lifestyle away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Furnished or unfurnished
Unfurnished rental properties in Argentina are usually devoid of furniture and household items but do include basic fixtures such as bathroom fittings and kitchen appliances. Renting an unfurnished apartment is a good option for long-term stays or those who have their own furniture. Although unfurnished rentals are typically cheaper than furnished rentals, tenants should keep in mind the cost of purchasing or renting furniture and household items.
Furnished rentals are more commonly found in expat areas and downtown locations in larger cities. These rentals typically come with furniture, appliances and basic household items such as linens and kitchenware. Furnished apartments vary in their level of furnishings but typically include essential items like a bed, sofa, table, chairs, refrigerator, oven and washing machine. In some cases, furnished apartments may have additional amenities such as internet access, cable TV and air conditioning. Renting a furnished apartment can be advantageous for expats or students staying for a short period as they don't have to worry about buying or transporting furniture.
Short-term rentals in Argentina are a popular choice for expats and typically range from a few days to several months, making them an ideal option for those who are only staying in Argentina for a limited period.
Besides furnished properties, there are also serviced apartments. These apartments are similar to furnished apartments, but they come with additional services such as cleaning and maintenance. Some serviced apartments also offer amenities such as swimming pools, fitness centres and 24-hour concierge services.
Short-term rentals can also be found through online platforms such as Airbnb or Booking.com, where tenants can rent out a room in someone's home or an entire apartment or house. This can be a convenient option for expats who prefer a more homely atmosphere or who are looking for a budget-friendly option.
Finding accommodation in Argentina
Finding accommodation in Argentina is generally not difficult, but it is made a more challenging process if expats do not speak any Spanish. There are property rental websites that publish listings in English, and local Spanish websites and newspapers can also be useful. It is vital for expats to look out for the monthly maintenance fee, which can add a significant amount to the rent.
Alternatively, expats can enlist the services of a real-estate agent, many of whom can speak English. These professionals will have a good idea of what's available to rent or buy, as well as being able to speak the language and therefore negotiate deposits and leases with the landlord. They will also have a comprehensive knowledge of the legal steps and fees associated with purchasing property. Expats should keep in mind, though, that real-estate agents typically charge a fee that ranges from 1 to 5 percent of the property's value or of the two-year lease, depending on the location and type of property.
Renting accommodation in Argentina
Renting accommodation in Argentina is not especially difficult anywhere in the country, but it's worth noting that expats may find it easier to navigate the rental process with the help of a reputable real-estate agent or apartment broker who caters for foreigners. These professionals can provide valuable assistance with finding suitable properties, negotiating lease terms and completing the necessary paperwork. They may also be able to provide information on additional rental requirements or restrictions, such as whether pets are allowed on the property.
It's common to negotiate rental prices in Argentina, especially for long-term leases. Expats should do research on comparable properties in the area and be prepared to make a counteroffer.
Expats in Argentina can rent property for short or long-term stays, with long-term leases lasting up to 10 years but usually being two years in duration. Expats should keep in mind that lease agreements in Argentina are strict, and early termination can result in financial penalties. When choosing between furnished and unfurnished accommodation, expats should note that furnished options are more commonly offered for short-term leases.
Landlords in Argentina may have different policies on pets in their rental properties, with some allowing pets under certain conditions while others don't allow them at all. Expats planning on bringing pets should check with their landlord and note that there may be additional fees or requirements, like deposits and vaccination certificates.
When looking for rental accommodation in Argentina, prospective tenants who are expats may be required to provide references and undergo background checks. These measures are typically used by landlords or real estate agents to verify that the tenant is reliable and trustworthy.
References are typically requested by landlords or agents and usually come from previous landlords, employers, or other individuals who can vouch for the tenant's character and reliability. Background checks may also be required, especially for long-term lease agreements. These checks can include credit checks, criminal history checks, and employment history verification.
When signing a lease in Argentina, landlords typically require tenants to pay one month's rent upfront as well as a security deposit. The security deposit is typically equal to one month's rent and serves as insurance against damage or unpaid bills at the end of the lease period. According to Argentine law, the deposit on the lease may not exceed one month's rent per year.
For long-term leases, expats will likely need a guarantor (garantía) who can take financial responsibility for any damage incurred by the tenant. This is typically someone who owns property in Argentina and can provide proof of income or assets. They co-sign the lease to ensure the lease will be paid in the case of a breach. If the tenant does not have a suitable guarantor, other options are available such as hiring a rental guarantee company or paying an additional deposit.
Terminating the lease
Terminating a lease in Argentina can be straightforward if the proper procedures are followed. Fixed-term leases usually end automatically, and terminating an open-ended lease requires giving the landlord written notice, with the notice period depending on the lease agreement.
Before vacating the property, the tenant must ensure that the property is in good condition and any damages have been repaired. The landlord inspects the property, and if there are no damages or outstanding bills, the landlord must return the full security deposit to the tenant within ten days of the termination of the lease.
Breaching the lease agreement can have legal and financial consequences, such as losing the security deposit or being sued for breach of contract.
Utilities in Argentina
Water, gas and electricity are the main utilities that tenants will need to set up. These services are provided by different companies depending on the area of the country, and tenants will need to contact the relevant company to set up an account. For the main utilities, tenants are often required to provide a deposit that is worth several months' utility bills.
- See Accommodation in Buenos Aires for the service providers in the capital.
Bin collection and rubbish disposal are typically the responsibility of the local municipality, and tenants will need to check with their landlord or the municipality to find out when and how to dispose of waste. In some cases, tenants may be required to pay a fee for rubbish collection services.
Instead of a council tax, there is an annual property tax based on the value of the property, which is usually paid by the landlord.
Telephone, internet and cable services are available in most areas of the country, and several providers exist. Some of the most popular providers include Telecom Argentina, Telecentro, Claro and Movistar. Tenants will need to contact the provider directly to set up an account and arrange for installation.
Buying property in Argentina
Foreigners have the right to purchase both property and land in Argentina. Expats should note that the finer details can differ between provinces. In Patagonia, for example, there are restrictions on foreigners buying real estate. This applies particularly to property located close to the Chilean border.
In most areas, a residence visa is unnecessary to purchase land or property. That said, expats wishing to move permanently to Argentina with household effects must pay a Customs Bond and a yearly ‘guarantee’ on the goods until they have a permanent residence visa.
Before purchasing a property, one needs to obtain a Clave de Identificación (tax ID). It is also necessary that non-residents appoint an Argentinian representative to pay the property tax for them. Once the property's purchase price has been agreed on, the buyer is expected to pay a boleto or a deposit, which is generally around 30 percent of the purchase price. The property purchase process typically lasts between one and two months.
►Learn more about finding the perfect home in Accommodation in Buenos Aires.
"If you have the time to search a little, there are so many great apartments at a fraction of the cost of city living in Toronto. Some solid advice, is to book an Airbnb for a few weeks; they are crazy cheap compared to other big cities. Settle in and see if you like the apartment, the neighbourhood or take this time to look for other options." Read about Amelia, a Canadian expat, and her experience living in Argentina.
Are you an expat living in Argentina?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Argentina. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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