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Renting a Property in Costa Rica

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Renting a Property in Costa Rica

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Renting a property Costa Rica is bound by law that is somewhat different from that of other countries. The landlord/ tenant relationship in Costa Rica is regulated by Law 7527 also known as  “Ley General de Arrendamientos Urbanos y Suburbanos”. This law covers everything that pertains to lease or renting agreements relating to residential and commercial buildings and other constructions that can be leased out. Law 7527 does not cover or regulate hotel rooms or bungalows, car parks, or company housing for employees.

It is the norm for landlord to have terms and conditions which the tenant agrees to before taking possession of the apartment, although it is not required by law, it is advisable to have this terms and condition in a written form.  In many cases, the agreement will contain clauses that cover termination, guarantee deposit, payment of utilities, improvements, repairs, inspections and notices, among others.

Renting or Leasing a Property

Renting or leasing a property in Costa Rica is governed by certain rules. They are stated below:

The term of lease is one year at minimum. Where the tenant wishes to terminate the rent before this stipulated period, he or she must present a three month notice to the landlord prior to the agreed termination date. Also the term of lease is renewed automatically when it expires, but if the landlord wishes to terminate the lease he or she ought to provide a three month prior notice to the tenant prior to the agreed date of termination.

If the rent is fixed in local currency (colones) it is subject to yearly increment irrespective of the kind of building (residential or commercial), otherwise if the rent is fixed in dollars or in any other foreign currency, yearly increments are permitted only for commercial buildings. 

A receipt for the rent should be requested for as an important proof of payment, as well as proof of the contractual relationship between the landlord and tenant.

Deposit

A deposit is required to provide security which is to cover damages to the property, unpaid utility bills and other needful settlement. Rent payments or any other obligations of the tenant are agreed between the landlord and tenant. Landlords usually request a deposit which is equivalent to one or two months of agreed rent.

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