Learning Uruguay

Every day brings ????

Renting an apartment in Pocitos

Posted by urufish on May 24, 2007

We started a search for a one bedroom apartment on Sunday.  It had to be a one bedroom within 4 blocks of where we live and with 24 hour porteria.  We used the Gallito as our starting point.  Within minutes, we had 3 or 4 apartments circled. 

My wife and her friend did all the legwork.  They called and made appointments yesterday and this morning.  After they looked at the 4, they decided on one that was exactly what we were looking for.  It was one block away.  Perfect…

When they said they wanted it, the person representing the owner said there were 3 others in line ahead of them.  They believe him because when they were there, another 2 groups were waiting to see it.  It must be a popular block.  So we asked them what it would take to get to the front of the line.  After some negotiating, we agreed to present an offer to rent to the owner in which we paid the rent up front for the year.  We got that idea from someone who rented an apartment from us last year.  As an owner, it appealed to us.  No hassle collecting the rent. 

The next step was to prepare the offer.  You need to satisfy the owner on 4 points.  That you really exist (copies of your cedulas fulfill this requirement).  That you are a land baron, like the owner.  You pledge a property as a guarantee that you will fulfill the rental contract.  That you make enough money to pay the rent, (seems a bit silly when you pay the year up front – but this is Uruguay).  You have your escribano swear that your income is such and such.  What such and such should be is anyone’s guess.  We came up with a figure they should be happy with.  Not the U$S500l/month required for immigrants :).   And lastly, you have to sign the ‘proposal to rent’ agreement they provide you with.  This lays out the details of what you’re proposing to rent.  It includes things like you’re going to pay for the electricity, telephone, gastos comunes.  It also describes what you get or dont get.  In our case, it was mostly no’s.  No garage.  No heat.  No air conditioning.  No stove.  No fridge.  No furniture.  In fact the only thing we did get was an electric water heater.  That was nice of them. 

Now we have given that to the owner’s agent and are patiently waiting to see if we’ve been approved. 

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6 Responses to “Renting an apartment in Pocitos”

  1. Lisa said

    regarding “You need to satisfy the owner on 4 points. That you really exist (copies of your cedulas fulfill this requirement). That you are a land baron, like the owner. You pledge a property as a guarantee that you will fulfill the rental contract. ”

    Seems odd to be required to show that you own land or property in order to rent? What if you don’t own real estate in UY… can you still rent?

  2. urufish said

    This is something that my language (or lack thereof) leaves me with more questions than answers. My wife’s best friend ownes a few properties in Piriapolis. For summer rentals, she just looks people over and asks for a deposit up front. But for her long term, like 1-2-3 year rentals, she demands a guarantee of property. She tells me it’s standard practice here. My escribano tells me that too. So does our lawyer and accountant.
    I’m from NA too. I cant believe many (if any) northerners rent and own properties at the same time. So it does seem unbelievable that you need to pledge a property here as a renter – but you do..
    If you’re readinng other posts, you’ll notice that Uruguayans dont leave home (to get married – usually not just move out) until the’re late 20’s and early 30’s. It’s not uncommon to find married couples living with parents. Why? Because of this – and the low salaries you get when you’re young and starting out (if you’re lucky).
    So when someone does move out and want to rent there are a few options. One, they’ve got parents with property who trust the kids, (a significant minority dont). Two, there are companies that will make a guarantee for you – like a bondsman. Expensive… Three, you work for a company that will do the guarantee for you directly or through their financial organization. I believe government employees have this. A policeman offering to rent an apartment from my friend had the police department, through a credit union or something like that, post his guarantee. And lastly, the company or organization you work for has a stature that the dueno finds acceptable. This happened to us. An employee of the Peruvian embassy wanted to rent our apartment and we were prepared to accept a guarantee from the embassy on her behalf.

    If you cant provide any of the above, you automatically are barred from renting a nice apartment in a decent area. I would suspect that it would be a rare situation indeed where you can rent an apartment in Pocitos without a guarantee.

    For ex-pats, this could be an interesting situation. How could one satisfy this guarantee coming from out of town. I suspect Uruguayans assume all Americans, Canadians, Australians, etc are loaded and probably dont insist on the guarantee, or will accept an alternative arrangement.

  3. urufish said

    Yesterday, we had a surprise and a new development. The surprise was a visit from the owner at the front door of our house. She wanted to check us out. Find out who was renting the apartment. She agreed to our proposal verbally, (nothing in writing yet). When we asked her if she’d accept a cheque for the first 6 months, she said she’d rather have cash.

  4. urufish said

    Always something new. You dont have to pledge a property for your guarantee. You can go to a ‘professional guarantor’ and he will pledge for you. You just need to pay him a few bucks for the priviledge.. like around $18K pesos. Think of it as a term insurance policy. One wrinkle with this. Many landlords know who these guarantors are and may refuse to rent to you anyway.

  5. urufish said

    Yesterday, the owner called to ask to speak to me. Our friend told her I dont speak Spanish. I’m getting the feeling this peson is a whackjob…. Tomorrow we meet to finally see the lease and if it’s OK, to sign it and give her 6 months up front in cash… that means a trip to the bank for me.

  6. […] listed with more than one real estate agent and/or is in the classified section of the paper. The asking price may vary from one place to the other, as the owner may be trying to establish the market rate for the […]

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