Jul
22
2009

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Renting Buenos Aires Apartments – ‘what is the deal?’

What a view! Recoleta Apartments Buenos Aires

Renting Buenos Aires Apartments ‘what is the deal?’

There is no doubt that Buenos Aires Apartments for vacation or a business stopover are much better value than comparable hotel rooms or suites.

Buenos Aires Apartments – Versus – Buenos Aires Hotels

A cost and space comparison:

Deluxe Suite Four Seasons Buenos Aires Stay Apartment
100 SQM overlooking Avenue 9 Julio 120 SQM view of St. Francis Garden Square, Basilica de Pillar, Recoleta
$7,000 US Dollars Per week $1,750 US Dollars Per Week

Buenos Aires Stay ‘tells it like it is’ and discusses the pluses and minuses associated with renting Buenos Aires apartments versus Buenos Aires hotels and conclude that to rent in Buenos Aires is not for everyone, but during the coming months economic uncertainty might change travelers views – ‘we may all need to watch the pennies!’

The Buenos Aires vacation rentals industry has grown substantially over the last five years.  At last count, we found nearly 547, 000 Google listings advertising or related to the search phrase ‘rent vacation apartments Buenos Aires’ but few websites compete directly against Buenos Aires Stay, and expat owned and managed business with an enviable range of services are unrivalled by local providers.

The vacation rentals industry is generally professional and service is better than 2002 when we first rented apartments in Buenos Aires and found it cheap, but a real headache.  Without regulation, market forces and competition has meant that both the quality of apartments and the companies that sell them have improved enormously.

Always research your agency of choice on the internet and read their Apartment Rental Terms & Conditions – VERY CAREFULLY.  Make sure that rents are final, and when you check-in, should the apartment not be as advertised the agency state clearly that you get a comparable apartment or your money back.  Again, if something should go wrong during your stay, make sure your agent has a published complaints procedure.  These points are just, if not more important, as the Buenos Aires apartments you select.

From time to time, every company has the odd problem and vacation apartments are not unlike our own homes and not without the odd hitch – how agents deal with those unforeseen occurrences, sorts the good from the bad.  It is important to add that third party service provision, anything the property owner or agents cannot control is unreliable and time consuming to resolve, so apartments are not for those who demand immediate resolutions or people who expect to move immediately an insect pays them a visit, the internet fails, or they suffer a power cut on their street.  If you want hotel style care – go to a hotel and pay for the privilege.

Staying in a Buenos Aires hotel

We all know what hotels provide so we will not dwell long in this subject.  Generally, when you buy a hotel room, you are buying brand familiarity that is well constructed, well decorated, a cleanly furnished ‘clone’ with familiar rules and the security that if something goes wrong, the hotel will fix it immediately or move you to another room.  Your room is cleaned everyday and linens and towels replaced and as if magic, and all is well again when you come home to change or climb into bed –bliss?  Not for everyone, some of us find hotels ‘same-ole’ and value our home comforts – access to their favorite food direct from the fridge, home cooked meals, anonymity and privacy.  The other problem in South America is categorization (apart from known chains) we have stayed in hotels four and five stars hotels and found them lacking.  Stars are just stars and can mean very little and the promise of everything going according to plan is not always the case in a $500 to $1000 USD a night hotel – we know, we see the fall-out. However, there is no doubt that both your personal and property security are generally good and you benefit from room service, internet, mini-bar, sometimes a health club, sometimes a pool, and a concierge.  Most important to many people in the current economic climate is that you can use the old ‘plastic’ to pay from your dream holiday and face the music later.  Tried and tested, but not without their problems, not least the cost being $500 to $1000 a night for the basic suite, the luxury hotel is fast losing ground in Buenos Aires and apartments are the vacationers number one choice, especially for a longer term Buenos Aires Stay.  If you are prepared to foot the bill, some apartments have all the services of a first class hotel and more – cook, servants, chauffeur, and bodyguard – it is all available you  – reserva[at]buenosairesstay.com. What is for sure, you will have change from renting a comparable hotel suite.

However, there is no doubt that both your personal and property security are generally good and you benefit from room service, internet, mini-bar, sometimes a health club, sometimes a pool, and a concierge.  Most important to many people in the current economic climate is that you can use the old ‘plastic’ to pay from your dream holiday and face the music later.  Tried and tested, but not without their problems, not least the cost being $500 to $1000 a night for the basic suite, the luxury hotel is fast losing ground in Buenos Aires and apartments are the vacationers number one choice, especially for a longer term Buenos Aires Stay.  If you are prepared to foot the bill, some apartments have all the services of a first class hotel and more – cook, servants, chauffeur, and bodyguard – it is all available you reserva[at]buenosairesstay.com. What is for sure, you will have change from renting a comparable hotel suite.

Rent Buenos Aires Apartments

There are some negatives that detract from the offer of a home-from-home, at a fraction of the cost of a hotel and we think it prudent to point out those negatives to potential clients.

When you rent Buenos Aires apartments, you normally complete your reservation with a rental apartment agent that provides a shop-front for hundreds of private property owners who sell rental apartments for short-term vacation rental or holiday lets.  Apartments can range from budget apartments for less than US$300 each week to luxury apartments that range from US$500 to US$5000 dollars a week.  There are no hard and fast rules as property owners set their own rents in Buenos Aires, and the quality differences can be extreme, even in the same price bracket – that is why we feel that choosing the right property consultancy is essential.  Does your agency have a Buenos Aires apartment criterion?  Does your agency inspect all apartments before listing them and can you request another inspection before you check-in?  Ask! Buenos Aires Stay has a very competitive administrative and reservation  fee and some of the lowest Buenos Aires rents on the market, you pay a slightly higher administration charge if you request an pre-vacation-inspection, but Buenos Aires Stay answers YES to all the above.

One thing you can be sure of, budget means budget.  Clients should not expect to pay US$150 to $300 dollars a week and demand luxury – you get better than hostel/hotel accommodation of the same price bracket, but most importantly, you have privacy, fresh sheets and towels once a week, your own bathroom, and often a weekly cleaning service.  That is good value – if you want more, you have to pay more – you get what you pay for!

Buenos Aires is a society based on cash where credit runs at the national average of 10%, people avoid banks, and they do not trust them.

The US dollar and bricks and mortar are still king, all rents are charged in US Dollars.  When you rent Buenos Aires apartments, expect to pay at least 10% to 30% of rent as a down payment in advance to confirm your reservation and the balance of the rent and security deposit of 1 to 6 weeks in dollars on arrival.

Some reasonable owners will let you pay a security deposit in home currency to save on exchange costs, or allow Buenos Aires Stay to hold the security deposit (Buenos Aires Stay has banking facilities in various currencies).

However, owners do insist on cash and carrying so much cash makes many people concerned and most certainly accounts for 80% of our clients who decide to book hotels instead of renting apartments.  Complaints are – ‘I do not want to carry cash’, and, ‘will I get my security deposit back?’, and ‘what if,’ clearly these type of folks do better in a hotel and we tell them so.

This brings us nicely to our next important point – the tenancy agreement.

When you pay your rent and security deposit, you sign a ‘vacation apartment rental agreement’ with the property owner, you enter into a legally binding agreement for the duration of your tenancy with the property owner, with clauses that clearly tell both parties their obligations.  You cannot breach or change that agreement after you sign.

We have to change tack a little here as we can only speak for ourselves.

Before you check into a Buenos Aires Stay apartment we can inspect your apartment and we have a check-in compliance procedure that achieves two things, 1/ it demonstrates that you viewed and like your apartment and it is as advertised, and 2/ we have fulfilled our service promise.

Buenos Aires Stay provides 24/7 support to our clients via our Buenos Aires concierge team and we use best endeavors to help clients resolve any complaints within 24 hours.  Of course, we will move our clients should there be a problem that makes their chosen apartment uninhabitable.  Please read our Apartment Rental Terms and Conditions.

We have a complaints procedure and free mediation service for both tenants and property owners, fortunately, we have a good bunch of property owners and problems are few and far between.

So there you have it! Renting Buenos Aires Apartments are not for everyone – but at least now you can make an informed decision and Buenos Aires Stay can help you find Buenos Aires apartments for rent or make hotel reservations – need more information email – reserva[at]buenosairesstay.com.

Buenos Aires Apartments -versus- Buenos Aires Hotels

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2 Comments »

  • Roberto says:

    Your view on renting apartments is very interesting and provides some comfort. The cash element of the transaction has always bothered me and made me use a hotel for each of my recent trips to BA. Do any of us trust the banking system anymore? If the economic situation in Argentina gets any worse do you think that another corralito is a possible?

    • Jock says:

      We hope for the sake of our very good Argentine friends that they do not have to face the terrible prospect of another Corralito. It is very difficult to judge the exact economic position of Argentina because of poor reporting standards. However, we remain optimistic, but have learnt to, ‘never say never’ in Argentina.
      Things are tough and might get worse before they get better, we would hope that Argentina uses this uncertain period to pressure creditors (especially those hold-outs from the last default) to swap debt and Argentina might avoid further default and can re-enter the global market. To achieve this, creditors must see some transparency and better quality economic indicators coming from Government sources.
      We must add, we believe Argentina will find economic success and stability during the next decade. Our owners are known to us and 100% trustworthy. We would list over 2000 apartments if prepared to deal with the more difficult types.

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