As I am helping a friend to find the perfect home for her family here in Costa Rica, I am reminded of just how important it is to have a good landlord.
Today's blog is just a quick tip I wanted to pass along re renting and landlords in Costa Rica.
It is very important to vet your landlord as much as possible. It's hard to determine how much information you can find out, especially if you are renting from afar. See if you can find other people who have rented from this person and what experiences they had. Was the landlord responsive to their needs and /or requests to fix problems? Does he/she treat the tenants fairly? Are there any rules or special circumstances that you need to know about BEFORE you move in? Once you're in it may be hard to get things done especially if the landlord lives in another town, city or country. Just do the best you can to find out as much as you can. You will be renting a house or apartment in another country where the rules, the language and process may be quite different from what you experienced back in the states.
Remember your rental contract/agreement should stipulate paying your rent in US dollars this gives you more protection as the renter (if the rent for housing is agreed in US dollars or other foreign currency, no yearly increase is allowed. A rent increase is allowed only in cases of agreements in colones, the Costa Rican currency). Also in Costa Rica the law favors the renter and not the landlord as it does in the states so you have that on your side as well.
The other morning, we were outside hanging out with our landlord and listening to music from his car radio as he replaced some lights around the outside of the house and tested the security system for us. He came by on his day off.
We feel fortunate to have found such a thoughtful, responsive (and funny) landlord. We practice a little Spanish, he practices his English, and he's just an all around good guy. We've been here for 16 months now, so I can pretty much say that for sure!! Of course he still doesn't understand why on earth we want screens on our windows, so he's not perfect But other than that, we're good!
In today's short 1 minute clip below, he is telling us all about the 1st thing you need to decide on when you are looking for a house in Costa Rica (and the best place to live if you want to party!!!)