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How to rent in Costa Rica

Acquiring a property immediately in Costa Rica may not be feasible for some foreigners. This may due to shortage of needed money to purchase some high-priced land or just the fact that they want to see first if the country is the place to stay once they retire.
Another feasible solution to this is renting a property in the country. A number of foreigners found this scenario more appealing because they don’t get to be tied down in one place in Costa Rica.

They can go around the country and settle in one place for a temporary amount of time.
This goes to show that it pays to be patient and not immediately jump on opportunities without knowing much about it. Some foreigners find Costa Rica to be very appealing on the first visit.
However, in less than a year, some of them decided to leave the country and return to their respective homelands. Based on a survey, about 40 percent returned to their homes within a year. This was attributed to homesickness or realization that they like staying in their homelands better. Another scenario is that they don’t have enough money to purchase a property and their rent pay keeps piling up. For property owners, they have no choice but to sell their homes in Costa Rica before they return to their respective homes abroad.
Another reason why some foreigners opt to rent properties in Costa Rica instead of purchasing one is the idea of saving an enormous amount of money. By renting, one’s horizon’s is further expanded because there’s no feeling of “being tied down” in one place. He or she can travel around Costa Rica without the feeling that he or she left the home unsecured.

With the aforementioned reasons, it may be a good idea to RENT a property like a condo or apartment in the city proper.

Tenants usually get the upper hand when it comes to Costa Rica’s rental laws. You can come up with a contract with the landlord (owner) to lease the place for a certain amount of time. Changes can’t be made by the landlord anytime when it comes to rates. The rates remain the same up to three years.
Rent increases are also not applicable once you make an agreement to pay the rent in dollars. If you pay in colones, there’s a possibility that the rates will be increased, depending on the inflation rates. As a foreigner, this will be an advantage since you do have dollars on your end.
If you happen to sign a three-year lease with the landlord, you are at liberty to come and go as you please without being fined a penalty. However, there’s a possibility that your security deposit won’t be returned.
The point in this scenario is that you do have the option to stay in a lush apartment or condo on a specific period of time without sacrificing too much like selling your properties in your homeland. It still leaves you the option to leave when the time comes.

The good thing about renting a property in the city proper (like condos and apartments) is that you are situated in an area that has great access to malls, hospitals and even beaches. However, if you plan not to live within the hustle and bustle of city life, you can always rent a property near the coast. However, vacation rentals don’t enjoy the same coverage in terms of agreements. There’s really no guarantee if you got a good bargain. You will just have to trust that the lender had good intentions at heart.
It is understandable the rental rates of vacation homes are more expensive than those in the city. This is attributed to the fact that these homes are mostly vacant for several months and are available during favorable seasons like summer. This explains the higher rates because owners are trying to recoup its possible losses for leaving the house vacant for most of the year. However, a longer term rental may be made between you and the owner and the price may be reasonable at best.

In terms of utilities, landlords are likely to disable to long-distance call capability of the phones once they entrust you the place. This is not a major problem since you can always buy prepaid phone cards that have the capacity to make international calls. If you do have a mobile phone, then this problem is not a big one.
To sum up, renting a house or apartment may not be a bad idea for you after all. It gives you the time to decide if you really want to move here. If you finally decide to settle in Costa Rica, then you can start looking for reasonably priced properties and have your stuff from your homeland sent to this Latin American country.