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Renting Property

Costa Rica - Renting Property

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Renting in Costa Rica is a good idea. Areas can be very different, often including small communities of expats, and it is wise to make sure you have a good fit before you buy. Some Realtors recommend 6 months to a year of renting before you decide to buy.

Here are some tips on finding a good rental property and the rental process:

- Ask friends and contacts - good property is often found through word of mouth.

- Check La Nacion classifieds - section called 'alquiler - casas' 'alquiler - apartamentos'.

- Look for signs in windows, 'se alquila' means 'For rent'.

- The Tico Times has good rentals in their classifieds, properties are more likely to have the amenities you expect and you can get information in English.

- Rental contracts are for 1 year. They may be renewed automatically and increase 15% per year if the price is in Colones.

- Prices are based on the location. In rural areas you can get a large house with a large yard for $500 per month, in more exclusive areas they will cost $3000.

- A security deposit ('deposito') is usually required, returned when you leave if everything is in good condition and if you have given written notice 30 days in advance.

- Utilities are generally separate, double check for phone service, if it is not advertised with a phone it probably won't have it.

- The rental law is very complete and specific. It offers good protection for the renter and property owner, some clauses may not be overridden even if the contract states otherwise.

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