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Property LettingBack to top Back to main Skip to menu
Panama - Property Letting
The landlord has the right to ask for a security deposit which is usually the equivalent of a month’s rent. The landlord collects this and passes it to the Ministry of Housing. The tenant can claim this back when they leave the property unless the landlord has a claim on it for monies owed or for damage caused by the tenant. The lease on a property can be of any length and agreed between the landlord and the tenant. The tenant can terminate the contact by simply giving 30 days notice and the tenant also has the right to have the contract extended if required if the contract falls under Law 93.
Many people will opt to find a property to rent through an estate agent. If you choose to rent out your property through an estate agent there are several advantages. They will take care of a number of issues, such as finding a tenant for you, dealing with the lease, management of the property and dealing with any issues that the tenant might have. You will have to pay them a commission which will be a percentage of the rent collected and this will vary between different agents. The management agent may be able to deal with a wide range of issues including organizing maintenance. You may be able to negotiate a lower commission to the agent if you agree to a long term contract with them.
Landlords are expected to pay tax on any income they earn from renting out property. There are deductions for any expenses that a landlord will normally have to pay and these include any fees paid to the management agent, insurance and real estate tax.
Those who choose to let properties can do so furnished or unfurnished. Unfurnished can mean anything from completely empty to only floor coverings and curtains or kitchen appliances. Furnished will usually mean everything apart from luxury items such as televisions and gadgets. However, many of the new apartment buildings which are being aimed at the buy to let market will include many luxury items in an attempt to attract potential renters.
In these developments the rental price may include the cost of utilities, cable television, internet access and cleaning services. This is mainly applied to serviced apartments and may also include linens. This type of rental is usually aimed at business persons, as it means that they do not have to worry about organizing any of their own furniture. It is also a popular option for wealthy expats who are retiring to the country.
Most landlords will not include cleaning services in the contract. Tenants will be expected to make their own arrangements. In a shared apartment building where there are communal areas the landlord will be expected to pay annual maintenance charges but for cleaning inside the apartment the tenant will need to hire a maid or do it themselves.
Property exchange is not a system that is used in Panama. Most tenants will not just swap with each other but will simply terminate their contract and find a new place to live.
Anybody can let a property in Panama. An estate agent will need to have a license but this is not necessary for those who are renting property out themselves. If the landlord is letting the property themselves they need to be aware of responsibilities. Most contracts will specify the time allowed before any repairs must be carried out, usually a minimum of 24 hours from the time the problem is reported. If the work is not carried out to the satisfaction of the tenant then the tenant has the right to withhold rent, report the landlord to the local authority or leave the property with no notice period.
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