Thursday, May 12 2022

Lucia M. looking for an apartment to rent over two months ago. In his pilgrimage, he found everything. Sometimes, when he’s waiting in line to see a unit he thinks is suitable, they come out to tell him it’s already been booked. In others they do unusual input requestshow to fix a Commercial contract for a house that does not respect the annual increases.

The case of Lucía M. is not unique. Each time is harder find apartments for rent and the commands become demanding and unexecutable. Units began to proliferate first. in dollarsespecially in the trendy neighborhoods. Then the indexations more and more short (quarterly for example) and outside the law.

It has been at least five months since the government started promising amendments, suspensions or repeals of the tenancy law. The debate has started in Congress, but has not yet made any concrete progress. Meanwhile, the road for tenants continues to get more chaotic and costly.

The situation in some of the most popular neighborhoods in Buenos Aires is so complicated that there are units that ask for a password before even going to see the apartmentas Tomás Z., a tenant from the interior who wanted to move to the federal capital in recent months, recalls.

Rentals. (Photo: Eliana Obregón/mcl/Télam).

Rent houses with commercial contracts?

The “new” trend is request the closure of commercial contracts to avoid the annual increase -and be able to do it every six months- and so that the real estate agencies can collect commission of both parties, confirms Gervasio Muñoz, of Inquilinos Agrupados.

By law 5859, In the city of Buenos Aires, tenants do not have to pay real estate commissions or report management fees. Likewise, the maximum amount of commission that can be charged to owners is 4.15% of the total value of the respective contract.

If the accommodation is rented under a commercial contract, explains Muñoz, this rule can be circumvented. In the case of Lucía M., the explanation she was given -and she was outraged- for this request was that “some apartments are used as home office”, referring to the modality of telecommuting that has become popular during the quarantine.

In cases where the property is suitable for professionals, the owners specify that the annual increase system does not apply and that there may be downloads every six months, ”they pointed out to this media of the Union of tenants.

(Photo: Telam)
(Photo: Telam)For: Eli Obregon

On the other hand, and less new, many units have update systems outside the law, pointed out in the Tenants’ Union, “with landlords who make every account that gives more than the published index by the Central Bank. this clue -the LCI- combines the future of inflation and wages.

Apartments for rent, increasingly dollarized

The world of rental is increasingly heterogeneous. the offer it has been reduced to 32% in two years since the rental law was approved, according to Maure Inmobiliaria. The rule has discouraged landlords from renting out their units due to lengthy contracts and the ICL, which does not guarantee they have Return positive real (above inflation), in addition to being Annual and no half-yearly.

The few dwellings that remain are expensive, they require unattainable guarantees or payment in dollar “ticket” of rent or deposit. The demands are also unusual: from guarantors in certain districts of the federal capital to the signing of promissory notes for the increases planned over three years.

Rentals and lack of control: the most unusual requirements in the midst of a drop in supply

“One owner wanted to increase in dollars based on US inflation year over year. I replied that we were in Saavedra, not in Fort. Lauderdale,” recalls another tenant who preferred to remain anonymous.

According to Muñoz, the dance projects in Congress that go repeal or amendment of tenancy law they want to leave freedom in the indexation of contracts, and even shorter contracts, up to six months. “They want the real estate market to decide everything,” he denounces.

Lay down the law, lay down the trap, and there are thousands of tenants who still haven’t been able to sign contracts under the tenancy law as it stands and would rather agree to terms – although they are now illegal – in order to have a roof over their heads.

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