Finding an apartment in Buenos Aires can be somewhat of a challenge, especially as it’s the second largest metropolis in South America. There are a ton of things you should know before you rent an apartment in Buenos Aires, and we’ve tried our best to help address some of those here.
Here are some tips on how to rent an apartment in Buenos Aires.
1. Pick a neighborhood in Buenos Aires
There are tons of barrios in Buenos Aires, some cheaper than others. Do some exploring on your own before you commit.
Many expats enjoy Palermo, with its trendy vibe and plethora of pricy boutiques, while others feel more at home in San Telmo, which is less expensive, full of artisans, students and locals.
We also love Recoleta, which reeks of old-world aristocratic Buenos Aires with large green parks and a famous cemetery.
Grab a map, hit the streets and wander until you find a neighborhood where you’d want to rent an apartment.
Creating a budget will also help narrow down your list of options – people I knew in Buenos Aires were paying anywhere between $250 – $600 USD a month to rent rooms.
The peso has not been very stable over the years, so depending on what year and what month you’re trying to rent an apartment in Buenos Aires, expect the price to oscillate from $600-$1200.
2. Check Craigslist Listings
Aside from meeting a local Argentine who knows of an open apartment, Craigslist – Buenos Aires is your best bet.
It’s much easier to move into a shared apartment with people looking to fill a room than find your own place, and if you’re traveling alone, this can be a great way to meet people.
Almost every expat I knew found their apartment on this forum. Crazy right?
This makes it easy to start your search before you land in B.A. I also found my job on Craigslist while I was living in Buenos Aires… just sayin’.
3. Ask around at your hostel
Chances are you will be staying in a hostel or other shared living situation before moving into your apartment. If you’ve backpacked before, you know that people who work in hostels usually have inside tips on all kinds of topics.
Pick their brain. Ask around.
And if that fails, join the BA Expats Forum and post the question to those knowledgeable folks.
If nothing else, you will discover tons of information about expat life, events you can attend and lots of other interesting stuff – like where to get the best Brazilian wax or which is the best live music venue in the city.
4. Try to Live Close to a Subte Stop
Living close to a subte stop is ideal for navigating B.A. It would also be beneficial for you to get a bus route schedule and learn how to use it. The buses run often and are more pleasant to ride during the humid summer months.
5. Make friends with your landlord
Make nice with your landlord, even if you have to get a translator. When I first moved into my apartment in Palermo, there was a crack in the bathroom tile. I made a note of it, but my landlord tried to take it out of my deposit.
After much haggling and detailed emails in Spanish, we came to a civilized agreement on how to repair the damage, though this wasn’t easy.
Speak to them on move-in day about what repairs need to be taken care of. They hold the purse strings when it comes to your deposit, and I’ve heard many-a-horror story about getting that money back!
6. Pay in Pesos
Many renters will require that you pay your rent in US dollars rather than the local currency. It’s not impossible to find an ATM or caja that will let you take out dollars, but it is annoying, especially if your bank has a cap on how much money you can withdraw a day.
7. It might be more expensive for you
If you can’t speak Spanish, I highly suggest you learn before trying to move to Buenos Aires. Speaking the language is a critical part of how to rent an apartment in Buenos Aires, and will help you to get a better deal. Unfortunately, if you are foreign and your landlord knows it, the price will be more expensive for you.
If you can’t speak Spanish, try to ask a local friend to negotiate on your behalf. If you can prove that you are earning income in pesos, you might be able to land a better rent deal.
If you are earning income in dollars, then you should expect to pay in dollars.