Renting a house can be a great way spend an extended vacation in Costa Rica or as a way to live in the country without buying property. Thanks to a popular real estate market, there is no shortage of rental houses anywhere in Costa Rica. The only tricky part is finding one that fits in your budget. With such a wide variety of houses, this usually isn’t a problem.
Starting the Search
Assuming you already have a location picked out, the first logical step is start researching listings and realtors in the area. A note about “realtors”: There is no such thing as a certified realtor in Costa Rica. It is simply a term used to describe people who can help you find a house to rent. When working with realtors, it is a good idea to ask around about their reputation. You will quickly find out if your chosen realtor is a trustworthy business person or not.
Many people start their rental search online because they have no other choice. This is a perfectly fine way to start the search, but shouldn’t be considered the only way. Many of the rental houses you will find online are placed on the web by expats who are more than likely charging higher prices than a local would.
Because of this, I recommend using the internet to find a house to use as your initial destination when you get into the country. Find a house thats to your liking and rent it for one month. Use this as your base camp to search out other rental houses in the area that aren’t listed online and are more likely to be cheaper than anything you have seen online.
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Advice on Renting
When paying the deposit for any rental house, try to pay with a secure method such as Paypal, credit card, or debit card. These methods will give you some added security should you pay the deposit and your realtor skip out on you.
You can try to have some sort of contract drawn up, but many private houses won’t have one. Not to mention that it is worth little in the grand scheme of things. Renters in Costa Rica have a number of rights by law, with or without a contract and these rights are something you should certainly look into.
Are you looking to buy a house? Check out our Costa Rica Real Estate Classifieds.