- Download our Moving to Buenos Aires Guide (PDF)
Accommodation in Buenos Aires is plentiful, ranging from serviced apartments and short-term rentals to villas available for purchase. Most expats who move to Buenos Aires prefer renting accommodation near the city centre. Expats who are in Argentina for longer, however, often decide to buy property.
Most expats choose to live in the upmarket, more expensive areas of Buenos Aires, so those wanting to live near other expats may have to come to terms with high rental prices.
Areas and suburbs in Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires offers a variety of areas and suburbs that cater to expats seeking a comfortable and culturally diverse lifestyle. Buenos Aires is a city of contrasts, and each neighbourhood has its unique flavour, making it an exciting place for expats to explore and find their perfect home. The most popular suburbs of Buenos Aires for expats are Palermo, Recoleta, Belgrano and San Telmo.
Palermo is known for its trendy cafés, restaurants and boutiques. Its tree-lined streets and parks offer a peaceful retreat from the bustling city, while its nightlife is a magnet for young professionals. On the other hand, Recoleta is a more upscale option, home to high-end boutiques and gourmet restaurants. This neighbourhood boasts stunning architecture, including the famous Recoleta Cemetery, and is known for its cultural offerings, such as the Museum of Fine Arts. For those seeking a family-friendly atmosphere, Belgrano offers spacious apartments and houses, excellent schools and a relaxed atmosphere. With its leafy streets, green spaces and proximity to the city centre, Belgrano is a sought-after destination for expats with children.
Read more about the Best Areas and Suburbs for Expats in Buenos Aires.
Types of accommodation in Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires offers a variety of accommodation options for expats, ranging from traditional apartments to unique and quirky options.
One unique type of accommodation is the casa chorizo. These houses are typically long and narrow, with rooms arranged linearly with a connecting patio on one of the long sides. They were built in the late 19th and early 20th centuries to accommodate growing families in a relatively small amount of space. Casa chorizo houses typically feature traditional architectural details such as wrought-iron balconies, wooden shutters and decorative mouldings.
PH (propiedad horizontal) apartments are a type of condominium unique to Buenos Aires and other parts of Argentina. These apartments were initially conceived as a way of subdividing large houses or mansions into smaller, more affordable apartments, but they are popular, with many modern buildings being constructed in this way. PH buildings typically feature high ceilings, large windows and a central courtyard or garden shared by the residents. Each apartment in a PH building has its own private entrance from the street, and residents own their individual units but share ownership of the common areas.
Other popular options include modern apartments in high-rise buildings, shared apartments and short-term rentals such as Airbnb. With such a range of accommodation types, expats will find a home that suits their preferences and budget in Buenos Aires.
Finding accommodation in Buenos Aires
Expats should do some research on accommodation before moving to Buenos Aires. Finding accommodation in the city can be easy thanks to the availability of online resources, newspaper classifieds and real-estate agents. Still, expats should put in the time and effort to do their own research and stay vigilant of scams.
Airbnb has become a popular website for short-term rentals. Other good sources for listings are La Nacion and Clarin, both of which are daily newspapers in Argentina. Online platforms such as MercadoLibre and ZonaProp are popular for finding apartments and houses for rent, while Facebook groups and local classifieds can also be valuable resources.
Despite these resources, the best way for expats to find long-term accommodation in Buenos Aires is often through an estate agent. Estate agents have access to the best listings and can help expats secure accommodation, whether to purchase or rent. For expats who do not speak Spanish, having the assistance of an estate agent can also be very useful.
Renting accommodation in Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires is a vibrant and cosmopolitan city that attracts a lot of expats and students. When it comes to the rental market in Buenos Aires, expats should be prepared for some differences compared to other countries. One of the most notable differences is that leases are typically signed for two years, with the possibility of renewal.
Prospective tenants in Buenos Aires may need to provide references and undergo background checks to verify their reliability and trustworthiness.
Making an application
Landlords typically require a guarantor, known as a garantía, who must be a resident of Buenos Aires and provide proof of income. This can be a challenge for expats who do not have a local network, but some services can provide a guarantor for a fee. Another difference is that many properties come unfurnished, so expats should be prepared to invest in furniture and appliances if necessary.
Leases and deposits
Long-term leases typically last for up to 10 years but are usually for two years. Early termination can result in financial penalties, and landlords may have different policies regarding pets in their rental properties.
Landlords in Buenos Aires typically require tenants to pay one month's rent upfront and a security deposit equal to one month's rent. Guarantors or additional deposits may be required for long-term leases.
Read Accommodation in Argentina for more on renting accommodation and the rental process in the country.
Tenants in Buenos Aires need to set up water, gas, and electricity accounts with the relevant companies, and some may require a deposit. Bin collection and rubbish disposal are typically the responsibility of the local municipality.
There are several utility companies in Buenos Aires, including Aguas y Saneamientos Argentinos (AySA) for water and sewage, Metrogas for natural gas, and Edenor and Edesur for electricity. These companies have online portals that allow customers to set up accounts, pay bills and manage their services online.
Customers must provide their identification documents, proof of address, and sometimes a deposit to set up utility services. Some companies may require a contract to be signed, while others may offer services on a pay-as-you-go basis. It is advisable to check each company's specific requirements to ensure a smooth process.
►For information about the cost of daily living in Buenos Aires see Cost of Living in Buenos Aires
"The important thing to note is that some of the cheaper options for apartments are hard for foreigners to get hold of. These places require a garantía de propiedad en Capital, which means that you or somebody you know puts another property within the Federal Capital of Buenos Aires up as a guarantee. Obviously, as a foreigner looking for rental places, you won’t have property and few Argentines will let you use theirs. Normally, as expats, you won’t have this kind of guarantee, and instead the owners will request higher rent. However, it is not as hard to find apartments in Buenos Aires as in other bigger cities around the world." Read about Rebecca and her experience living in Buenos Aires.
Are you an expat living in Buenos Aires?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Buenos Aires. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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