Accommodation in Peru is generally quite affordable and there is a variety of options for expats to choose from, depending on their lifestyle and budget. The range and quality of accommodation vary considerably depending on where an expat chooses to settle. Housing in cities, particularly Lima, is far more expensive than in smaller towns. While apartments are the most common type of accommodation for city-dwelling expats, houses are often more popular in rural areas.
Types of accommodation in Peru
The majority of expats in Peru live in one of the larger cities and choose accommodation in the form of apartments. Houses are usually rare, but those wanting more space and a garden may find what they’re looking for if they’re prepared to pay more.
Apartments can be furnished, semi-furnished or unfurnished, with the latter being the most common. Furnished apartments may include basic furniture and appliances, while unfurnished accommodation will likely not have any appliances at all.
In general, expats should expect to pay more for accommodation that is closer to the city centre and near public transport routes. Those cities and areas popular among expats also tend to be the most expensive. Residential complexes on the outskirts of cities can be perfect for expats, with a variety of apartments and houses that have relatively up-to-date amenities.
Finding accommodation in Peru
Online property portals are extremely helpful when it comes to looking for accommodation. Most local newspapers and their electronic counterparts also have listings of available accommodation to rent.
There are many estate agents operating in Peru and they are a good source of information and assistance when it comes to finding accommodation. Local agents can also guide expats through the entire rental procedure, which may be different from what expats are used to. Many landlords do not speak English, so expats should bring a trusted friend along, or enlist the help of an estate agent when viewing accommodation.
Renting accommodation in Peru
The renting process in Peru can be unfamiliar to many expats. The language barrier can also be a big hurdle to overcome, so expats should consider going with an estate agent who can speak both English and Spanish.
Safety and security are important considerations when choosing accommodation in Peru. Crime is a concern in Peruvian cities, and house break-ins occur frequently. Expats should choose secure accommodation, preferably with 24/7 security and an alarm system. Apartments on upper floors are also more secure.
Two types of leases exist in Peru: fixed-term and indefinite-term leases. Fixed-term leases require the tenant and landlord to adhere to the contract for a pre-specified time. These leases can be signed for up to 10 years, so expats should read the terms of their contracts carefully before making a deal.
Indefinite-term leases offer a bit more leeway. These contracts can be suspended at any time, as long as the agreed-upon notice is given. The notice period is usually one month, but it can be longer or shorter, depending on what was arranged with the owner.
A security deposit of up to three months’ rent is often required to secure a property. The deposit ensures that the property is not damaged while the renter lives there. If no damage is done to the property during the rental period, expats can get their deposit back. In case the property was damaged in any way, the amount for the repairs will be taken from the deposit and the rest can be returned.
When renting property in Peru, expats should ensure that a proper signed rental contract is in place and that the responsibilities of both the landlord and tenant are clearly defined, including an inventory and which utilities are included. Water, electricity and other utilities are not always included in the rental price and will be an additional expense for the tenant.
Buying property in Peru
Expats looking to buy property in Peru will find the process rather easy, with very few limitations placed on foreigners. Indeed, low prices and property taxes make Peru perfect for investing in housing.
Expats should find a good lawyer who can speak both English and Spanish to ensure the terms of contracts are explained properly. Other costs would include notary fees, the title check and deed registration. Expats will also have to apply for a real-estate transaction permit, and potential buyers should not forget about transfer taxes.
►For an overview of expat life in the country, see Moving to Peru
►For more info on what type of accommodation to opt for see Safety in Peru
Are you an expat living in Peru?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Peru. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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