THE TOP 6 TIPS YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE RENTING IN ECUADOR -Ecuador Tenancy Law-
Ecuassist always recommends renting when you first arrive in Ecuador, so that you can explore the huge range of beautiful options the country has to offer. You may want to visit the vibrant and historic capital city of Quito, the beautiful cobblestoned streets of of Cuenca…..the mountainous villages of Otavalo and Cotacacchi, as well peruse up the coast through Salinas, Manta and Canoa, to find the perfect fit for you. Investing in real estate is a large commitment, so make sure you don’t put down roots before you see all that Ecuador has to offer!
After you have found the perfect jumping off spot for your new adventure in Ecuador, we recommend you start your search for a rental, referring to the list below:
1.- Search for a property through various ways, including online, word of mouth, and watching for “Se Arrienda”: (For Rent), signs in the windows of homes that may be fitting.
2.- Confirm with the landlord exactly what is included in the rent payment (ask about furnishings, maintenance, utilities, cleaning, HOA fees, parking, storage unit, pool access, etc).
3.- Confirm there is cell phone and internet signal
4.- Negotiate the price.
Once you have found the perfect place to settle in, it is time to formalize the agreement with a contract. We strongly recommend that you have a contract signed before moving into the property. Especially if you are not fluent in Spanish, we recommend that you seek legal advise about any contract that you sign.
Leasing agreements normally are drafted by people with no experience or template you can get at the local pharmacy, even though you get some help to read the contract for you, it is important to understand the legal consequences of all of your duties as the renter of the property.
PERSONAL AND THIRD PARTIES RESPONSIBILITY
The renter or sub-renter is responsible not only for their own fault but also for their family, guests, dependents or caretakers.
RESPONSIBILITIES OF PENSION PAYMENT
(Art. 53 Tenancy Law, 1883 Civil Code)
The landlord is obliged to provide an official receipt, called a factura, to the tenant, in a timely manner, upon payment of rent.
RESPONSIBILITY ON THE USE OF THE PROPERTY
(Art. 1879 Civil Code)
The renter is obliged to use the property according to the terms of the contract, and may not, consequently, use the property for anything else other than agreement, for example, if it is for residence, it cannot be used for commercial purposes.
(Art. 1881, 1868, 1911, 1912 and 1913 Civil Code)
This is perhaps one of the most important points, and down the road, this can be the cause of conflict and misunderstanding between the landlord and the renter. For that reason we strongly suggest to you understand this part of the rental laws in Ecuador.
Legally, the renter is obligated to make repairs (Reparaciones Locativas), within the laws of Ecuador. These are defined in general as those damages that ordinarily occur due to the fault of the renter or its dependents, such as damage to a wall or fence, glass breakage, etc.
On the other hand, the landlord is obligated to keep the property in good condition. This means making all necessary repairs, except for the Reparaciones Locativas (Locative Repairs), which as stated above, is damage caused by the tenant..
However, if the Reparaciones Locativas (Locative Repairs) were caused by acts of force majeure or fortuitous event, or the poor quality of materials, or defects in the construction of the property, then those expenses will also be the landlord’s responsibility.
The Reparaciones Locativas (Locative Repairs) to which the renter is obligated to pay, will be made to keep the property in the same good condition as it was when the renter received the property; although the renter will not be responsible for the damages that come from normal wear and tear,
LEGAL REPAIRS LIST - RENTER`S RESPONSIBILITY:
1. To preserve the interior integrity of the walls, ceilings, pavements, and pipes, replacing stones, bricks, and tiles that break or dislodge during the lease.
2. To replace glass that is broken during the tenancy on windows or doors
3. To keep doors, windows and locks in functioning condition.
4. To maintain and clean: walls, pavement and other interior parts of the property.
5. To keep wells, ditches, and pipes clean and to sweep the chimney (if applicable applies).
6. To immediately repair damages to plumbing and electrical work, at the renter’s expense, if such damage is caused by the tenant.
FINE FOR NON COMPLIANCE
In case of non-compliance with the aforementioned, the landlord will be entitled to request from the renter compensation for damages, and in addition, may immediately terminate the lease contract, if the case is deemed to be very serious..
It is important to know how to differentiate what type of repairs the landlord is obligated to pay, and those; which are the obligation of the tenant. Basically the renter is obligated to maintain, in good condition, the property and deliver back to the landlord in the same condition that the renter received it, considering the normal wear of the use of the property. On the other hand, the landlord is obligated to make the repairs to the structural, plumbing or electrical installations as long as it is a problem due to product or construction defects, or normal wear and tear, but not due to the tenant’s improper use, make sure the contract states these terms clearly.
(Art. 1876 Civil Code) .- If the renter makes indispensable non-locative repairs, or repairs that are urgently needed, but are not the fault of the tenant, (Reparaciones No Locativas), the renter must immediately inform the landlord.
Once the landlord has knowledge of these imperative repairs, the landlord must reimburse the renter for the expenses incurred.
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