As if the rental market in the City of Buenos Aires was not going through a complex situation -due to the scarce supply and the growth of temporary rentals-, a transcendence was installed that generates more concern and instability in the market: the Government national would be studying the repeal of the current law.
This information unleashed a climate of uncertainty between owners and tenants.
On the one hand, some people decided to suspend the contracts that they had planned to agree on these days;
and on the other, a practice that is becoming more and more common is accentuated, that of
extending the contracts
that were signed before the current law entered into force and making agreements with
At the City level, it is a central issue: according to official data (from the City's General Directorate of Statistics and Censuses),
34.6% of Buenos Aires households are tenants.
The law came into force in July 2022 and, among other central changes (such as the extension of the contract, from two years to three), determined that the update of the rental value must be annual, and not every six months, as before.
And the increase must be calculated on the basis of a formula that combines
the evolution of inflation (CPI) and wages (RIPTE).
In these months, this formula has been yielding an average of
For obvious reasons, the intention of the law was to provide tenants with an umbrella.
But inflation became the central problem that changed the conditions.
In this context, contracts between private parties and
shortcuts outside the law
and the extension of "old" contracts, prior to their entry into force, are growing.
Rentals in crisis: a market that is shrinking and suffering from uncertainty and also in advance of the apps that offer temporary rentals.
Photo: Marcelo Carroll
A good part of the phenomenon is explained by the exponential demand for rentals in a City, which currently has
only 1,700 properties available,
according to information from the United College of Real Estate Brokers of the City (Cucicba).
A situation also boosted by temporary rentals through apps like Airbnb;
thousands of properties are abandoning the classic long-term rental circuit.
Nicolás is a neighbor of Caballito and told
his case: "This is the second extension that the real estate agency and the owner have proposed to us. The previous one was for 20 months, with updates every five. And now it will be for
15 months, and the rent going to increase 18% every three months"
Did you agree with the proposal?
"Yes, because we assess that at this moment we are resolving a very important issue. We are a large family and we live in a four-room apartment. As these apartments are more difficult to find for rent, there is little supply and they ask for what they want. So, it is convenient
us stay where we are and thus avoid moving and deposit expenses. In addition, we find out and ask other real estate agents for the same conditions".
Matilda, a neighbor of Palermo, is going through a similar situation, although her family makeup is totally different.
She lives alone, but works in her house.
"I make pastries. I rent an apartment that is functional for me, with a large kitchen, living room, two bedrooms, one of which I use as a pantry, desk, library, and I have a small studio to take photos of the things I do. For many years I live here and I have a
rental contract that I have been extending for years
," he said.
His contract did not change, despite the new law.
"We update the value every six months.
I consider that it is a private agreement between two people. Today it is my reality and I can't even think about moving. I know that there are
few apartments in the area, very few
, and they are unpayable. Not to mention the expenses and the stress that the move generates. In my case, also dealing with new neighbors, having a micro-enterprise in my house."
Gervasio Muñoz, from Inquilinos Agrupados -one of the organizations that promoted the law- spoke with
and said that he had a talk with President Alberto Fernández: "He told me that there is an internal debate in the Government, that there are conflicting positions. I told him that these reports were
generating chaos in the market.
That there are people who could not sign their contracts at this time, because
the owners backed down
," he revealed.
He stressed that
extending contracts is illegal.
"In the same way that it would be illegal to cancel a law that was voted in Congress by decree. In any case, it is clear that the pressure is enormous and anything can be possible," lamented Muñoz.
The lawyer Enrique Abatti, president of the Chamber of Owners of the Argentine Republic, explained and cleared up doubts:
"The suspension of the law goes against the legislative technique.
It is an error.
A law cannot be suspended by a DNU, it is inappropriate.
What you have to do is send a new law to Congress.
There are almost 30 bills.
In this way, the current law would be repealed or modified."
Abatti understands that the price update should fundamentally be modified: "That there is an annual update is from another planet,
it is to ignore the Argentine reality"
Regarding the "old" contracts that are being extended, he explains that they do not conform to the legal framework: "Today there is a law that is of
, and whether we like it or not, the contract must be updated
In these hours,
won among real estate agents, tenants, and owners.
On social networks, people began to share their concerns.
"They suspended the signing of the contract"
, "they postponed me for two weeks", "they withdrew the notice".
The uncertain outlook does not help.
And the context is that of a City that is going through a housing crisis of which the scope is unknown: according to data prepared by the Inside Airbnb organization -based on the publications made by the platform itself-, there are 17,823 properties for temporary
The vast majority, concentrated in the north of the City.
On the opposite sidewalk, the
1,700 published as permanent housing.
Rentals in CABA: inflation pushes the values, which rose almost 120% in one year
The Government studies suspending the Rental Law with a decree