Renting in Panama

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At International Living, we always recommend that you rent before you buy. Before you plunk down money on a house or condo in a new place, stay awhile and see if suits your needs.

Rental regulations are pretty straightforward in Panama. Your landlord and you, the tenant, have the right to negotiate whatever rental amount you like, and the landlord has the right to increase rent at his discretion. Usually, your contract will indicate that either you or the landlord can break the lease at any time with a month’s notice.

So say you sign a one-year lease and six months into it you decide you want to move. All you need to do is notify your landlord, in writing, that you’ll be moving in a month. As long as the property is still in good condition, you’re entitled to your security deposit back.

Keep in mind that Panama does not have a well-organized rental market. There are no companies here that cater only to renters. Before you go to Panama, search the Internet. Make a list of realtors who offer rentals. Make a note of where those rentals are located. Ask plenty of questions via e-mail. Ask what is included in the rental and what isn’t. Whatever you do, don’t send a deposit without seeing the property or getting a contract in hand that has been approved by an attorney or someone else you trust.

*Prices as of 2013

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