|The Reservation and Check In Process|
| The Reservation Process
1. First, please review the apartment's Reservation Calendar on the webpage to determine if your desired dates are available.
2. Second, please use the website's reservation form to send us your contact and travel information.
3. Upon receipt of your contact and travel information, we will send you a detailed Reservation Confirmation, which you are free to reject if it's not to your satisfaction.
4. Along with your Reservation Confirmation we will send you a printable sheet of "Arrival Instructions" (Sample Only) which includes information on exchanging money and getting a taxi at the airport.
The Arrival Instructions also include the address of the apartment, directions to the apartment in Spanish that you can just hand to the taxi driver, and our cellphone numbers in case there's any problem.
The Check In Process
1. After you land and exit the customs area at the airport, you will use the info in our "Arrival Instructions" (Sample Only) sheet to hire one of several taxi service to drive you downtown at their fixed, posted rates.
2. All the taxi services will gladly accept your USD or Euros but they will nick you 12% to 15% with the exchange rate. I recommend that when you leave the secured area of customs and immigration, turn to the right and find Banco Nacion where you can exchange money at the same rate as at any bank in the city.
3. If your spanish is limited, you can simply show your taxi driver the address and directions provided in the Arrival Instructions sheet and he will drive you right to the building's front door.
4. We will be waiting at the apartment when you arrive, upon which we will...
The entire process takes approximately 30 minutes.
It's that easy!
What to expect when renting from other agencies:
Most rental agencies in Buenos Aires are relatively reliable and trustworthy, so you have a 90% chance of renting an apartment without problems.
Argentine apartment owners are less reliable (take note Craigslist shoppers), and I would estimate that you have an 80% chance of having a good rental experience when dealing directly with an Argentine owner.
However, all of them operate somewhat differently that we do, most significantly as follows:
The Reservation Guarantee
Most owners and agents will not accept your credit card to guarantee your reservation. Some will accept an advance deposit paid by PayPal, but most will want you to sent them a cash deposit by Western Union.
We will gladly accept your credit card to guarantee your reservation.
The Rental Agreement
Most owners and agents will expect you to sign a commonly used three page contract written entirely in Spanish. Your options will be to either sign it or you don't get the apartment. Some will offer you a separate copy translated in English, but generally they will just shrug their shoulders if you don't want to sign their contract written in Spanish.
Our one page Rental Agreement is in English and available here for your review.
The Damage Security Deposit
Most owners and agents will not accept your credit card authorization to serve as your damage security deposit.
A small number of agencies have the capability to charge your credit card for the amount of the security deposit, which they will then re-credit back to your card after your departure, but they will not simply accept a written authorization.
The vast majority of owners and agents will want a cash security deposit which they will return to you when you checkout.
We will accept your Credit Card Charge Authorization as your Damage Security Deposit.
Making Local Calls
The telephones in most apartments are blocked to make local calls, requiring you to buy telephone cards, the code to which you must enter into the phone before you can make ANY calls.
The telephones in our apartments are NOT blocked to make local calls.
If you want to be able to make local calls, then please ask before you rent any apartment.
Making Cellphone Calls
The telephone service in most apartments are also blocked, preventing you from calling cellphones, generally because calls to cellphones are billed separately and more expensive that local calls.
The telephones in our apartments are NOT blocked to call cellphones
We simply accept that the phone bill will be a few dollars higher each month, but we feel the potential savings are not worth inconveniencing our guests.
If you want to be able to call cellphones, then please ask before you rent any apartment.
The Apartment's Inventory
Most owners or agents will have a multi-page inventory of the apartment's contents, right down to the number of towels, glasses, and even the silverware in the kitchen, each line item including an inflated valuation of that item that will be deducted from your damage security deposit if missing at checkout.
Your choices at this time would be to either take an hour of your time and verify everything on the list, including counting the silverware, OR you can just accept that it's accurate and sign for everything.
We don't do any of this BS. Of course we are concerned with the major items in the apartment (furniture, electronics, etc,) of which we have a photo inventory, and if any of these major items are identified as damaged or missing during your stay, we'll have a conversation. However...
We do not ask you count the towels, the glasses or the silverware.
It's a rental apartment, so of course we expect to replace some broken glasses or buy some new towels on occasion.
BTW, in five years of renting my apartments, we have never had to charge any one's credit card for missing or damage property. Note that I didn't say that there haven't been any issues, but they've always been handled amicably.
Neighborhood Maps / Local Services
Most Agencies and Owners have no prepared materials to help you understand the apartment's functions (for example, how to use the A/C remote control) or to find the neighborhood's services (for example, the nearest grocery store). In other words, they generally feel that their job is done when they hand you the keys.
We have prepared a number of individual instruction sheets for things like using the air conditioner, using the TV and other electronics, using the telephone, using the safe, using electrical adaptors, etc.
We have also prepared a map of the neighborhood indicating the locations of the nearest ATM, money exchange, grocery store, laundry service, etc. The idea is to help you get up to speed with the area as easily as possible. Of course we have multiple copies of this map in the apartment so you may use them as you need.
Many guests have commented that the instruction sheets and the neighborhood map are both especially helpful in adapting to living in a new place quickly.
Because most agents and owners require a cash security deposit, you must make an appointment to meet with them to checkout of the apartment and recover you cash. We call this the "Grand checkout Ceremony".
What's particularly annoying about this procedure is that typically you'll be scheduled to leave for the airport at that time, experiencing all the usual "impending flight anxieties", and yet your departure for the airport will be contingent upon both the agent and the owner arriving at the apartment at the appointed time, this in a society that is not known for their punctuality.
Of course, you might decide to schedule the "Grand Checkout Ceremony" a couple of hours early as a precaution, but then when the checkout is completed, you will find yourself on the street with your luggage, perhaps several hours earlier that you would have preferred.
We do not have a "Grand Checkout Ceremony", and thus you may checkout of the apartment on your own schedule.
Because we can accept your credit card as your security deposit, we do not need to schedule a checkout ceremony to return a cash deposit, and thus you are welcome to leave the keys on the counter and depart when it's convenient for you and in accordance with the time and date of your Rental Agreement.