May 27, 2014

Cuenca Ecuador Renter BEWARE

Below is a recent ad in one of the rental resources online.
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POR ESTRENAR
2 DORMITORIOS
SALA COMEDOR COCINA
DORMITORIO DE PADRES CON BAÑO PRIVADO
BAÑO SOCIAL
2 PARQUEADEROS
GUARDIANIA LAS 24 HORAS
ASCENSOR
ACCESO A YACUSI,GIMNASIO,AREA PARA PARRILLADAS,TURCO
PRECIO: $300+$50 ALICUOTA
PARA CONTRATO DE ARRIENDO
$ 300 PRIMER MES + $300 DEL ULTIMO MES + GARANTIA DE $300


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Now to the untrained eye everything seems legit with the ad above, however, we know the apartment building they are talking about in the ad, and we smell a BIG rat!  Let’s take a look. 

The Lure to Get Renters 

We know personally of some gringo friends who have rented in this building for almost one year. They were told that the Jacuzzi, the workout room, and barbeque area would be ready in 3-weeks. Not one of the amenities they mention above in the ad has been achieved and a year has passed.

In fact our friends said the building management would not even let them use the outdoor patio/barbeque area when they had some house guests over.

One of the main reasons they and many other folks like them rented in this building was for the use of the workout room and the Jacuzzi and sauna. A year after the promises the builders/developers are still not done with making any of these amenities operational. 

Apparently they have not installed expensive machinery in the pump room to get the Jacuzzi up and running…in fact rumor has it they don’t even know how to get the Jacuzzi working?

UPDATE: After one year, the Jacuzzi is finally ready to use, however, even though there is a, what they term an “alicuota” (building fee) for this building and it keeps going higher and higher, they are still asking $5 for every time a tenant wants to use the Jacuzzi or workout room. Woa now, this is uncalled for as the building fees continually go up.  The building fees have more than doubled in one year, and now there are ‘extra charges’ just to use the facilities that previously renters were told were included in the alicuota (building fees).

Shame on the landlords and real estate agents who keep putting gringos in this building and then using the amenities as another way to get money from the gringos. We quit putting people in this building a long time ago, after we observed they were not doing anything to get the amenities up and running, and that they were demanding higher and higher building fees.

Just so you know, this building in question had an alicuota of just $17 in the beginning of 2013 and now they want $50!

Well, we still will not put anyone in this building if they are charging a fee for the amenities. Crazy! 

Apartment Price Too High! 

The apartments are new and clean but VERY small. The two bedrooms are only around 700 square feet, if that. However, we know of apartments that are 4-bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 1,500 square feet that are brand new and clean and they are only asking $280 to $300 dollars and there is no monthly fee!

A year ago the 3 bedrooms in this very same building were going for $280- $300 dollars…now only a year later the 2 bedrooms are $300! That’s too much! 

They WANT 3-months Rent In Advance 

This is absolutely ridiculous! We have never paid three months rent up front and neither should you. The ad says they want $300 dollars for the first month, $300 dollars for the last month, and another $300 for guarantee.  A total of $900.00. UH?  Guarantee for what? If you are getting your first and last what is the guarantee for? 

The problem is gringos are paying the three months rent when asked for it which causes a precedent with the real estate industry. You wouldn’t think a few thousands gringos can change an industry but it is happening. 

BTW, you don’t really think the Ecuadorians are paying three rents up front do you?  We don’t think so. We don’t pay it and neither should you! Walk away, it really works. Half the time you will get a call back from the real estate agent or landlord saying you don’t have to pay it.  But if you don’t get that call, move on to the next one.

The point is, be careful when you rent an apartment or condo in Cuenca, there is some dishonesty going on. We do not feel the need to name the building, you’ll know it if and when you ever go look at their apartment rentals because it is the only building that is not in old gringolandia, in Cuenca that has a elevator, Jacuzzi, a workout room, and a barbeque area.  This building is becoming the latest gringolandia, and that’s why the situation is deteriorating.

Be careful some things may be misleading or not mentioned such as the needing to pay a $5 fee just to use the Jacuzzi or workout room. 

ALICUOTA (Building fee) Too High!

Just one year ago the building fee in this same building was $17 dollars, and now they are asking $50 dollars!?  What has changed in one year? Let’s see what has changed to make the monthly building fee rise $33 dollars more per month? Absolutely nothing.

We’ll tell you what has changed though. More gringos want to rent in this building because it is walking distance to major shopping and bus lines. The gringos are flocking to this building because it has an elevator and a 24 hour guard on the premises.

But they are paying too much and getting lied to about the building amenities and to us that is dishonest and unethical practices.

So what can we do about it? Well for one, we can just say “no thanks” and walk away. Don't let them take advantage like this just because you are a gringo!

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