Renting a property in Chile: Frequently Asked Questions

Do you want to rent an apartment or a house in Santiago or in Chile? You may have several questions. Have a look at our answers on this page!

Renting a property in Chile: Frequently Asked Questions

13/01/2023, updated 20/10/2023

Can I rent an apartment or a house if I am a non-resident foreigner? Do I need a particular visa to rent a property?

You do not need a particular visa. You can rent a property with your passport if you do not have your visa yet. The landlords and estate agents rather check whether you have a permanent work contract and what is your monthly salary. Of course, it all depends on the type of property you are looking for. If you consider renting a high-end property, the landlord is more likely to accept a foreign tenant, because few Chileans can afford this kind of property.

How many properties do I need to visit before making a decision?

It depends on your search and the adequacy between your budget and your criteria. Santiago is an expensive city especially when you want to rent a small apartment in a sough after area. Some searches are harder than others. Furthermore, if you do your research alone, you will likely spend more time than if you contact a real estate agent who knows the area. When we organize visits for a client, it regularly happens that the first property of our selection is the right one. If the criteria are well-defined and the expectations are realistic, 5 or 6 visits are enough to find the property that corresponds you.

Do I have to pay a deposit? Is it necessary to have a guarantor in Chile?

Yes, you have to pay a deposit, which will be cashed by the landlord, and given back to you at the end of the lease contract (though sometimes you have to fight to get it back). The amount of the deposit is between one and three months' rent. The standard for unfurnished accommodations is one month's rent. If you are a foreigner with few guarantees (no guarantor, foreign employment contract...), a higher deposit can be asked. Be careful to pay the deposit only when you sign the contract, not from abroad before arriving and without having seen the property. Scams are frequent. A guarantor is often required, especially for small apartments where there is lots of interest. It can be your company. From a legal point of view, the Spanish words "aval", "fiador" or "codeudor solidario" are used to describe the guarantor.

What are the documents to provide to sign the lease agreement? Are these documents different if I am a foreigner?"

It depends on whether you want to rent as an employee, as an independent worker or as company. The documents required will be different. As a foreigner, you cannot provide the same documents as a Chilean, for example because you do not have credit history report in Chile. Therefore, you have to be creative in the documents you supply, in order for the landlord to choose you.

Is the lease agreement different whether the property is furnished or not?

The lease is not different. It just mentions if the property is furnished. The inventory carried out when you start the lease is more substantial. Nevertheless, for the rental of a furnished property, you notice that some landlords:

  • do not want to mention that the property is furnished on the contract or include the furniture in the inventory.
  • want to sign two contracts: an unfurnished lease contract and a separate contract called conmodato (provision) concerning the furniture.

This is due to the difference of tax treatment for furnished rental properties, subject to VAT (the landlord must pay 19% of the rent to tax service) contrary to unfurnished rental properties. From the point of view of the tenant, it does not change anything. As long as you are satisfied with the property, price and contract period, it is not an issue. The only person who can face problems by doing this is the landlord.

How do I verify condominium fees and utilities before renting?

As far as the condominium fees are concerned, the easiest way is to ask to the concierge in the building or the condominium in which the house/apartment is located. He can show you the last condominium statements with the detail of fees due by each unit. Concerning the charges related to the consumption of water, electricity, gas, you can get them directly on the site of the different providers, by entering the address of the property that interests you. To avoid worrying about delinquencies from the previous tenant, we advise you to add a clause allowing you, as a tenant, to deduct from your first rent any charges not paid by the former tenant prior to your arrival.

What is the minimum lease period in Chile?

Generally, the minimum lease period is 12 months in Chile. The landlords often pay attention to the profiles of potential tenants, and prefer not to have to change too frequently. For rentals under a year, you should rather have a look at aparthotels, or furnished apartments, more expensive, but for which landlords accept shorter duration contracts.

Is it possible to include a diplomatic clause?

Yes, most landlords renting to foreigners accept a diplomatic clause, which allows to terminate the contract if 1) your company transfers you out of Chile, 2) your company dismisses you, 3) the Chilean immigration department rejects your visa / residence application. Generally, this clause is active after a year, the landlords willing to avoid that their tenant leaves the property three months after entering the premise.

Are there a pool and a gym in buildings in Santiago?

The most recent buildings (less than 10 years) located in Santiago's well-off neighborhoods almost all include a gym. A pool is also a standard feature, especially if the building has been designed with families in mind. The most recent buildings in Vitacura do not always have one. Given that the land price is higher than ever, property developers maintain their level of profitability by increasing quantity / surface of apartments to sell, and reducing common areas. They also reduce condominium fees by not including a pool, making their building more attractive in a context of high prices.

Do I have to bring my own furniture?"

Unfurnished houses and apartments only include an oven and baking trays. There is a wide range of furnished apartments but few furnished houses. Nevertheless, we advise you to bring your furniture or buy it on-the-spot (buying/selling groups between expatriates exist). Indeed, furnished property rental is subject to VAT at the rate of 19%, which significantly raises rent.

Are pets allowed?

In houses, pets are generally allowed. In buildings, it depends on the condominium's declaration (the building administration might have decided to forbid them), and the landlord's rules. The older is the building, the more likely they are allowed. As far as the landlord is concerned, it depends. Some require an additional month guarantee, especially if it is a furnished property, to hedge against the damage caused by pets.

Do you provide services for short-term rental (a few days/weeks)?

We do not directly provide this service. Nevertheless, we work with aparthotels where you can stay a few days. Prices vary between 80 and 350 US dollars per day, depending on the type of property you are looking for. If your budget fits in this price range, contact us with your booking dates and we will get you in touch with the partners corresponding best to your criteria. If your budget is lower, we advise you to shift towards short-term rental platforms such as AirBnB and

Do you provide a sublease service?

As far as residential property is concerned, we do not provide a sublease service. The situation is different for properties for commercial or industrial use, where a sublease may be a solution in some cases. Contact us for more information.

What are the real estate prices in Santiago?

Broadly speaking, it is impossible to answer this question. It depends on the neighborhood, the type of property, its condition… We wrote a 65-page guide that presents the main neighborhoods in which expatriates live. Do not hesitate to contact us to get more information on:

  • the type of property you can get for a given budget
  • the budget required to rent a property in a given neighborhood

We need at least the following information: type of property, furnished or unfurnished, surface area, neighborhood, number of bedrooms, bathrooms, lease term, particular requirements (upper floor, pool, gym…).

What neighborhoods should I avoid/prefer for a long-term rental?

It depends on your expectations, lifestyle and budget of course. The easiest way of assessing neighborhoods is to consult our guides on neighborhoods to get an idea of the choices you have, or to contact us with your criteria.

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