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The 9 things I hate the most about tenants in Costa Rica

The 9 things I hate the most about tenants in Costa RicaBeing a landlord in Costa Rica is not so easy. Finding the right tenants in Costa Rica is sometimes a tough task.

I am a landlord myself. Dany and I thought it was a good idea to purchase a small 2 bedroom condo in Sabana as income property some years ago. Hey, I’m a real estate broker, so we should own some rental property too, right!

First, we had several tenants from hell, one after another. Sadly, we don’t have a rental history records or even eviction records to go with here. Checkin’ out someone’s credit report before signing a lease agreement? Good luck on that one.

After some real bad experiences, one after the other, we left the condo empty for over a year.

Extraordinary tenants

Then, we finally got lucky. We rented the condo out to nice Tico family with 2 kids and a nanny. These tenants really take care of it. AND they pay the rent several days ahead of time. All the time!

Our GoDutch Realty agents do a lot of rentals in Atenas as well as in Grecia. They do short term rentals and long term, furnished and unfurnished rentals. We get real especial tenants in Costa Rica and we get tenants from hell.


Many tenants need more assistance than is customary for an agent to give. Sometimes a landlord in Costa Rica thinks it’s a real estate agent’s responsibility to always bring a great tenant. Not true, fortunately.

Are you looking forward to having a great time when living in Costa Rica? Then, do not behave like any of the tenants in the following list.

The 9 things I hate the most about tenants in Costa Rica

What I hate most about tenants in Costa Rica

1. Refusal of timely payments

I have had several tenants who pay the rent whenever they feel like. They don’t care the landlord has to pay the condo fee. In mine, water is included. My bad, I’m not legally allowed to shut off the water if the tenant doesn’t pay.

2. The dog

Tenants that say “my doggie is very well trained and doesn’t do any harm” when they sign the lease agreement. Worse, the ones that bring in a dog illegally, without saying anything.. One of those well trained doggies had chewed on every door and every baseboard because the poor thing was locked up all day.
Those who say “my doggy is potty trained” and I find the wall to wall carpeting in all bedrooms all ruined.

3. The cat

Some tenants with a cat that say “my cat was declawed” and when the tenant move on all the curtains and furniture is totally ruined.

If you have a pet, or getting one, you will have to pay a pet deposit.

4. Maintenance issues

The tenants that do not tell you about leaks, not well functioning toilets, and other normal maintenance issues. They just let it all run to hell.

The 9 things I hate the most about tenants in Costa Rica
Photo from Chuck Grimmett via Flickr, CC by SA 2.0

5. Pot smokers

Those were the worst: the pot smoking tenants in Costa Rica. I am a marijuana friendly realtor, but don’t like anybody smoking pot in my condo. Don’t bother the neighbors with that weed smell.

Smoke yourself to death in the park next door.

6. Phones

Thank God for cell phones. No more huge phone bills for international phone calls like we used to have with rentals and landlines. I’ve seen some real bad one’s in my time.

7. A bad attitude

We have had some tenants with a bad attitude. They think the world turns around them and can do whatever they feel like. They don’t care about condo rules and about the neighbors. These are the worst tenants to have and they are very difficult to get rid of.

8. Midnight calls

Tenants need to ask all the questions before the rent a place. They should not call their real estate agent or landlord in the middle of the night asking for cab directions to their home.

9. Patience

Some tenants have no patience. They want everyone to jump when they need something. They don’t think landlords and real estate agents are not human but a genie.


Foreign tenants are usually great tenants, but …. Many expect a lot more from a Costa Rica real estate agent than they should. Their realtor gets the job done by finding the right place to live in Paradise. Period.

The 9 things I hate the most about tenants in Costa Rica

Be nice

Yes, if you’re nice enough, the agent will do a lot more for you than that. But if you are that tenant from hell, please stay where you came from, we’d all appreciate that.

If you’re a tenant from heaven, feel free to contact us, at your convenience. Agents Brooke Bishop and Karina Ugalde in Grecia, Shell Johanson in Belen & Cariari and Marian Veltman in Atenas will love to assist you in finding your rental.

Feel free to leave your comments on this blog.

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I DO want to remind our readers that we appreciate any referrals you can send us. Please remember the GoDutch Realty agents when you talk about your home in Costa Rica, we appreciate it.

We Love your Referrals at GoDutch Realty

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Ivo Henfling

If you are looking to buy a home in Costa Rica or invest in a condo anywhere in the central Valley, or looking for any property for sale in Escazu, you need to call me. I have been selling real estate in Escazu for over 20 years and can show you hundreds of happy buyers of real estate in Escazu and other areas. To me, a deal is not a good deal unless both buyer and seller are happy.

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3 thoughts on “The 9 things I hate the most about tenants in Costa Rica”

  • Arthur Dufresne

    30 April, 2017 at 4:16 pm

    Tenant issues can be a challenge regardless of where.

    When I find a great tenant I work hard to show my appeciation

    Like many places, Costa Rica¨ has many inattentive landlords. If you are a good tenant expect to be treated like one

    • Ivo Henfling

      30 April, 2017 at 7:11 pm

      That’s the correct way to have a great life in paradise Arthur and make renting a fun way of investing your money.

    • Ivo Henfling

      30 April, 2017 at 7:11 pm

      That’s the correct way to have a great life in paradise Arthur and make renting a fun way of investing your money.


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