What you see on the internet is rarely what you get. The pictures always look nice and big too! I have also found that it doesn’t matter how many questions you ask unless it is in print somewhere, like a contract, it won’t exist like you think it does. Even sometimes the contract doesn’t matter because if you are renting a place, it has probably been lived in many times over by the time you get to it.
I have had several experiences of renting places and sometimes due to urgency and sometimes in good faith I have rented sub-par situations.
My most recent situation has left me very angry, disappointed and disillusioned as I guess a situation of this kind would to anyone.
And instead of totally complaining I wanted to advise and well, there might be a little complaining.
Firstly and I think probably the most important thing you can do when trying to find a place to stay in Buenos Aires is to try to connect with as many people as possible in the tango community and ask them about the places you are thinking about renting. Try to find someone who has stayed there or someone who might even go check it out for you.
Try to know as much as possible about what you are looking for.
How often is their housecleaning? What does it include? Does this include a change of sheets and towels?
Is there construction going on in the building or on the street?
Are there pots and pans, silverware, glasses, mugs, etc?
Often times there are things that maybe even the owner doesn’t know about. Take the time to take a careful look around to see if the place meets your needs. Know that once you pay, and usually it is in cash, that you will not get that cash back. You may get a portion back if you decide early on that it is not going to work. And portenos are very good at trying their best to rectify the situation in order for you to stay.
Now a note to those who are renting to Tangueros.
Most foreigners who are traveling and are staying for more than 1 week are expecting a certain level of comfort. Of course, I don’t speak for all those who are visiting but some of us.
If I wanted to stay in a very inexpensive place or even in a hostel living situation than I would choose this and I would expect a certain standard. I must also mention that I have stayed in very nice hostels over the years and have been very pleased. However, if I am paying $40+ / night I would expect to have a clean place to stay and proper plumbing. I would expect the toilets to flush, the shower to function more than a dribble, and the house to be clean. Clean meaning that there is not a layer of dust all over the place. If there are futon beds and the actual frame is broken so that when you lie on it you have a piece of wood in your back then it needs to be dealt with. If a bed is going to be on the floor it would be best for this to be stated.
I know that every house has its peculiarities. I refer to things such as how the lights may work or how far to turn the hot water or only turn on the hot water. Whatever they are these should be outlined in a booklet or told to each new person coming to the house. Kind of like a list of house “rules”. These should include how to use the heat or the air conditioning.
It is amazing to me how much the tourists are being taken advantage of in Buenos Aires. I have family who live there and who have lived there their entire lives who claim this as well.
With all this being said, I just ask that as a tourist you become informed and as an owner or vendor who is offering a service that is needed that all aspects be taken into consideration.
You don’t need to be taken advantage of as a tourist, a visitor, remember to be as clear as possible as to what you want and do some asking around.