The cost of rental properties in Buenos Aires City is driving dozens of young adults to move back in with their parents, a new study has found.
Thirty-five percent of tenants in the City aged 18 to 30 returned “home” in 2018 because they could not keep up with the rising cost of rent and related expenses, a National Rental Federation (FNI) survey found.
The study reported that more than 60 percent of young adults’ income went to fixed costs associated with their living arrangement.
The country’s Congress is currently debating a Tenants Law at committee level.
“I started paying 4,500 pesos two years ago. It now costs me 7,900 pesos. I cannot sustain it any longer and next month I have to leave my house and move back in with my parents in Lugano”, said Ana Martínez, 30, who was in the process of selling her furniture before vacating her rental property in Floresta. The young woman said that “with a salary of 15,000 pesos, I cannot afford fixed costs" that high.
“The bills are huge. I got a water bill for 700 pesos and I wanted to die,” said Martínez, who will soon be sleeping in her childhood bed.
“I am very angry because it took me a lot to become independent and now I’ve got to go back to my parents’, which is a problem because I don’t get along with them and I feel like outsider there,” added Martínez, who is a Public Relations graduate and sells children’s toys.
There are also cases of young people who arrived in Buenos Aires with the hope of taking up a university course but were forced to return to their home provinces as a result of cost of living pressures.
Ana Russo, 28, is one of them. She arrived from El Calafate, Santa Cruz province to study Communication. However, she “had to give it all up” because the quarterly price increases on her rent of 15 percent.
“When a contracted is renewed, rent rises 39 percent and there is another increase of 17 percent previously stipulated, which they (the prospective tenant) cannot reject because otherwise they are kicked out,” Muñoz added.
“Nobody is receiving wage increases of those same percentage points,” he charged.
FNI’s study involved 4,200 participants of all ages who detailed their experience renting in Buenos Aires City. It found that on average 47 percent of residents’ income went to rent alone, a six-percentage point increase from 2017.
It is common knowledge that many firms continue charging a commission when tenants enter a property, despite a law passed two years ago in the City Legislature determining that the owner must pay that commission.
Muñoz said that FNI receives five complaints every month about this practice.
“CB Properties in Paternal charged my 8,500 pesos in commission, one month’s rent, and another 6,000 pesos in contractual fees”, said Simón Chela, 30, who lodged a complaint with FNI against the real estate agent.