Puerto Rico has seen a surge in interest, both from returning locals and from Americans moving over from the mainland. The Wall Street Journal has reported a brisk surge in luxury property sales as these people look to settle down on the island, with new developments springing up from San Juan to Dorado Beach. Life on Puerto Rico isn’t quite the same as elsewhere, however, and the steps needed to properly manage apartment living on the island require a little bit of nous and work to get around.

Looking after your property

The rental scene in Puerto Rico is a little more laissez-faire than in other US territories, although this is by no means a bad thing. That being said, Expat.org note that many apartment repairs and maintenance costs will be left to tenants under many tenancy agreements deployed across the island. There is some deviation to this depending on where you decide to settle down, but it’s a good idea to get a handle on how to properly manage the upkeep of apartments in any area. Puerto Rico has a well skilled and fantastic island community, but equipping yourself with the skills to address any issues as and when they rise up will serve you well with your property on the island.

An inventory

Renting in Puerto Rico is often a bare-bones affair. It’s not uncommon to simply be renting the walls and floor of your apartment, meaning that every single appliance is going to have to be brought in. As a result, don’t take anything for granted before taking up residence in Puerto Rico – you will need the capacity to furnish the entire place, in many cases. The good news is that Puerto Rico is generally a little cheaper than the main US territories in terms of purchasing furniture and appliances, so you won’t be seriously out of pocket – and it is yours to keep, after all.

Your rights

Tenancy agreements in Puerto Rico are often in Spanish, and often tilted towards the landlord’s favor. When it comes to legal disputes, courts will often look at the wording of the contract and, assuming it is in line with local legislation, there won’t be reason to deviate from that. Before you sign a contract and get into a property on the island, make sure that you are absolutely aware of what the stipulations of your contract are – from maintenance through to rent increases, break clauses, and so on. Giving yourself the best chance of a trouble-free experience by seeking to have a well understood and negotiated contract, the terms of which you are absolutely aware of, is crucial.

Once you’ve found an area that suits you, get to it. Puerto Rico has so much to offer, whether that be to someone purchasing a luxury hideaway or someone looking to resettle in a rented apartment. The important part is to know your rights and to act accordingly. Things can work a little differently in Puerto Rico: make yourself aware, and you’ll be off to a good start.