Advice on finding rental in San Juan

Hello all, my name is Kim and I am planning to move to Puerto Rico in August or September. I currently live in Portland, Oregon, and work in hospitality. I have planned a trip mid-August to look for a place to live and apply for any open jobs on the various hotel websites. I will be looking for a rental in San Juan that will allow me to bring my wonderful cat Madeline. I would like to keep my rent under $800/month, and I am not opposed to renting a room. If anyone has been down this road and has some advice for me please share. I should mention that I know having a vehicle is important but I would like to hold off on buying one for a bit. Thanks for reading!

Hi Kim,
Welcome to our group.  If you are looking for a job in PR you must be fluent in Spanish as spoken on the island.

Good luck  😎

Thank you, I have Rosetta Stone and am learning. My current employer has several locations in PR and doesn't require fluency but I still want to learn. I am more concerned about finding a place to live at this point.

duckfan :

Thank you, I have Rosetta Stone and am learning. My current employer has several locations in PR and doesn't require fluency but I still want to learn. I am more concerned about finding a place to live at this point.

This changes all the time but it is a good example … -+Busqueda

Kim, I rented an apartment in Old San Juan through Someone tried to scam me with an ad in Craig's List, so be careful. I did it all by phone and through E mail from the mainland but I'm lucky enough to have my sister here that could go see the apartment and meet the owner. I was here in PR for 9 days in a house hunting trip a couple of months ago and had very little luck getting phone calls back from Realtors. Good luck! I'm settling down in Old San Juan. So far, so good.

Thank you for your advice. I will be there for a week to look for a place. I've joined a group on facebook but haven't posted yet. My understanding is that I may have better results by asking people once I'm there, and looking for "for rent" signs. Where did you move from? Are you happy you moved?

Good luck. I moved from CA to San Juan for a hotel job also and recently secured an amazing rental after some patience and watching the classifieds closely. Keep an eye on Classificados, Point2homes, and some but not much on Craigslist. If you live and work in the same neighborhood you can definitely get by without a car for a while - Uber's are inexpensive.

Thank you, that's encouraging. As I get closer to my move I'm becoming more excited and less apprehensive. Portland has become so expensive in the last seven years and the service industry is overrun with transplants from states with low minimum wages. I know I will find a suitable place in San Juan, and even though the move will be a lot of work I will be happier when it's done. Thanks again!

Hello, I am a Realtor with Remax, would be happy to assist, Thanks, Raul 787-309-5233 rvillanueva[at]

Thank you Raul, I will reach out tomorrow or Wednesday!

I found a place in Condominium New San Juan in Isla Verde.  There are several in that price range.  It's right in the heart of some of the resorts.  It depends where you will be working but I can put you in touch with the guy that rents them if this is an option.

Good morning ! I want to offer you an advice based on my own experience/nightmare about renting here.
Make sure you include in your contract a clause addressing the issue of your property becoming inhabitable, and make sure you describe very well what inhabitable/habitable means. After Maria, my apartment lost 6 windows and a door, I was out of PR and so was the owner, as a result everything was open to the elements for 2 weeks. Toxic and thick mildew growing everywhere. The elevators were broken ( I have disabilities that wont allow me to climb 14 floors on a daily basis) and there was no electricity.  Well, the owner  waved the rent for the two weeks, came back put some plastic over the broken windows and balcony door and demanded full rent, he needed insurance money to make the repairs. We proposed paying half of the rent so he could cover mortgage and other expenses, until he made repairs and we could move back into the apartment, or cancel the contract, and as a sign of good faith, we stupidly sent him one full months rent, he accepted the offer. One week later he changed his mind and sent us a threatening letter with a Lawyer's  overhead demanding we fulfill the contract, we had had just signed
We had to hire our own lawyer, and I think he got scared so we moved out but he kept the deposit.
So, good luck and make sure you have your contract reviewed and changed to protect you if you need.
Good Luck

First time in PR, we stayed in a VRBO condo near The Hamburger in Puerta De Tierra, right outside Old San Juan and were jumping on buses that came often. Including transferring to buses that went to Santurce. Despite Puerta De Tierra being considered a bad neighborhood, we had no issues. It is very deserted however, outside of M-F, 8 to 5pm.

Thank you so much for sharing your experience, it's a shame you had to go through it but I will definitely have any contract looked over before I sign.

We came down and gave ourselves 12 days to find our place with calling a bunch of people before I arrived. When we got here calls back were non existence.   We searched the through out the island and Classificados. Most were not ready or had been rented "old ads". We reached out to an old friend  who is also a major realtor here to see if he listed rentals and we lucked out moved into an awesome gated community with no issues thanks to him.  It's gonna take alot of effort and some basic Spanish if your looking on your own. I suggest finding a real estate agency to help you. Also make sure you have proof of your employment for Puerto Rico or a transfer letter from your employer as most leases are one year and a lot of people are hesitant to rent if you do not have employment here on the island or enough cash to pay months in advance. As someone else mentioned, read your contract. And give no-one money unless you get keys that same day.

Thank you for sharing your experience and advice. I figure if I don't find something in the week I'm there I can find a long term AirBNB in the interim. I can't actually transfer to a job there because I'm not a salaried employee, but I am sure I'll have a job quickly. I'm getting excited! Thanks again.

I apologize for the delayed response, I stopped receiving notifications from this site for some reason. That would be great, I will be there August 14-20 to look for a place. I need to add I have a very sweet and mellow gata gorda, she will be moving with me at the end of August. If that isn't an issue please send me that contact information when you can. I can message you my phone # if you prefer to text or my email address, just let me know. Have a great 4th!

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