Continuing in our exploration, we start talking to people. There are apartment advertised with and without agencies. As a rule insistent stupidity reigns. In Uruguay there are several kinds of warranty sought to ensure the rent gets paid. Unlike the situation Mircea Popescu reported in Argentina, asking for the deed to a similar property as a "warranty" isn't common here. Instead Uruguay offers other idiocies:
- Anda, Porto Seguro, and Other "clubs: These schemes operate like AAA. In the case of Triple AAA you join a club, but the only real purpose of the club is to secure a form of insurance for the event where your car breaks down on the side of the road. In these schemes people become "socios" of the clubs and recieve a rental warranty certificate, they insert themselves between the landlord and tenant to facilitate and vouch for rent having been paid, and they have an arbitration system that keeps the local cowsies from clogging up the courts.
- The Banco Hipotecario: The renter and the landlord go to the national mortgage bank. A deposit for X months of rent is made. If for whatever reason the renter doesn't pay in any particular month, both parties have to go to the National Mortage Bank to plea poverty and withdraw that month's rent to pay the landlord.
- There is also a Public government operated alternative to Anda et al that is only open to certified losers employed by the government or simply paid by the government for their poverty without any pretense at employment.
- A number of other marginal schemes are present in the market and are only ever seen offered as an alternative to one or two of the above. These range from private bank deposits to the Argentine lien against a similar property arrangement.
The insurance club that sits as payment processor and contract arbiter initially stuck me as a very retarded scheme until I realized that such an arrangement is exactly what the peculiar form of Rioplatense dishonesty demands. The dishonesty where your stack of bills won't disappear in a professional office, but your performance bonds will. This is a rather damning indictment of the local escribanos, contadurias, and other professionals with their 160 pesos timbre stickers, but these people have to walk with the helmets they have.
Everyone is this country is incredibly loyal to their particular chosen scheme. Families renting out an apartment for their own survival tend to be incredibly loyal to their chosen rental insurance tribe. Agencies tend to offer at least three warranty options. The rapid pace of construction and supply glut in the area means that a lot of apartments are agency owned. With the tourists gone, school already in session, and most of the other immigrants crammed into pensions in Ciudad Viaja, CordÃ³n, and Tres Cruces there is palpable hunger to start collecting rent on apartments in this neighborhood that just isn't quite as trendy as these developers were betting on.
Next up: The dog and (Trash) pony show