Argentina: Real Estate In Argentina: How To Acquire Title To Or Lease Urban Property To Do Business In Argentina

Last Updated: 24 January 2017
Article by Mario Eduardo Castro Sammartino

To a greater o lesser extent, doing business in a country always encompasses the use of real estate. In this article, we will cover the basics of real property rights and leases over urban facilities in Argentina.

1) Real property rights

Real property rights to do business in Argentina may be acquired mainly through ownership or surface rights. They are governed by the Civil and Commercial Code of the Nation (Código Civil y Comercial de la Nación or CCCN).

There is no restriction for foreign individuals or companies to acquire title to real estate in Argentina, except rural lands and border areas.

When individuals hold real estate, inheritance law must be addressed, since Argentine jurisdiction and laws apply to real estate located in Argentina (CCCN, Articles Number 2,643 y 2,644).

a) Ownership

Under Article Number 1,945 of the CCCN, ownership over a land extends to the underground and airspace, to the extent their uses are possible, except as provided by special provisions and laws that may restrict the owner´s rights (e.g. provisions on treasures, mining law, airspace law). All buildings, crops and plantations belong to the landowner, with the exceptions of surface rights.

According to the above-referenced legal provision, real estate property cannot be distinguished from land ownership and the same deed includes both, except for surface rights.

b) Surface right

The CCCN regulated surface rights for the first time in Argentine law (Articles Number 2,114 through 2,128), effective as from 1 August 2015.

This new real property right enables to hold rights similar to ownership over constructions, plantations or forests and all their proceeds, separately from the land they are built or grow on (CCCN, Article Number 2,114) and for an extended period. As an owner, the surface right holder may also mortgage the surface property or subject it to the horizontal property or condominium regime (CCCN, Article Number 2,120).

Surface rights may have a maximum legal term of 50-years over plantations and forests, and of 70-years over buildings. (CCCN, Article Number 2,117).

Surface rights terminate upon expiration of the agreed upon term, express resignation, the occurrence of a subsequent condition, consolidation, or lack of use for certain terms (5-years in cases of forestation and plantation and 10-years in the event of construction) (CCCN, Article Number 2,124).

Upon termination, the landowner owns what is planted, afforested or built by the surface right holder, free from any right or encumbrance (CCCN, Article Number 2,125). The landowner must compensate the surface right holder, unless otherwise provided by agreement (CCCN, Article Number 2,126).

c) Conveyance of title to the property

Title to real estate is conveyed through the granting of a public deed authorized by a public notary, the delivery of possession to the land, and the record of the deed before the Public Registry of the relevant jurisdiction (Registro de la Propiedad Inmueble) to make the transaction enforceable vis-à-vis third parties. The Public Registry´s records are publicly available.

As for protection to the buyer and before authorizing the execution of the deed of transfer, the public notary must study the seller´s title to the real state to establish any possible imperfection and ask the Public Registry to inform on existing attachments and encumbrances. The public notary must also check that all local taxes levied on real estate are paid until the date of the closing. The State and public notary will be held liable in case of damages arising out of Public Registry´s inaccuracies and professional malpractice. Title insurance is not available in Argentina.

Further to the above, the CCCN grants buyers of real estate an eviction guarantee (CCCN, Article Number 1.034), entitling the buyer to recovering damages against the seller if the buyer loses the real estate acquired due to the existence of a third party's better title to the property (CCCN, Article Number 1,040). The seller is also responsible to the buyer for certain hidden defects in the real estate property (CCCN, Article Number 1,051).

Local stamp taxes apply to the conveyance of real state, their rates varying according to the jurisdiction the real estate is located in (around 3% of the purchase price). The purchase of a family's only residence is exempt from stamp tax in some provinces.

Provided real estate is new, VAT applies to the transaction at the rate of 10.5% or 21% according to the real estate has housing or commercial purposes.

2) Leases

Urban leases are governed by the CCCN (Articles Number 1227 through 1,250)1. The CCCN sets forth certain public order provisions regulating urban leases the parties must abide by and cannot be set aside by contract.

a) Formalities

Lease contracts do not have specific formal requirements and a written instrument will suffice (CCCN, Article Number 1,188).

b) Minimum and maximum terms

Regardless their purpose, all urban leases have a minimum legal term of two years (CCCN, Article 1198). Maximum terms cannot be longer than 20-years for housing purposes and 50-years for commercial purposes (CCCN, Article 1197).

Unless expressly agreed, tenants do not have security of tenure and therefore lack of the right to renew the lease at the end of the contractual lease term. Continuance of occupation of the property and payment of the rent after the expiration of the term will not be deemed as a tacit renewal; the contract will remain in force until any of the parties terminates it by reliable communication (CCCN, Article Number 1,218).

c) Rent

Lease´s price may be set in local or foreign currency. It cannot be adjusted by any indexation method. In practice, inflation effects over the rent are contractually considered through periodical increases in the price (e.g. every six months or yearly) or by pegging the rent to certain goods or services related to the tenant´s activity (e.g. a given commodity).

VAT is levied on the rent at a rate of 21%. Leases for housing purposes are exempted from VAT.

A security deposit is common in market practices. However, in the case of leases for living purposes, the security deposit cannot be higher than one-month rent for every hired year (CCCN, Article 1,196, Sub-Article b)).

d) Sublease. Assignment of the contract

Unless otherwise agreed to the contrary, the tenant may sublease a part of the property (CCCN, Article Number 1,214). 

The tenant may assign its contractual position to a third party if the landlord consents to it (CCCN, Article Number 1,213, first paragraph, and Article Number 1,636 and subsequent). The contractual prohibition to assign the contract includes the prohibition to sublease and vice versa (CCCN, Article Number 1,213, second paragraph). To sublease the whole property is deemed to be an assignment of the contractual position (CCCN, Article Number 1,213, third paragraph).

e) Advanced termination

The tenant may terminate the contract at will after six months of the term have elapsed. However, the landlord is entitled to compensation equivalent to one and a half monthly rent in case termination takes place during the first year of contract and to one monthly rent if it operates afterward (CCCN, Article Number 1,221, Sub-article a).


1 Rural leases have a special regime set forth by Law Number 13,246.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Related Topics
Related Articles
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions