Panama Real Estate Evictions

Panama Real Estate Evictions



Panama Real Estate: Evictions
Introduction - Our law firm, Panama Legal, occasionally gets queries about the​ eviction process in​ Panama for​ residential real estate .​
Below follows a​ brief summary of​ the​ process and​ time frames involved .​
This is​ not legal advice, just an​ overview of​ what is​ involved.
Applicable Law - Law #93 dated 1973 is​ the​ law that covers residential real estate leases in​ Panama .​
Some leases that would be excluded from coming under this law would be leases with following attributes:
* leases of​ rural property
* leases of​ property in​ the​ reverted Canal Zone
* leases where the​ rent is​ calculated by the​ day such as​ a​ hotel, motel, bed and​ breakfast, boarding house, Inn, etc.
* leases of​ property primarily designated as​ vacation property where the​ term including any existing renewals of​ the​ lease is​ under 180 days
* leases whereby the​ government of​ Panama or​ its municipalities are parties in​ the​ lease agreement .​
However if​ they do appear in​ the​ lease agreement as​ the​ property owner or​ landlord they can utilize the​ eviction provisions of​ the​ applicable law we are dealing with here.
Rental Values - if​ the​ residential real estate in​ question has an​ initial rent in​ excess of​ $150 per month, the​ agreement can incorporate rental increases as​ agreed to​ by the​ parties of​ the​ lease agreement.
Lease Term - There is​ great freedom allowed in​ selecting a​ term for​ the​ lease as​ long as​ the​ rental value is​ in​ excess of​ $150 .​
There can also be provisions for​ extensions of​ the​ lease term as​ well.
Lease Cancellation - the​ tenant is​ allowed to​ cancel any residential lease on 30 days written notice.
Security Deposit - Normally a​ security deposit equal to​ one months rent is​ submitted to​ the​ Panama Housing Ministry, which is​ returned at​ the​ end of​ the​ lease unless the​ landlord files a​ claim for​ damages.
Eviction Proceedings - This is​ generally going to​ take 120 days .​
The collection of​ the​ unpaid rent (if any) is​ going to​ take about 270 days .​
If the​ workload of​ the​ court is​ high legal processes could take longer .​
Do not plan on it​ going any faster.
Conclusion - the​ eviction process is​ a​ fairly long one .​
In many other countries it​ can even take longer .​
Some countries that are known for​ their large amounts of​ homeless people do have more abbreviated eviction procedures .​
If you are renting to​ an​ expatriate one needs to​ bear in​ mind that they may up and​ decide to​ leave Panama someday .​
If they do this discretely and​ not pay rent for​ their last few months here the​ landlord would suffer .​
They could have their funds out of​ the​ country along with all of​ their assets .​
They could also have their assets secreted in​ foundations and​ corporations that you know nothing about therefore keeping them immune from your attaching them.
If you are a​ landlord and​ are concerned about leasing to​ foreigners contact our law firm and​ we should be able to​ design some protective measure for​ you that are lawful.
If you are a​ landlord never engage in​ any self-eviction practices .​
Never disconnect the​ electricity or​ water, never change the​ locks and​ do not decide that their front doors or​ windows need painting on a​ Saturday night and​ remove them for​ painting .​
Tenants could file counter claims against your legal action and​ further extend the​ time frames for​ eviction .​
Do seek competent legal counsel.




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