Evictions In Ecuador: How They Work, And What To Do When It Happens To Your Property

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“I can’t believe it’s come to this.” I said to my friend as I slid the ski mask over my face a few days ago.

“Got the switch-blade?” he asked.

“Yes.” I responded.

“Got the baseball bat?” He asked.

“Come on man, its Ecuador, ain’t no baseball bats here.” I continued.

“Ok, then got some stick you can use as weapon if needed?” He mumbled.

“Yes”. I replied as I slid it under my belt hiding it from sight.

“OK, lets go.” we both agreed as we walked towards the building, nodded at the security guy we’ve seen a million times and into the elevator we went.

I hoped this wasn’t going to get ugly, I thought, as we went up the elevator about to confront a tenant that did not want to pay the rent nor un-occupy the property.

Then I woke up.

My friend nudged me awake, I was daydreaming, waiting in the lobby of my condo building waiting for the tenant who didn’t want to pay to leave.

He wasn’t leaving.  And I was angry.  Maybe it was the Italian in me, I don’t like it when people steal or try to cheat me.

First time this happened to me or one of my properties in Ecuador.

So what could I or you do in this situation?

I know the laws favor greatly tenants over owners here.  So I was worried.

For that, I talked to a notary/lawyer friend of mine in Guayaquil who prefers to remain nameless.

Here’s what she said:

The legal term for eviction is “desahucio” in Ecuador.  First, you have to go to a notary with your signed rental contract (does NOT have to be notarized) and ask for a document called a “desahucio” which you then have to serve the tenant.

They then have 90 days (3 months) to leave the premise by Ecuador law before you can come with the police and kick them out.  In the meantime, you will have to go to a rental-claims-court (juzgado de inquilinato) and file the claim.

What if you don’t have a rental contract like in my case because the rent was going to be short-term (1 month)?

You can make a declaration of ownership of the property and verbal contract (declaracion de un contrato verbal) with a notary to continue the procedure.

Then, I suggested another solution.  Quicker.  They’re not paying for services so can I just cut their services: water, electric, Internet?

She said yes, just do it.

And after one more warning (and one more night) I did just that with the building staff, first cutting the water, the electric then the Internet to the suite.

And sure enough, within 1 more day after that they were out of there on their own terms.  The whole ordeal of them being in there and us trying to charge them and them not wanting to pay (or leave) lasted about 6 stressful days.

I only let these guys in in the first place based on a recommendation from a friend (that i’m also not going to listen to anymore).

But to avoid situations like this with my short-term vacation rental business in Guayaquil, I have to stick to my rules of no walk-ups, and Internet pre-paid bookings only which I think will help prevent situations like this greatly.

And for rentals of longer terms, be sure you get that contract signed from day one for your property and screen your tenants carefully!

 

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