The commercial lease agreement in Argentina
The commercial lease agreement in Argentina on urban real estate is governed by the Civil and Commercial Code of the Nation (Código Civil y Comercial de la Nación, or CCCN), as amended and supplemented by the new Lease Law No. 27,551. These legal texts set forth public order provisions that the parties must abide by and cannot be set aside by contract.
Lease contracts do not have specific formal requirements, and a written instrument will suffice (CCCN, Article No. 1,188).
- Minimum and maximum terms
All urban leases have a minimum legal term of three years (CCCN, Article No. 1,198). The maximum term may not be longer than 50-years for commercial leases in Argentina (CCCN, Article No. 1,197).
Unless expressly provided for in the agreement, tenants lack 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 No. 1,218).
The commercial lease agreement´s price may be set in local or foreign currency, and may be adjusted by indexation or other mechanisms (e.g., by pegging the rent to certain goods or services related to the tenant´s activity). VAT is levied on the rent at a rate of 21%.
A security deposit, and/or insurance policy are common in market practices. The parties to a commercial lease agreement in Argentina usually agree on insurance paid by the tenant.
- Charges and contributions
The tenant is liable for the payment of the charges and contributions arising from the use to which the property is placed.
The tenant is not responsible for the payment of those that may be levied on the real estate, nor for the extraordinary common expenses.
It may only be established that the tenant is responsible for those expenses deriving from ordinary expenses, being understood as those related to the normal and permanent services available to the tenant, regardless of whether they are considered as ordinary or extraordinary common expenses (CCCN, Article No. 1,209).
The landlord must keep the real estate in a condition to serve the agreed use and enjoyment, and make at its own expense the repairs required by the deterioration in its quality or defect, originated by any cause not attributable to the tenant.
In the event of refusal or silence on the part of the landlord in response to a duly notified claim by the tenant to carry out urgent repairs, the tenant may carry out the repairs himself, at the expense of the landlord, after at least 24 hours have elapsed, counted from the receipt of the notification.
If the repairs are not urgent, the tenant must give notice to the landlord to carry out the repairs within not less than 10 calendar days from the receipt of the notice, after which time the repairs may be carried out by the tenant at the expense of the landlord (CCCN, Article No. 1,201).
The tenant is responsible for the mere maintenance improvements of the property (CCCN, Article No. 1,207).
- Sublease. Assignment of the contract. Transfer of the real estate
Unless otherwise agreed to the contrary, the tenant may sublease a part of the property (CCCN, Article No. 1,214).
The tenant may assign its contractual position to a third party if the landlord consents to it (CCCN, Article No. 1,213, first paragraph, and Article No. 1,636 and subsequent). The contractual prohibition to assign the contract includes subleases and vice versa (CCCN, Article No. 1,213, second paragraph). To sublease the whole property is deemed an assignment of the contractual position (CCCN, Article No. 1,213, third paragraph).
The transfer of the real estate does not affect the lease, and the agreement remains in force vis-à-vis the new owner.
- Advanced termination
The tenant may terminate the contract at will after six months of the term have elapsed. However, a one-month prior notice is required, and the landlord is entitled to compensation equivalent to one-and-a-half month rent in case termination takes place during the first year of the contract and to one-month rent if it operates afterward (CCCN, Article No. 1,221, Sub-article a).
- Electronic address
The parties to the commercial lease contract may establish an electronic address where all notices, communications, and summons addressed thereto shall be deemed effective (CCCN, Article No. 75, paragraph a).
- Registration of the lease agreement
Real estate commercial lease agreements must be declared before the Federal Administration of Public Revenues of the Nation (Law 27,551, Article No. 16).
Mario E. Castro Sammartino
 Rural leases have a special regime established by Law Number 13,246.
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