Evicting a Guest or Caretaker From Your Property in Costa Rica
In Costa Rica the Landlord-Tenant Law (Ley General de Arrendamiento Urbanos y Suburbanos) regulates all aspects of the relationship between a property owner and their tenant.However, the Landlord-Tenant Law does not apply to seasonal guests or caretakers that may be on your property.As such in those situations you would be dealing a different set of laws and regulations.
The Landlord-Tenant Law specifically excludes the following: (a) hotels, hostels and B&B’s(b) residential homes for tourism purposes which are located in areas which the Costa Rican Tourism Institute has determined to be tourism areas and so long as the rental is seasonal in nature. (c) Caretaking or occupancy by mere tolerance of a built structure.(d) The use ofa home, local or offices assigned to administrators, guards, peons, employees or officers related to their employment and service.(e) Contracts for a home located on farmland where the main purpose of the contract is the agricultural use of the land.
In these cases an eviction must be an Administrative Eviction which is done before the Costa Rican police forces instead of a Judicial Eviction which is heard by a Judge.The Administrative Eviction process is regulated by the“Regulation for Processing Administrative Eviction Filed before the Ministry of Public Security” Executive Decree No. 37262-MSP of July 14, 2012. (Reglamento para el Tramite de Desalojos Administrativos Presentados Ante el Ministerio de Seguiridad Publica)
In these particular cases the occupant has the obligation of vacating the property when requested to do so by the property owner.If there is opposition from the occupant the property owner can file a petition for administrative eviction before the Ministry of Public Security.The petition is filed at the office of Administrative Evictions of the Legal Department of the Ministry of Public Security
The Legal Department of the Ministry of Public Security will review the request and if granted will issue a resolution giving the occupant 3 days in which to vacate the property.The occupant can present an appeal within that 3 day time frame providing evidence to counter the allegations of the property owner.
If the allegations of the occupant are rejected the police will proceed with the eviction of the occupant.