Paying Your Utility Bills in Panama

Paying Your Utility Bills in Panama

Once you move to Panama, you have to open your mind to new stuff or to old stuff, depending on your point of view!

Paying Your Utility Bills in Panama is no exception!

 

I am sure you already noticed that there is no mail service in Panama. I mean, there is one but not the one we are used to wether we’re coming from North America or Europe. So, no USPS guy here…

As a result, your utility bills are slid under your door if you live in a condo or just stuck in your main gate if you live in a house with an outdoor gate. Interesting, right! No matter if it rains or not, your electricity bill has been delivered! Sometimes, if you don’t get it the same day, you will have to dry it off hoping you can still read it after… Same thing with water or phone and internet services!

Well, this is how it was when we moved to Panama in January 2014. Now, things are improving. You can subscribe to receive your bills online and sometimes it works! ūüėÄ

Once you get your bill, as you assume, there is no return envelope! What did you expect!?! Still in the improvement process, some banks offer you to pay online. Not all of them though.

 

Paying Your Utility Bills in Panama

 

 

If your bank is not offering the service yet, you have to PHYSICALLY go pay your bills.

 

There are several options to do so:

 

Go to each utility office and pay directly Kind of a hassle since they are not usually located one next to the other!
Pay at an “e-pago” kiosk Usually located next to shopping centers, they only accept cash and sometimes don’t work…
Pay at an “e-pago” office There are offices dedicated to collect payments.¬†They usually only take cash as well.
Go to the bank Some banks (Banco General for instance) have deposit slips already filled with the bank account of the company you need to pay.

You just have to add your information and deposit to the bank teller.

Depending on the waiting line, could be a good option.

Western Union Only cash as well but you can pay your bills there.

 

Paying your bills in Panama can appear as a challenge especially if you don’t speak Spanish. This is part of our offering and we also propose this service “a la carte” in case you want to save you some time. Do not hesitate to contact us for more information, remember our only goal is to make you enjoy your time in Panama.

Until next time…

 

 

The importance of doing a move-in inspection

The importance of doing a move-in inspection

Renting a property when moving in a foreign country is usually the first option. However, things differ slightly from one country to one another. It still happens in Panama that the landlord would do a move-out inspection while he didn’t do a move-in inspection…¬†

Today, I would like to emphasize 

The Importance of Doing a Move-in Inspection

 

The importance of doing a move-in inspection

 

There are a lot of reasons for doing a move-in inspection and the most important one is probably that it may ensure you get your security deposit back. 

It will save you some hassles in the future and it usually shows your landlord that you wish to proceed with everyone and everything on the same page.

What do you need to check when you move-in?

  • The general state of the property you’re about to rent

Too often, we feel excited to enter a new stage in life, and it is especially true in a new country. You may be tempted to just “skip it”, but trust me, you shouldn’t.

The general state of the property is the first step in the inspection. Make sure for example that there is no stains of humidity in the walls, and if there are, it may be old but you have to mention it on the move-in inspection form. Make sure the paint is not peeling anywhere.

Check on the windows and doors to make sure they close well and check also the bars (if any) to see if they’re not rusted.

Run the ACs in all rooms, flush the toilets, and run the faucets and see if the drains are in good shape and do not show any leak.

 

  • Make an inventory

Being as specific as possible about what is in the property. If it is furnished, check on the furniture to make sure it is in good condition and if not, mention it on the move-in inspection form.

If the property is also equipped with dishes, linens, and any other supplies, list it. Check everything. It may sound like a waste of time but you may be happy you’ve done so when it’s time to move out. No need to mention that having a very specific move-in inspection form signed by all parties will definitely cut any intent of keeping your deposit.

 


What else?

Make sure you have a functioning water heater and a gas tank if it uses gas. I can see some of you smiling of even laughing out loud, but it is sadly a personal experience… When we rented that $1,600 per month house in Coronado from a well-known company, we didn’t expect that the water heater would not work nor that it would take 4 months to have it replaced… (not even mentioning that the property was dirty…).

If the property is managed by a company, request the contact information so you can call yourself and make sure your needs are addressed in a timely manner. 

Request also the contact information and contracts for utility companies so you can pay your own bills and not taking the chance of being cut for non-payment!

Last but not least, DOCUMENT your move in-inspection with lot of pictures and email them to the landlord or the property manger so you are all on the same page.

Enjoy your new home and welcome in our beautiful Panama! 

 

Benefits for Scheduled Maintenance

Benefits for Scheduled maintenance

When we own a property, we, sometimes, have the tendency to wait for things to break before replacing them. That seems to be okay when we live into that property but what if things break while you’re away or while you’re renting your property?

You can trust me when I say there are

Benefits for Scheduled Maintenance!

 

Benefits for Scheduled maintenance

 


  • Replacing or fixing things before they break

You may not believe it but actually, replacing or fixing stuff may save you money at the end. Let’s say your washer shows signs of malfunction and you do nothing. At some point, you may have to replace it and if you happen to have renters at this time, you will not have time to shop for finding the best deal. You will end by having to go for the fastest way to replace it and as always, fastest is never cheapest…

  • Avoiding serious damages

When you schedule a roof maintenance for example, you are not waiting for leaks to be real. Doing a regular “check-up” of your roof will prevent serious leaks that can ruin not only the roof, but also your ceilings and everything beyond.

  • Maximizing the expectancy of your material

Cleaning the AC filters seems to be a no brainer, right? However, I know lot of places where they’re not cleaned on a regular basis. At some point, not only, you’ll need to replace them but it could seriously damage the AC system itself or you can see your electricity bill going up like crazy…

  • Fumigating your land

In Panama, we have a lot of bugs. Some of them are okay to deal with but others are more of a hassle. It is always better to do preventive care on your land than waiting for a scorpions infestation that would clear your property from renters in a blink. There are some companies who do that by contract with quarterly visits and most people are happy that we advised them to do so.


These are the most common examples of what you need to really consider as preventive maintenance to avoid unexpected costs. Of course, depending on your property, there are services to add to make sure you’re maximizing your return on investment. Just call us for an assessment and we will gladly advise you and suggest a maintenance calendar.

Stay hassle-free. Hire professionals!

 

5 reasons for signing with us

5 reasons for signing with us

5 reasons for signing with us

When you own a property where you’re not living full time in, it may be very challenging to find a reliable company that will take care of your home the way you would. To make your decision easier, here is

5 reasons for signing with us

There are many reasons I could bring before your eyes today but I am only picking the 5 most important!

  • We are customer-service oriented

With a solid background in the aeronautic industry, you can be sure that we are going above and beyond your expectations for making sure everything goes smooth. We always emphasize proactivity over reactivity and we believe in the power of communication.

We will also contact you with planned maintenance schedule so you can plan your expenses for making sure your house is and stays in good state. It means you will hear weekly from us whether everything is well or if something needs to be done.

  • We are flexible

We have basic service offerings but we also have a-la-carte services so we are always open to discussion for helping you choose the right set of services you need. Since you deserve the best, you just have to request a custom offer to only get the services you need.

You can either decide to have your home managed while you’re away or have it rented to maximize your return on investment. You can see the list of our services here.

  • We have an in-house team for maintenance and repairs

We have knowledgable workers in electricity, plumbing, and remodelling so you are sure you will not have random people in your house. It maintains safety at high levels since this would only be people we know well and we trust. We believe it is important for you to know that only a few persons will have access to your property, unless you have renters.

The fact that the in-house team has a strong knowledge in construction and materials is one of the best ways to save money because none of them would advise to do unnecessary work in your home.

  • We offer short-term contracts

You don’t have to go for a complete year with us. We offer you 6-month contract so you can try us and decide. Cancelling the contract only requires a written notice 30 days before the contract ends.

We are sure you will sign again but we also know you need evidences of what we say!

  • We speak 3 languages

If you decide to rent, having a team who speaks 3 languages is a bonus!

It makes you sure you can take renters from almost everywhere. If you want us to advertise on the Internet, we will do so in English, French, and Spanish.  We are confident it would be maximizing your chances to make an income out of your investment.

Remember you can contact us for discussing your needs in depth and that we would be honored to take care of your home like it was ours.

What to expect from your property Manager?

What to expect from your property manager

It always amazes me to see that people who jump in Property Management that they are sometimes not ready to commit for a long term contract. Those are always choosing quantity over quality and per experience, it usually doesn’t bring anything extraordinary.

I believe that the first question they should ask the client before anything else is “what are you expecting from me?”.

There is a wide range of services that can be offered by a property management company but I am totally convinced that flexibility is the key.

This is comfortable for the client and there is usually no surprise. If they are ready to sign for exclusive services, they also know that it comes at a price higher than someone who just needs a monthly check on the installations. No brainer right?

However, and as usual, it has to be said so everybody knows the boundaries of said contract.

Your property manager should also assess your property before sending you a contract and a bill. This is part of any smart way to do business. Before going any further, we all have to know what we are signing for.

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