Bizarre + The Never Ending Nightmare -Scotiabank

ISSUE #713: June 3-9, 2018


Brian Timmons, Newsletter Author
Brian Timmons

Dear friends,

When I started Residencias Los Jardines, I started writing a weekly newsletter -determined to tell all the good, bad, and the ugly. I knew some readers would be interested in the construction process. I expected others might be interested in the lifestyle of two people who had decided to live outside the box. For others, the adventures of Lita, the parrot and the cat took on an entertainment saga all its own.

Residencias Los Jardines is finished. We periodically have re-sales and rental availability. Some readers may be interested in this information.

Brian Timmons
Developer / Property manager
Residencias Los Jardines


rentals & sales

Paradisus Condos / Rohrmoser
Visit our website

Paradisus Condos - click to visit

Each of the units consists of two bedrooms / two bathrooms, and a large living/dining/kitchen area. The floor plan of each of these units has eliminated the optional "den / office" divider. The result is a larger area offering more flexible furniture arrangements while still maintaining the option of including an office area. At 105m2 plus two parking spots each and storage locker, they offer a great opportunity for someone seeking views, security, central location, and first class, all round living...

Semi furnished unit: For sale: $235,000
Fully furnished unit: For sale: $245,000
Floor 12 -west view

Distrito Cuatro / Guachipelín / Escazú
Price reduced: $ 125,000 to $ 99,000

about Distrito Cuatro

Rendering proposed
Distrito Cuatro - click to Download full PDF

Real de Santa María / Borreal de Heredia
$ 185,000
Private financing available

See location on Google Maps

Real de Santa María / Borreal de Heredia

Download more pictures (8.35 Mb)

Hyundai Santa Fe 2008
$13,500 $11,000

Hyundai Santa Fe 2008, Turbo Diesel, automatic, excellent family vehicle, safe, comfortable, interior with leather seats. Good tires, engine, turbo, suspension, and AC. Marchamo 2018 and Retive. It now has been road tested for 5 weeks and performed flawlessly. I can now sell with confidence...

  • 5-door / 5 passenger
  • Power steering, windows, mirrors, brakes and locks
  • A/C front and rear
  • Cruise control
  • audio/radio control
  • Air bags - driver / pass
  • Security system
  • Fog lamps
  • Tinted windows
  • Roof rack
  • CD player / radio USB/AUX
  • Hydraulic lift
  • Leather seats
Market activity
sales & rentals

Sales: Los Jardines: Units #106A, #114 and #124


Paradisus: Available immediately, $1,400 mo.

Los Jardines:
Unit #106C Available immediately, $950 mo.
Unit #106D Available immediately, $1,150 mo. (Until Dec. 1)
Unit #112 Available immediately, $1,150 mo.

Residencias Los Jardines
property management, rentals & re-sales

Unit #106A: $ 165,000 / See Unit
Unit #114: $ 199,000 / See Unit
Unit #124: $ 135,000 / See Unit

Unit #106C: $ 950 mo. / Available immediately / See Unit
Unit #106D: $ 1,150 mo. / Until Dec. 1 / See Unit
Unit #112: $ 1,150 mo. / Available immediately / See Unit

For sale

UNIT #106A
$ 165,000

Total Area (Sq Ft): 1250
Total area (Sq M): 120
Bedrooms: 2
Bathrooms: 2
Floor(s): 1
Type: Apartment
Furnished: Yes

This is a fully furnished 2-bedroom unit situated in a 2-story building, which has two units on the ground floor and two units on the 2nd. floor. Each unit is the same size (1,250sf) divided into 800 sf of interior space and 450 sf of covered front and back terraces. Units 106A and B are on the ground floor; Units 106 C and D are on the 2nd. Floor. The solid masonry demising wall (common wall) as well as the 5" concrete slab prevent sound transference.

UNIT #114
$ 199,000

Total Area (Sq Ft): 1290
Total area (Sq M): 120
Bedrooms: 2
Bathrooms: 2
Floor(s): 1
Type: Semi-Attached
Furnished: Yes

This 2 bedroom/2bathroom,1,290 sf single floor end unit home includes a 150 sf front terrace plus parking for one car. This house is fully air conditioned and has recently been professionally decorated by international decorator Alcides Graffe and has undergone a complete renovation—new modern furniture, finishings, window coverings, and art work by Carlos Gambino. It is arguably the nicest furnished unit at Residencias Los Jardines and only steps from the pool

UNIT #124
$ 135,000

Total Area (Sq Ft): 662
Total area (Sq M): 61
Bedrooms: 1
Bathrooms: 1
Floor(s): 2nd Floor
Type: Semi-Detached
Furnished: Yes

This 662 sf, + covered parking for one car, is a one bedroom home on the 2nd floor overlooking the large pool. It is ideal for a single person or couple.

For rent

UNIT #106C
$ 950 mo.
Available immediately

Total Area (Sq Ft): 1250
Total area (Sq M): 120
Bedrooms: 2
Bathrooms: 2
Floor(s): 1
Type: 4-plex
Furnished: Yes

This is a fully furnished 2-bedroom unit situated in a 2-story building, which has two units on the ground floor and two units on the 2nd. floor. Each unit is the same size (1,250sf) divided into 800 sf of interior space and 450 sf of covered front and back terraces. Units 106A and B are on the ground floor; Units 106 C and D are on the 2nd. Floor. The solid masonry demising wall (common wall) as well as the 5” concrete slab prevent sound transference.

UNIT #106D
$ 1,150 mo.
Until Dec. 1

Total Area (Sq Ft): 1227 sf . + parking
Total area (Sq M): 113 + parking
Bedrooms: 1 + den (bedroom possible)
Bathrooms: 2
Floor(s): 2nd. floor
Type: apartment in 4 plex
Furnished: Yes

This 2nd story, 1,227 sf (113 m2 + one parking space) )is a georgous home with one of the best views at Los Jardines. The very large front covered terrace faces west and is suitable for entertaining; the off-bedroom covered terrace faces east for sun sets. This very tastefully furnished and fully equipped home offers a lifestyle envied by many. The owner offers financing if desired.

UNIT #112
$ 1,150 mo.
Available immediately

Total Area (Sq Ft): 1290
Total area (Sq M): 120
Bedrooms: 2
Bathrooms: 2
Floor(s): 1 Story
Type: Attached
Furnished: Yes

This 1,290 sf single floor home includes a 300 sf front terrace plus parking for one car. It is attached on two sides by a 6 inch cement demising (common) wall, which prevents sound transfer.

Our Lives

Weather: We have had the normal rainy season weather and all is great. Plants are happy, dust is gone, etc.

What Happened This Week:


Credit Card Replacement: Thursday I received a call from the CC department of Scotiabank... they would deliver my card in the afternoon. They confirmed the address... it was two cities wrong. I corrected them; the delivery person did arrive. Great. I noticed that the card had the same account number that I had two cards earlier (it had been canceled for the same reason... a spurious charged that was not mine) ...this was suspicious but not being in the CC business I wasn't sure. The next day, I went on line to use it... It didn't work. I worked with PayPal "help" people... they concluded that the CC did not exist and that I needed to go to my bank. Defeated and dejected I hung up the phone. Twenty seconds later, I received another call from Scotiabank... wanting confirmation that I would be home / a courier was coming... yes he came, with a new CC... with a different account number... the stupid bank had issued a wrong / a cancelled account number... wow!!! I again tried to update my PayPal account... nope!!!!! card doesn't exist. A trip to the branch... now smiling because this is so bizarre... the branch person said it was because the office had not received the paper work (my signature having received the card) o.k. I can buy that now that I know... She said it would probably be activated later that day... It is now Sat. morning... the card still doesn't work... three and a half weeks -and counting... incredible......!!

11:00AM Saturday I just received call No. 9 from Scotiabank CC department. They now want me to pay a different amount than the $44 previously stated... I asked for a statement... they don't have it... it is the CC collections department... I have not received a statement from Scotia CC dept for two months... (not atypical)... I asked for some email from them and a contact person... I asked them how do I know it was actually Scotiabank CC department and not some bogus group calling??? (didn't get a coherent answer)... I have no idea what is going on... and neither do they obviously... again... once things go off the rails here in CR... and they always do... it is very difficult to get them sorted out.

Bizarre: On Monday I drove to San Jose municipal offices to pay property taxes on the Paradisus condos. (Background history: Last year we were wrongly charged due to an inputting error in their data base -it showed we had more area than we did. Over several months, this was sorted out. In November of last year, we received a penalty notice that we had not updated our statement of valuation... this is due every 5 years and we had no idea when it had first been done having received possession of these units less than 5 years... after several months, this got sorted out and we paid the penalty... In January we asked our lawyer to find out how much we owed this year... "nothing" he said according to the data base. We challenged this knowing it was not the case and not wanting to be fined or hassled... again the same answer... we got a written notice to this effect. In May, I decided to go to the Muni office myself, in person and asked for our amount... I was told the equivalent of about $2,100 for three units... that made sense. On Monday, I returned with money in my pocket to pay for my units and Paul's. Fine, done... finally, that is off my list. Early Tuesday morning, I received a text from my lawyer saying that we had overpaid and that the Muni wanted to return one million colones. I discussed this with the lawyer who knew the history... we agreed it didn't make any sense... but he said -and I agreed- that when the government wants to give you money, take it and don't ask too many questions. I went to the muni offices, asked for the person I had dealt with the day before, signed a piece of paper and was given the refund...

On the way there, as I passed the toll both, I saw two (2) accidents, both the same cause... in each case, a car had tried to merge in front of a huge truck (18 wheeler in case 1 and a dump truck in case 2)... the truck driver could not see these cars... they were in his blind spot... he moved forward with traffic and crunched the car trying to wedge in... and when looking for a parking space in the 3/4 sized Muni parking lot, and having been shooed out of a coned space (it was reserved for a dignitary I was told) I was motioned into an illegal / non-designated parking spot and in the process, hit a 45 gal drum which was below my line of sight... a paint job is now required.

District cuatro: Just after having been told the Muni wanted to return a million colones to me, I was advised by the lawyer that the lawyer for the would be purchaser -who had disappeared 2 months previously after having drafted an agreement... contacted my lawyer at 10 pm Monday night saying they wanted to go through with the deal. Well, blow me over with a feather... o.k. let's do it... my lawyer called Victor (purchaser's lawyer) took three days for the lawyer to respond... in the mean time I had contacted the would be purchaser asking what was going on... no response... Thursday Victor contacted Harold -my lawyer- saying they now see the price is down from $125K to $99 K, yes that is correct... and while I will sell it for $99K, I do not want to enter into an Option to Purchase agreement with $5 down... I want the full $40,000 down payment which had been mentioned in the previous agreement and I'll finance the rest... I haven't heard from them...

In the meantime, a person viewed it, said he would make an offer -wants to use it as a parking lot for a fleet of ???- I gave the agent and him all the info electronically... three days later I am waiting for an offer... it is coming... last night the agent said, the property is not in my name... what am I trying to do??... I sent her the deed and told her to contact Harold... she did and the bottom line is that she had viewed documents on the wrong property... wow!!! now we will see what / if anything / happens.

I have had two additional viewings. Too early to tell what might happen. At least it seems to have captured the interest of a few people.

Heredia House: It sits there looking good...

One viewing... that is it... a number of realtors have contacted me asking for info... I have sent it to them...

Market Interest: I have had a number of viewings on all rental properties ...but nothing has clicked... just churn and churn -- info / activities / conversations / showings / no results...

News Items of the Week


1 / 2. Nicaragua: it continues to be a problem. We had our first refugee family from there... one of the pieces below is from known people and it is their eye witness account. The other article is from the US Travel advisory...

3. Banco Popular: the Board purposely challenged the governments edict and lost... the Gov't board members got fired.

4. Government Filing: this will be a nightmare: if the government is involved, it will be chaos... time to get out of the rental business.

5. Government Efforts to Contain Costs: The government is really trying to implement cost controls, at least to the vary, vary flagrant abuses. I don't understand a lot of of the issues but I do conclude they are trying. In addition, they are trying to re-negotiate a number of public service collective agreements... this is never an easy task anywhere... and won't be here. The unions have already said "no way" and are setting up their defenses. We'll see what happens. My guess is that both sides will give a little... the government will not get enough to substantially change the flagrancies but will get some things. The unions will be protest loudly...

1. Nicaragua: Boots On the Ground comments:

Hi... So far so good here. Today all roads into Managua will be blocked by the trucks. The violence has become more so in certain places. Masaya is almost destroyed, both big marcados burned down, most business' ramsacked. Banks are closed in some towns...

By the way they burned down the beautiful city hall in Granada Sunday night and damaged one of the banks. So no visitors reccomended in Nic. anywhere. The Tico bus' are not coming here and the Nica bus owner said he isn't running any because they come back empty. Anyway just another chapter in the book.

We all feel safe enough right now and are staying. Our friends in CR keep saying come down here, but that's easier said than done, we do have someone to stay here with the cats and dogs if it really gets to that point. So I will try to keep you posted and take care of yourself.

2. US Government Travel advisory: Subject: Nicaragua Travel Advisory, Level 3: Reconsider Travel, June 8, 2018

Reconsider travel to Nicaragua due to crime, civil unrest and limited healthcare availability.

On April 23, 2018, the U.S. government ordered the departure of U.S. government family members and authorized the voluntary departure of U.S. government personnel.

Rallies and demonstrations are widespread and occur daily with little notice. In many instances the government responds using tear gas, pepper spray, rubber bullets, and live ammunition, leading to significant numbers of deaths and injuries.Looting, vandalism, and acts of arson often occur during unrest, including in tourist areas. The perpetrators are often government-controlled thugs in civilian clothing, sometimes using vehicles without license plates. Government authorities detain protesters, and some people have disappeared. Human rights groups have documented credible claims of torture of detainees.

Road blocks, including in Managua and other major cities, may limit availability of food and fuel. Road blocks may also limit access to the Augusto C. Sandino International airport in Managua. Criminals are in charge of some of the road blocks.

Hospitals around the country are inundated with victims of violence and lack the capacity to respond to other emergencies.

Violent crime, such as sexual assault and armed robbery, is common and has increased as security forces focus on the civil unrest. Police presence and emergency response are extremely limited.

The U.S. Embassy in Managua is limited in the assistance it can provide. U.S. government personnel in Nicaragua must remain in their homes and avoid unnecessary travel between sundown and sunrise. In Managua, they must avoid Rotonda Metrocentro, Rotonda Universitaria, and the vicinity of universities, particularly UNAN.

U.S. government personnel are prohibited from using public buses and mototaxis and from entering the Oriental Market in Managua and gentlemen's clubs throughout the country due to crime.

Additional restrictions on movements by U.S. government personnel may be put in place at any time, depending on local circumstances and security conditions, which can change suddenly.

Read the Safety and Security section on the country information page.

If you decide to travel to Nicaragua:

  • Consider arrangements to depart the country. There are no plans for a U.S. government-assisted evacuation.
  • Avoid demonstrations. Foreigners, including U.S.-Nicaraguan dual nationals, may risk arrest or expulsion if they participate in protests.
  • Restrict unnecessary travel.
  • Do not attempt to drive through crowds, barricades, or road blocks.
  • Maintain adequate supplies of food, cash, potable water, and fuel if sheltering in place.
  • Ensure your U.S. passport is valid and available for a quick departure from the country, if needed.
  • Use caution when walking or driving at night.
  • Keep a low profile.
  • Do not display signs of wealth such as expensive watches or jewelry.
  • Be aware of your surroundings.
  • Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program(STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Review the Crime and Safety Report for Nicaragua.
  • U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler's Checklist.

3. ​Three Banco Popular top executives laid off for not decreasing salaries

By A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Government Council replaced its three representatives in the Banco Popular board of directors for failing to comply with President Carlos Alvarado's order to reduce the millionaire salary of managers.

Juan Carlos Zúñiga, Paola Chavarría and Lorena Altamirano, who came to the institution in the prior government, were separated from their duties, although they will continue to receive their diets.

Locally diets are payments delivered each time they gather. Now they are subject to a disciplinary process for failing to comply with the 011-H directive of May 30, the president said in a press conference Wednesday night.

The decision was suddenly taken due to the refusal of the directors to comply with the directive of cutting a third of the salary for the management positions in the bank.

That salary was established at ¢17 million per month, according to the president.

The high salaries are in conflict with the austerity policy that Alvarado is trying to apply throughout the public sector to help reduce the fiscal deficit.

May 30 Alvarado ordered the salaries of the managers of the three public banks to be reduced so that they do not exceed ¢9.5 million per month.

That amount also is the salary of the manager of the Central Bank of Costa Rica.

4. Landlords must provide electronic invoices from September

Those who have certificates that end in 1, 2 and 3 have to start issuing the voucher on the 1st. of September; if the identification ends in 4, 5 and 6, the 1st. October; and in 0, 7, 8 and 9, the 1st. of November

People who rent a room, an apartment or a house, even if it is for a low amount, should start to deliver electronic invoices as of September of this year.

Three specialists consulted explained that from September the taxpayers who have not been incorporated into the system must begin to submit electronic invoices, according to resolution number DGT-R-012-2018 of the General Taxation Department published in the Digital Scope No. 60 to La Gaceta number 52 of March 20, 2018.

The application to the rents was also confirmed by the General Directorate of Taxation.

Dunia Zamora, prosecutor of the Association of Public Accountants; Alan Saborío, Tax partner of Deloitte and German Morales, Tax partner of Grant Thornton Costa Rica, confirmed that this resolution covers the people who rent.

"The rents had not been called then they will enter by the last number of the cedulas, then, according to the last number of the cedula, it would enter in September, in October or in November," Zamora said.

In this way, tenants who have cedulas that end in 1, 2 and 3 must start the 1st. of September; those that end in 4, 5 and 6, the 1st. October, and in 0, 7, 8 and 9, the 1st. of November.

Saborío argued that every individual who rents a property must register as a taxpayer of income tax, either as an individual or create an entity that engages in that activity.

In addition, you must file an informative return and income tax return, even if you do not pay the tax, and you must also submit an invoice. All this even if what you earn does not reach the minimum amount from which you start paying the tax.

Zamora clarified that the Tenancy Law says that for legal purposes, the tenant can claim that he paid with the bank receipt he obtained when making the deposit, but that is only for the tenant to be able to defend himself, whoever rents is obliged to issue an invoice.

Do not submit invoices, do not register as a taxpayer and do not submit information statements have penalties.

For example, if you are not registered as an income taxpayer, you face a sanction equivalent to 50% of a base salary (a base salary is currently ¢ 431,000) per month or fraction of a month, without exceeding three basic salaries (¢ 1,239. 000).


The specialists agreed that many people do not know this and it has become customary to rent without fulfilling these duties. Who pays rent?

In order to know if a person who rents pays income tax, Saborío explained that the table of income tax for individuals with lucrative activity is applied to them.

According to the current table for fiscal year 2018 (from September 1, 2017 to October 30, 2018), net income (income minus expenses) of up to ¢ 3,549,000 are exempt, on excess of ¢ 3,549 .000 and up to ¢ 5.299.000 pay 10% and continue three more sections.

Thus, for example, if a person rents an apartment at ¢ 150,000, then in the fiscal year it would receive gross income of ¢ 1,800,000. Those expenses are subtracted from the costs, for example, of painting and maintenance for ¢ 200,000, so he has a net income of ¢ 1,600,000. As that amount is less than ¢ 3.549.000, he would not pay the tribute. However, he would always have to file the returns and give invoices.

Free software

The electronic invoice is an electronic receipt generated when the sale of goods or services is made. That voucher reaches the consumer also by electronic means.

The Ministry of Finance offers Free Electronic Billing Software for taxpayers who wish to use it.

As of this year, the electronic invoice began to be obligatory for those who pay taxes. Thus, from Monday, January 15, electronic invoicing is mandatory for professionals in the health sector; from the 1st. February for the accounting and financial sector, from March 1 for lawyers, from April 2 for engineers, architects and IT, and from the 1st. May for other service sectors.

The system has several advantages, especially that it provides Taxation with the real information of the amount of the sale or service (which is important for the calculation of the income tax) and that the paper expense is eliminated by printing of payment vouchers.

5. Government and Labor Unions in Costa Rica Collide Over Fiscal Plan and Expense Containment Measures

The vice-president of Costa Rica Marvin Rodriguez, Minister of Presidency Rodolfo Piza and Minister of Work, Steven Nuñez met with representatives of the labor unions, Rerum Novarum Workers Central, Bussco, Anepp and the Central Unit of Workers, to discuss the unions’ position in relation to the fiscal plan and the expense containment measures that have been proposed by the government.

The two parts were unable to reach an agreement, the Government proposed a second meeting in June 22, and the representatives of the labor unions said they’d take the time to “analyze” the situation and decide whether or not to attend the next meeting.

Labor union representatives consider the government has taken “unilateral” decisions and has not been open to their proposals of creating a group to come up with a plan that all parts agree on.

Meanwhile, government officials commented that the “doors are open to maintain a dialogue”, however, they were also clear that they will remain firm in their position of containing expenses and resolving the fiscal deficit, measures that are “necessary for the country’s stability” and “cannot be solved by one sector only, “this is a country topic, and we must all make sacrifices”, concluded vice-president Rodriguez.

It is likely that worker unions will take to pressure measures such as strikes in the upcoming days.


Brian C. Timmons
Property Manager RLJ and Newsletter Author

Costa Rica:
Cell: (+506) 8-455-59-35
Land line: (+506) 2282-4142 Ext. 101

VOIP: (+416) 461-2203


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