"Working Our Way Through the Unknown..."

ISSUE #773: Aug. 11-17, 2019


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

Web: https://www.residenciaslosjardines.com
Emails: info@residenciaslosjardines.com

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

Market activity
sales & rentals

Sales: Los Jardines: Units #114, #116 and #124


Paradisus: Nothing available

Los Jardines: Units #106C, #106D and #113

Residencias Los Jardines
property management, rentals & re-sales

Unit #114: $ 199,000 / See Unit
Unit #116: $ 195,000 $ 189,995 / See Unit
Unit #124: $ 125,000 / See Unit

Unit #106C: $ 950 mo. / Available immediately / See Unit
Unit #106D: $ 1,050 mo. / Available immediately / See Unit
Unit #113: $ 1,200 mo. $ 1,150 / Available immediately / See Unit

For sale

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 #116
$ 195,000 $ 189,995

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

This 1,290 sf single floor home includes a 300 sf front terrace plus parking for one car and a separate, secure storage locker. It is and end unit and therefore attached on only one side by a 6 inch cement demising (common) wall, which prevents sound transfer.

UNIT #124
$135,000 $ 125,000

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
$ 1050 mo.
Available immediately

Total Area (Sq Ft): 1227 + parking
Total area (Sq M): 113 + parking
Bedrooms: 1 + den (bedroom possible)
Bathrooms: 2
Floor(s): 2nd. floor
Type: 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 east and is suitable for entertaining; the off-bedroom covered terrace faces west for sun sets. This very tastefully furnished and fully equipped home offers a lifestyle envied by many.

UNIT #113
$ 1,150 mo. price reduction
Available immediately

Total Area (Sq Ft): 1290
Total area (Sq M): 120
Bedrooms: 2
Bathrooms: 2
Floor(s): 1
Type: Semi-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 one side by a 6 inch cement demising (common) wall, which prevents sound transfer. The three other sides allow light, ventilation and garden views.

Our Lives

Rainy Season... We have had a little rain but not enough to replenish the ground water... plants are happy... only minor watering this past week.

What Happened This Week

Vacancies: Another week and not one inquiry...

Working Through the Unknowns...: Vito (Treasurer) and I have been left to pick up the pieces, try to understand the current status, sort our way through the unknowns. This has taken the better part of the past 10 days. We are still no there. We held a number of interviews with possible property management companies and individuals and also explored the idea of an office manager with a more limited scope of work. None of the property management / managers offer very much coverage (mostly a few hours a day at the most / and most would have to be trained. None of them really offered much and all wanted more than our budget. In the search, one of our new owners offered to help... she comes with some background and we decided to hire her to do the office management work and I will do the property / staff management work. This is not what I want but it is the best option for now. After having made this decision, we have subsequently possibly found a longer term solution but we will go in our new direction until December / January and re-evaluate it then. In the mean time we have a lot of unknowns to deal with... log-ins / pass codes / procedures / protocols / we do not know... Re. the accounting we have re-hired the previous accountant since he represented the fastest start up solution to return us to a semblance of accuracy... we have, however, given him strict guidelines and will be working very closely to see that he follows those guidelines... We are working against deadlines... I am leaving for a month beginning Sept. 8 -Oct. 5 / and Vito is not here most of the time...

"La Trinidad" Foreclosure: The second would-be buyer walked on the purchase. After finding more unpaid charges, I tried to re-negotiate the previously agreed to buy-out less those expenses... He didn't go for it so I am proceeding with foreclosure.

INS Suit: I haven't heard if they appealed... but I am sure they did.

Phone Calls: Sometimes the "Caller Unknown" phone calls are winners... not just robo /solicitation calls... Wednesday night, 8:30 I received a call from Toronto friend who I hadn't spoken with (but had actively wondered about) for 30 years... What a pleasant surprise -a broad brush up on respective lives... really great to hear... And just received an obituary from a previous owner / friend... happy and sad news all in the same week.

News Items of the Week


1. Shareholder Registry: Long expected it may become a reality -but it seems the implementation date has been postponed. It is an attempt to raise the veil on shareholders / owners... This has been one of the attractions of CR but that attraction is disappearing... maybe...

2. Government CCSS salaries: In order to end the strike in the national healthcare system, the government signed a special agreement... breaking their own mandate that there will be no exceptions and no special treatment... the government caved... and who actiualy knows what is happening re. the existing salaries vs. the "new" rules... I cannot understand what the new arrangement is... and I dare say, few others can explain it either... again if a simple fix is possible, CR will ALWAYS go for the most complex, convoluted, BS method... and it looks like history is repeating itself.

3. Government Caves: yep...

1. Penalty for breaching shareholder registration will go from ¢ 1.3 million to ¢ 44.6 million

In addition to financial penalties, penalties for hiding beneficiary information could leave the companies involved disabled.

As of September, legal entities are required to register with the Central Bank of Costa Rica the shareholders or final beneficiaries that have a participation greater than 15%, either in public limited companies or in non-governmental organizations.

Organizations that fail to comply with the mandatory requirement of shareholders or beneficiaries are exposed to economic and operational sanctions, which could imply a freeze on the company.

As of September, legal entities are required to register with the Central Bank of Costa Rica (BCCR) shareholders or final beneficiaries that have a participation greater than 15%, either in public limited companies or in non-governmental organizations.

The procedure is called the Transparency Registry and final beneficiaries and is one of the agreements taken by Costa Rica for a potential entry into the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

Alejandra Arguedas, Tax and Legal Manager of Deloitte, explained that the Law to Improve the Fight against Tax Fraud , Law No. 9416, passed in 2016, created this registry as an obligation for all legal persons and other figures (between they trusts, and other figures).

“It was considered that this is a control mechanism, so that the Government has more weapons to fight against cases of tax fraud, money laundering, and other crimes. Therefore, the registration obligation was established for all legal persons, ”said Arguedas.

The main sanctions provided for those who fail with this requirement are the impossibility of issuing certifications of legal status (certificates of responsibility) and similar of the National Registry; impossibility of registering documents submitted to the National Registry and a fine equivalent to 2% of the entity's gross income, with a minimum of $ 2,000 (just over ¢ 1.3 million) and a maximum of $ 72,000 (about ¢ 44.6 millions)

In addition to the weight of an economic sanction, specialists consulted by La Nación highlight the risk of a practical disqualification, since the freezing of procedures in the National Registry hinders most commercial or productive activities.

Guillermo E. Zúñiga, partner of ECIJA Costa Rica, commented that the certifications of personality of the companies, for example, contain the legal information to determine the people who are authorized to act on behalf of the company.

Therefore, these certifications are requested to sign contracts of any kind (lease, loan, services, among others) as well as to carry out procedures before the Government, municipalities and other institutions.

"If you take into account that the validity of the personalities issued by the National Registry or by a notary public is one month, the company would be unable to carry out transactions of all kinds," said Zúñiga.

The specialist also warned that the lifting of these punishments will depend on the legal person submitting the information and paying the fine.

The registry of transparency and final beneficiaries will be developed by identification number in five months, in this way: the legal identification numbers, 0 and 1 in September; 2 and 3 in October and so on.

Daniel Quesada, EY Tax Manager, added that after the first declaration, the information must be reported every year by means of an ordinary declaration that must be submitted between April 1 and 30.

New companies must report within 20 days after the constitution process has been completed before the National Registry. Likewise, there is an extraordinary declaration, which must be made within 15 days after it is noted in the book of shareholders that any of the owners of shares equaled or exceeded 15% of the total share capital.

The General Directorate of Taxation had told La Nación that in Costa Rica there are about 310,000 legal persons, which include corporations, limited liability companies, individual limited liability companies, among others, that must submit their information to the shareholders register.

How is it done?

The registration must be done with a legal representative or agent, who must register the person or legal structure before the Transparency and Final Beneficiaries Registry, through the application made available by the Central Bank of Costa Rica.

Who is going to make this registration and the subsequent provision of information, must have an electronic signature to interact with the platform of the Central Bank of Costa Rica (BCCR).

The information that must be provided includes identification data of the legal entity, summary of the share capital, individualized detail of the shareholders and final beneficiaries, details of participations, among others, Quesada warned.

The entry into operation of the Registry is subject to the BCCR proving that it has adequate security, confidentiality and information protection mechanisms.

2. Treasury slows growth of 95 salary pluses of 127,000 employees

Converted percentage incentives into fixed nominal amounts in seven months

The Treasury authorities made the changes in bonuses that the tax reform introduced.The Treasury authorities made the changes in bonuses that the tax reform introduced. In the image from left to right, the Deputy Minister of Finance, Nogui Acosta; the ICT director, Alicia Avendaño; the minister, Rocío Aguilar; and Vice Minister Rodolfo Cordero.

The Ministry of Finance managed to adjust in July the payment of 95 salary benefits received by 127,000 employees of the central government, with the aim of stopping the growth of its weight in public spending.

Before, these incentives were paid as percentages of salary. Now, they were converted to nominal amounts, that is, fixed amounts.

This change, ordered by the tax reform, prevents spending in surpluses growing every time base salaries grow. The 127,000 represent 45% of all state officials, which are about 277,000.

Alicia Avendaño, director of Information Technology of the Treasury, confirmed that the technological change took place in the second half of July for all employees of the ministries, including those of Public Education (MEP), an entity that has the largest payroll in the State, with more than 80,000 personeros.

The adjustment also extended to the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) and the Ombudsman's Office. It does not cover the second employer in the country, the Costa Rican Social Security Insurance Fund (CCSS), which has 57,000 employees, nor the Legislative Assembly.

They became nominal amounts, for example, the extra payment of up to 95% of the base salary per zone, in several institutions, as well as the 40% uprooting paid by the Ministry of Public Works and Transportation (MOPT) and 30% for a double day of the Ministry of Education (MEP).

Also, 25% were transformed to fixed amounts for computer skills in several entities, 25% of discretion in the Presidency, 25% for competitiveness in the TSE and 10.33% of the Special Ombudsman's incentive

The Nation consulted the Treasury if the medical incentives of health science professionals working for the Central Government in the offices of most institutions were also converted. Avendaño's answer is that there was no exception.

These doctors are not hired by the CCSS.

To make the change, the Treasury adhered to what is indicated by the Law on Strengthening of Public Finance, the regulation on the Public Employment chapter and two subsequent reforms that clarified some points on the calculation of the annuities, the Treasury reported.

Avendaño said there were no technological limitations in the application of the law, although it was necessary to consult the governing authorities such as the Ministry of Planning (Mideplán) and the General Directorate of Civil Service about the calculation of the pluses.

For example, there were doubts about which base salary should be used to calculate the annuities of people who had been promoted.

That doubt was solved by a decree of last July 31, which clarified that they should be calculated on the basis of the new position, although they have been accumulated in a position with lower salary.

For the second half of August, the Ministry of Finance will also proceed to pay, as fixed amounts, the new annuities set by the tax reform: the equivalent of 1.94% of the base salary for professionals and 2.54% for non professionals.

Institutions that paid higher annuities now may not exceed these parameters.

In addition, the nominal amount will remain unchanged onwards. For example, if an official has a salary of ¢ 1 million, the new annuity will equal ¢ 19,400. Then, for each new year worked, another ¢ 19,400 will be added.

Before, with the percentage modality, for each new year worked, another 1.94% was added for each annuity. Then, if the base salary rose to ¢ 1.1 million at a certain time, each annuity rose to ¢ 21,340.

The new annuities, which came into effect with the tax reform since December 4, 2018, were due to be recognized in June. However, the Treasury will pay them this month retroactively. The government chose to pay them until all doubts were cleared.

Although the conversion of the bonuses had to be made since December, the officials will not have to return any money because the Ministry of Finance postponed the salary increase from January to June, so the percentage bonuses did not rise. Now, the government will pay retroactively.

With this adjustment, around 45% of officials would be in order with public employment reforms.

Without changes

Other entities, in their autonomy, must apply the changes. However, some such as the Costa Rican Social Security Fund (CCSS) and the Social Protection Board (JPS) have resisted.

3. In Political Corrillos: Agreement in CCSS leaves more inequality and a defeated government

In a press conference on Tuesday, the Minister of the Presidency, Víctor Morales, one of the signatories of the agreement, said that what is under discussion is the application of the law to the bonuses granted before the tax reform and not those that are recognize later.

“The Caja is not de-applying tax reform. The conflict is due to the way of calculating the bonuses and annuities prior to the entry into force of the Law. Systems are being adapted to apply the public employment provisions of Law 9635 in the coming months, ”Morales explained, this Tuesday.

However, neither Morales nor the CCSS executive president, Román Macaya, clarified whether the new annuity will also be applied to this professional group.

In this regard, the President of the Republic, Carlos Alvarado, said on Wednesday that the percentage of new annuities would be reduced, without specifying whether the measure will apply only to new staff or those who were working before the tax reform.

“From the 1st. the different regulations in relation to the Law on Strengthening of Finance will be applied in September. An example: the doctors' annuity was 5.5%. That annuity changes from next month, like everyone else, to 1.94%, "said the president.


In the first agreement with the unions, on February 20, Macaya undertook to make legal consultations with the Directorate General of Civil Service (DGSC) to apply in the CCSS what that regime provided, although its criteria were not binding.

Before the consultation of the CCSS, the director of the DGSC, Alfredo Hasbum, responded that in relation to these incentives and annuities, what was determined by the Attorney General's Office (PGR) that is about to be pronounced, after a consultation of the Mideplan

Since then, no salary resolution has been established for medical science professionals, Hasbum confirmed.

The rector of public employment and head of the Mideplan, Pilar Garrido, annulled any luxury annuity that exceeded the established tax reform, including medical, for the approval of the tax reform, but still has doubts and therefore made that consultation to the state lawyer.

On May 29, when answering questions from Deputy Pedro Muñoz, of the Christian Social Unity Party (PUSC), the Attorney General's Office warned that the payment of remuneration in the CCSS should be subject to the tax reform law.

Muñoz asked: "How should the Costa Rican Social Security Fund proceed to calculate and pay the other salary incentives enjoyed by its officials, since the entry into force of Title III of Law No. 9635?"

Response of the Attorney General's Office: "As we have already pointed out, article 52 of the Public Administration Wages Law obliges the institutions referred to in article 26 of the same law to pay the incentives and compensation existing before entering validity of Law No. 9635 through a fixed nominal amount.

“The foregoing was ratified in Article 17 of the Regulation to Title III, of Law No. 9635, which also provided that the reference base salary for calculating fixed nominal amounts is that corresponding to the month of July of the year 2018”.


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

Web: https://www.residenciaslosjardines.com
Emails: info@residenciaslosjardines.com

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