10 things you should know when buying Tamarindo real estate
Pt. 8: Hiring Domestic Help
In part one of this ten-part series, we discussed the Costa Rican legal system and how it differs from the U.S. legal system. In part two, we discussed how to choose a realtor. In part three, we discussed property managers and the services they provide in maintaining and renting your vacation home. In the fourth installment, we discussed the various taxes that may apply when owning Tamarindo real estate. In part five, we discussed the various utilities that service your new home. In part six, we discussed the types of insurance available for your Tamarindo Real Estate and how to obtain insurance policies. In the seventh installment, we discussed the different types of, and ways to obtain, residency in Costa Rica. In part 8, we will discuss hiring domestic help for your Tamarindo Real Estate.
Hiring Help Around the House
Whether you plan on living in your Tamarindo house year ’round or only a few months out of each year, you may find yourself wanting some help around the house. Hiring someone to help with cleaning the house, maintaining the yard and garden, hiring a cook or a security guard, can help you enjoy your time in Costa Rica more. This is especially true if you only plan on visiting your home in Tamarindo a few times per year, but even if you are living in your Tamarindo home permanently, hiring some extra hands can be quite helpful. When hiring domestic help you have two options: you can hire workers on your own and handle all the necessary legal paperwork, or you can have your property management company handle this process for you. It is advised that you let your property management company provide these services, as it saves you the headache of legally hiring your own workers. Even if you have your property management company handle the hiring of workers for you, it is still a good idea to familiarize yourself with the worker’s rights and labor laws of Costa Rica so that you are more informed and can maintain a better working relationship with those caring for and cleaning your house.
Labor laws in Costa Rica are very comprehensive and it’s important to remember that if you do hire workers yourself, you must register their employment with the Caja Costarricense del Seguro Social (CCSS), Costa Rica’s Social Security Agency, or Caja for short. The Caja oversees health care, disability, and sick leave. You must also obtain a worker’s comp policy, or, riesgos del trabajo, for any employees that you hire. This policy can be obtained through the Instituto Nacional de Seguros, or INS. It is very important to hire your employees legally and complete all the necessary paperwork and make the required payments so that you avoid any legal problems in the future, fines or penalties, or lengthy settlement battles in case something goes sour with the work relationship, or your employee becomes sick or injured while on the job.
Holidays, Bonus Pay, and Minimum Wage
All workers in Costa Rica are equally entitled to paid vacation, one day for each month of work, amounting to roughly 2 weeks per year. Costa Rican employees receive a paid day off for major holidays and important dates in Costa Rica. Christmas Day (December 25th), Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Juan Santamaria Day (April 11th), Labor Day (May 1st), Annexation of Guanacaste Day (July 25th), and Independence Day (September 25th) are all major holidays in which employees should receive a paid vacation day. If an employee has to work on one of these days, he or she must be paid double time.
Every Christmas, each employee receives what is known as Aguinaldo, or a Christmas Bonus. Aguinaldo is payable between December first through the 15th of the month. If an employee has been employed for a full year prior to December first, then he or she is entitled to to a bonus of roughly one month’s pay. If an employee has not yet been employed for a full year, then he or she will receive a prorated bonus based on the length of employment.
At the time of writing, the monthly minimum wage for a domestic worker is ¢148.992,22. This breaks down to about ¢1,000, or $2, per hour for an 8 hour work day, 5 days a week. This low mínimum wage is one of the reasons why many people decide to hire domestic help for their house in Tamarindo. While you may not have been able to afford a gardener or a cook in the US, you can in Costa Rica.
It is especially important to have someone clean, maintain, and look after your house while you are not in Costa Rica. No one wants to come back after three months in the States to find that ants, termites, or some other kind of critter has moved into your house. If you plan on renting out your Tamarindo home while you are not in Costa Rica, you’ll need to provide continued care for the yard, which in this lush, tropical setting can grow wild in a matter of weeks without proper maintenence and attention. Hiring workers to help maintain your house and property is a great idea, but with so many legal aspects to sort out, the best option is to let your property management company handle this process for you. Your house will look great and you will be stress free.
PPV Tamarindo Real Estate is an Eco-conscious, residential Ocean View community located on Costa Rica’s beautiful Pacific Coast. Our development offers more luxury than you would ever expect at an affordable price. Our development is close to beautiful beaches; offers Ocean View Condos; lots offering panoramic Ocean views; and affordable tropical residential lots.