Beware of the brush fire during the dry season!
If you own property in Costa Rica, you should pay attention to the windy months of December, January, and part of February.
Brush fires are easily started and might be a danger to your property as well as to you and your family.
If you are living next to a building lot or a farm, you will find that during the rainy season, the grass and weeds have grown tremendously.
In an incredibly short time (depending on how warm it gets), the long grass will dry out and will catch fire very easily. Due to the strong winds, a brush fire can move quicker than you can run.
If your property is located in a Costa Rica condominium, the cleaning of the empty building lots continuously is usually part of your HOA fees. This could be a reason for high condo fees. If you live in a gated community that is not regulated by legal bylaws, like many of the communities in Atenas or in the beach areas, you are on your own and you should take action.
A glass bottle, a burning cigarette, or even a stupid neighbor who burns his grass too lazy to cut it might get you into trouble. In Costa Rica, when your house burns down because the neighbor didn’t cut his grass, you are responsible for the disaster yourself and not your neighbor.
Protecting your property is mostly like it is everywhere else. As a smart homeowner, you will responsibly take progressive action, or you have a problem.
Progressive action can include any or all of the following:
1. Contact Your Neighbor
Talk to your neighbor in the last week of November. Put it on your agenda, Outlook allows you to set the recurrence of your note to be repeated once a year on the same date. Ask this neighbor to take care of cutting their grass as soon as they can.
2. Ask For a Fire Break
If your neighbor doesn’t want to spend the money to clean the whole lot or farm, request cleaning of a fire break.
3. Ask the Municipality
If you don’t know who your neighbor is, pay a visit to the Municipality. Tell them you would like to contact your neighbor to prevent a brush fire or “quemas” during the dry season. Most municipalities will be able to give you an up-to-date address or a way of contacting your neighbor.
4. Try Other Neighbors
If the Municipality doesn’t know how to contact the owner, you might try with other neighbors. In many communities, there will be someone who has a list of all owners and that contact address. They can probably give you also some feedback about this neighbor.
5. Ask your Realtor
You can also ask the realtor who sold you the property. Many times the realtor knows who your neighbor is, especially if he/she has worked in your area for a long time (those are the good ones).
6. Cut a Fire Break Yourself
Create a fire break on your side of the fence. If that is not enough, there is a very good chance nobody will complain about your trespassing to cut a fire break yourself. Or you can pay someone to do it.
7. Be Able to Get Out
Make sure that the bars on your windows and doors don’t prevent you from getting out fast in the middle of the night when necessary.
8. Fire Insurance
Get home insurance against fire. Ask your realtor to recommend an insurance agent in your area.
9. Follow the Drawing
Take other measurements as shown in the drawing below.
If you don’t want all that hassle with fire breaks, you should live in a condo.
With pleasure I will introduce you to areas where wildfires do not happen and show you the best condos for sale, contact me NOW.
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I DO want to remind our readers that we appreciate any referrals you can send us. Also, please remember the GoDutch Realty agents when you talk about your home in Costa Rica, we appreciate it.