Jacó rental firm seems to have suspended services

The vacation rental business Mead Brown in Jacó appears to have stopped servicing its customers.

The company’s Web site is simply an email sign-in now, and the firm’s 24-hour number does not answer.

The Facebook page is not available, according to a statement posted by the social network.

One of the firm’s partners, Michael Brown, has not responded to emails.

Jacó residents report that some of the firm’s employees could not enter the offices late last week because the doors were locked.

The company’s main business is providing a brokerage business for owners of vacation homes and condos in Costa Rica. Many of the owners are U.S. and Canadian expats. Some of the homes managed by the firm are believed to have short-term renters in them now.

Naturally, the firm’s 40 or so employees are anxious because they are expecting severance pay if the firm has closed down.

The rental market in Costa Rica is an important aspect of the tourism business. Mead Brown advertised that it provided rental management services all over the Central Pacific coast and in places as distant as Montezuma and Cóbano on the Nicoya peninsula.

Foreign expats rely on such firms to collect rents and pay utilities and taxes as well as provide some maintenance, depending on the text of the contract. Renters frequently are provided with housekeeping and concierge services.Even more importantly for absentee owners is the service to check out renters so that the property that belongs to the rental stays there.

Mead Brown listings that are available on the Web site of other providers on the internet show daily rents of from $250 to $3,000 a night. The firm also listed tours and fishing trips as services.

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