8 Things to Consider When You Rent in Mexico
If you’re planning to move to Mexico, you’re probably looking to rent an apartment. Given that some areas in the country can be pricier or even riskier, as well as the wide range of housing options available here, our experts at Pacific Prime Latin America will share some tips on renting in Mexico in this article.
1. Stay in an Airbnb while scouting
Unlike other developed cities, here in Mexico, many homes for rent are not listed online so it is really important that you get on the ground to scout a place out. Hence, it is advisable for you to hole up in an Airbnb base for two weeks or even up to three months so that you’ll have enough time to explore different areas. Also, you should note that many places that are for sale are also for rent so feel free to give them a call to see if they are willing to rent as well.
2. Figure out what you need
Since there are so many places to rent on the local market, it’s best you narrow down your focus and decide what exactly you are looking for. During the process of apartment hunting,
you should already have a rough idea of what your preferred neighborhoods and price ranges are.
Given the serious traffic congestion during peak hours in city centers, if you are coming to work or study, you should particularly take into account whether the apartment is close to public transport routes such as metro stops and bus stations.
3. Go online for more options
If you would like to take a look at what’s on offer in your region, websites such as Dada Room, RoomGo (formerly Compartodepa), Craigslist, and Vivanuncios feature sale and rent properties in various cities and can surely help you figure out what you need.
Facebook is another great platform for you to hunt flats, such as Foreigners in the City (Mexico City) and other flat-hunting groups, but they suit people looking to share an apartment instead of renting an entire apartment. Many individuals and small companies have opened Facebook pages to find places to rent or buy in specific communities as well.
4. Find a Spanish speaker to help you
The real estate industry here can be quite informal, especially if you plan to live in less touristy places. That’s why it is highly recommended that you get help from a fluent Spanish speaker who has a basic grasp of how property is rented in Mexico. During your first visit to the flat, a Spanish translator can help you ask crucial questions such as “Who will you report to (landlord or intermediary caretaker)?”, “What’s included in the price?”, and “How old is the building?”.
5. Prepare to provide an aval or double deposit
An aval, also known as fiador, is a co-signer who can cover your rent payments if you default. This person needs to live in Mexico and own property (with a mortgage paid off in full) that is specifically in the city where you’re looking to rent. Although there are many companies that can co-sign your lease agreements, their services also come with a hefty price tag.
An alternative solution will be negotiating with your landlord and paying a ‘double deposit’, which will be returned in full as long as the owner of the apartment doesn’t need to revamp the flat after you leave.
6. Expect most places are rented “as-is”
When you are shown an apartment, most likely you are already seeing the condition in which it will be handed over to you. Do not expect the landlord will get things cleaned up and freshly painted before a new tenant moves in.
However, most landlords will allow you to make small adjustments to your home, such as painting, installing shelves and light fixtures, as long as these changes can be changed back in the future.
7. Sign and read the contract
As mentioned before, things here in Mexico can be rather informal and your landlord can give you just a word-of-mouth agreement. However, it is crucial that you seek a formal contract to avoid any nasty surprises. Your contract will likely be in Spanish so you may need to get someone’s help to properly read over the contract and check anything that may seem weird.
8. Understand your responsibilities
In Mexico, renters are often required to fix anything that breaks in the flat. So if the toilet breaks or there is a leak, most probably you will either have to fix it yourself or call someone to make repairs for you.
Furthermore, tenants are also obliged to pay the phone, electricity, gas and water bills. Therefore, you should make sure that all the bills are up-to-date before you move in so that you won’t find a hefty electricity bill the next day after you move in.
Secure health insurance with the help of industry professionals
There’s much more work to do than just renting a flat for newly-arrived expats in Mexico, and securing a solid health insurance policy is among one of the most important tasks. Luckily, global health insurance broker Pacific Prime Latin America is here to help. Whether you’re looking for retiree health insurance, group health insurance, corporate insurance, or individual insurance, our reliable team of experts can help you find the best plan for your needs and budget.
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