Monday, November 23, 2015

Renting houses and apartments in Mexico.

I have been spending cold Canadian winters (well, not so cold on Vancouver Island) in Mexico for 5 years now, and was fortunate enough to find a fantastic place to live and probably one of the best landlords, and now friends, in the country.

My first visit was funny because I was asked by the landlord to sign his rental agreement, all in Spanish, which I didn't understand in the least.  A friend, who was 15 years old at the time, tried to translate it for me, but a legal document is a little much for a teenager.  Nevertheless, after the document was sort of explained to me, I signed.

Another thing the landlord required was for me to sign a number of promissory notes equal to the number of months I would be staying.  After I paid the rent each month, one of the promissory notes would be returned to me.  This was something the landlord did to protect himself in the event that I did damage to the apartment or created such a disturbance that he had to get rid of me.  This was never required BTW.

My landlords father owns two homes in Lake Chapala which he rents also.  In addition to the contract and the monthly promissory notes, they require the tenant to sign a very large promissory note to cover them in the event the tenant blows up the house or something similarly as drastic.  Many tenants in Chapala are Canadian/American, and they feel threatened by these procedures.  I must admit that if I didn't know the landlord personally, as I do now, I might be hesitant too.

Recently an American lady wanted to rent the house in Chapala, but had some concerns.  I talked to her on the telephone and answered all of her questions.  She later emailed me with more questions - which I answered.  Yesterday, she emailed back with her decision to NOT take the house.  Her reasons were not about the promissory notes or the contract.  She was upset that a deposit was required by the landlord to hold the house for her (and stop other potential tenants from inspecting the premises), so that he could then fly to Chapala and make sure the house was perfectly ready for her.

She was upset that he had instructed her that, after flying to Chapala, if she no longer wanted the house, she would forfeit the deposit.  She felt this was extremely unfair, and that he should cover all costs in the event that she backed out of the deal.  She was also worried that she would commit to a 6 month lease (because it is a house and not an apartment), and that if she got sick and had to return to the USA prior to the 6 months ending, she would lose her security deposit.

The landlords previous tenant had also run into difficulties and had to leave early, but was not charged the security deposit.  It is sad that this lady has decided to find other accommodations as she does not trust Mexican landlords.  Too bad.  She had actually found probably one of the best landlords in Mexico, but decided to try and find something better.  Good luck.

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