×
Interested in our Partner Program for businesses or our Local Guide Program for experienced expats and digital nomads? Click here to learn more.
Expat Exchange - How to Rent a Home in Mexico
Expat Exchange
Free MembershipSign In
Monterrey, Mexico


How to Rent a Home in Mexico

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Welcome Home Mexico
Welcome Home Mexico

Summary: Renting a home in Mexico for the first time can be daunting. You probably have so many questions: Do I need a lawyer? Do rentals come with appliances? How do I find good rentals? How do I choose the right neighborhood? The list goes on and on. Here are answers to some of the top questions plus insight from our members living in Mexico.

Navigating the process of renting a home in Mexico for the first time can feel overwhelming. Numerous questions might arise: Should I consult a lawyer? Are appliances typically included in rentals? How can I discover quality rental properties? Which neighborhoods will best suit my needs? These are just the tip of the iceberg. Dive in for answers to these pressing questions and gain insights from our members who've made Mexico their home.

"Relocating to a new country can be an exciting yet challenging experience, and one of the first tasks you'll face is finding a place to live. If you're planning to move to Mexico, this guide will provide you with all the necessary information about renting an apartment, from finding a rental property to understanding the legal requirements and costs involved.

How do you find a rental property in Mexico?

There are several ways to find rental properties in Mexico. Online property portals like Vivanuncios, Inmuebles24, and Propiedades.com are popular and provide listings across the country. Local newspapers and real estate agencies are also good sources. It's also common to find rental signs on properties, so exploring the neighborhood you're interested in can be beneficial.

Does Mexico have an MLS type system?

Unlike the U.S., Mexico does not have a Multiple Listing Service (MLS) system. However, the Association of Mexican Real Estate Professionals (AMPI) provides a similar service where licensed brokers list properties.

Do brokers have licenses and how do I know if they are licensed?

Yes, real estate brokers in Mexico are required to have a license. You can verify a broker's license by checking with the Secretary of Urban Development and Housing (SEDUVI) or the AMPI.

Should I buy or rent in Mexico?

Whether to buy or rent depends on your personal circumstances and long-term plans. Renting can be a good option if you're not planning to stay long-term or if you want to get a feel for different neighborhoods before committing to a purchase. Buying can be a good investment if you plan to stay for several years.

Is it difficult to find rentals in Mexico?

Finding rentals in Mexico is not typically difficult, especially in larger cities and popular expat destinations. However, the process can be more challenging if you're looking for a specific type of property or if you're not fluent in Spanish.

What documents are required when renting an apartment in Mexico?

When renting an apartment in Mexico, you'll typically need to provide a copy of your passport, proof of income, and a Mexican bank statement. You may also need a local guarantor (aval) who owns property in the same city.

Do I need a lawyer when renting an apartment in Mexico?

While not mandatory, it's advisable to hire a lawyer when renting an apartment in Mexico, especially if you're not fluent in Spanish. A lawyer can review the lease agreement to ensure your interests are protected. The cost can vary, but expect to pay around $200-$500 USD.

How long is the typical lease for?

The typical lease term in Mexico is one year, although shorter and longer terms may be available depending on the landlord's preferences and the type of property.

Do I have to pay a deposit when renting in Mexico?

Yes, it's standard to pay a deposit when renting in Mexico. The deposit is typically equivalent to one month's rent, but it can be higher for furnished properties or luxury apartments.

What other upfront costs are there when renting?

In addition to the deposit, you may also need to pay the first month's rent upfront. Some landlords may also require a guarantor's fee or an administrative fee.

Are utilities included in the rent?

Whether utilities are included in the rent can vary. In some cases, water and property maintenance fees may be included, but you'll typically need to set up and pay for electricity, gas, and internet services separately. These costs are generally not expensive.

Are furnished or unfurnished rentals more popular in Mexico?

Both furnished and unfurnished rentals are common in Mexico. Furnished apartments typically include basic furniture, kitchen appliances, and sometimes even linens and dishes. Unfurnished apartments may include only major appliances like a refrigerator and stove. The choice between furnished and unfurnished depends on your personal needs and budget," said one expat living in Mexico.

Traveling Mailbox

Traveling Mailbox serves thousands of travelers, expats, digital nomads, businesses, individuals and others in over 47 Countries by scanning their postal mail so they can view it online anywhere in the world. They provide customer service 7 days a week so if you need assistance, it is just a phone call away. Traveling Mailbox works with Evernote, Bill.com and Dropbox. And, there are Traveling Mailbox apps available for iOS and Android devices.

Learn MoreConnect

Click connect to have our partner contact you via e-mail and/or phone.

Traveling Mailbox

Traveling Mailbox serves thousands of travelers, expats, digital nomads, businesses, individuals and others in over 47 Countries by scanning their postal mail so they can view it online anywhere in the world. They provide customer service 7 days a week so if you need assistance, it is just a phone call away. Traveling Mailbox works with Evernote, Bill.com and Dropbox. And, there are Traveling Mailbox apps available for iOS and Android devices.

Learn MoreConnect

Click connect to have our partner contact you via e-mail and/or phone.

Expats Talk about What Type of Housing They Live In

"I live in a 300 year old historical neighborhood that is very exclusive. There are many expats from Germany, France and other countries in the city that mostly live in very modern, new houses. My home is rare to obtain even by the locals," said one expat living in Puebla.

"We live in a large home one town over from where my husband works. I think the type of housing one chooses depends on the expat. Some are single and would rather live modestly and pocket the excess money from the monthly stipend they are given towards housing. Others have families and need/want more elaborate housing. I don't know any expats living here who aren't working for a U.S. company. This isn't the type of area people move to on a whim. They are sent here for work," wrote a member in Comalcalco.

"We live in a house on the beach. Many ex-pats live in houses and condos on or close to the beach," commented one expat who made the move to Manzanillo.

"We live in a house on the beach. Ex-pats live in condos, houses, on the beach, in the hills, we are spread out depending on our tastes," remarked one expat living in Manzanillo.

"We live in a single family dwelling that shares side walls with my neighbors. It is 2 story with 3 bedrooms and 2 baths. Houses are made with brick or cider block with a skin coat of concrete. Many houses have beautiful, lush gardens with indoor/outdoor living. We chose not to have one. Many people have maids and gardeners but it was not in our budget. Square footage of houses include covered porches so be aware of that. We looked at one house that a porch was 1/3 of the square footage which left very little living space," wrote one member in Lake Chapala.

Expats Talk about How they Found their Home

"My company assisted us by hiring a Relocation company. In Mexico City it is very important to know where you will work in order to find your home. Commuting time can be terrible if you do not consider this important issues," commented an expat living in Mexico City.

"We had visited months before, staying in a local hotel. When we sold the motorhome and moved down, three months later, we stayed with friends for two weeks and then bought a house. It was a private sale, without realtor, so was closed by a local attorney/notario in a matter of days," said an expat in Ajijic, Lake Chapala.

"We wanted to be in the city, near the center. And we wanted a home that was old and renovated. We found lots of homes to choose from," remarked one expat who made the move to Merida.

"I initially chose to move to the marina area which is quite nice and a bit pricey but far from downtown Puerto Vallarta. I then moved to the Southern area of Puerto Vallarta, Old Town. This is a very trendy area and the prices are often far higher than other neighborhoods, despite this being the less modern area," explained one expat living in Puerto Vallarta.

About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.


Welcome Home Mexico
Welcome Home Mexico

Welcome Home Mexico
Welcome Home Mexico

Monterrey, Mexico

SJB Global
SJB Global

SJB Global is a top-rated financial advisory firm specializing in expat financial advice worldwide, offering retirement planning & tax-efficient solutions with a regressive fee model.
Learn More

SJB GlobalSJB Global

SJB Global is a top-rated financial advisory firm specializing in expat financial advice worldwide, offering retirement planning & tax-efficient solutions with a regressive fee model.
Learn More

Contribute to Mexico Network Contribute
Help others in Mexico by answering questions about the challenges and adventures of living in Mexico.

Welcome Home Mexico
Welcome Home Mexico

Copyright 1997-2024 Burlingame Interactive, Inc.

Privacy Policy Legal Partners & Local Guides