An Expat’s Guide to Finding Long-Term Rentals in Mexico

An Expat’s Guide to Finding Long-Term Rentals in Mexico

Finding a long-term rental in Mexico is easy to do as long as you know where to look.

But finding a place is only half the battle. You also have to know what to look for in a neighborhood and lease.

Having said that, this guide to finding long-term rentals in the country will show you everything you need to know to secure a comfortable yet affordable place to live if you’re thinking about moving to Mexico.

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Furnished Vs. Unfurnished Rentals

Before talking about the long-term rental options in Mexico, it’s important to know the difference between furnished or unfurnished accommodations.

The one you pick depends on your needs.

Furnished

Furnished rentals are a good option if you don’t want to buy furniture.

These accommodations could have the following features, but not limited to:

  • single beds
  • dining room table and chairs
  • microwave, refrigerator, coffee maker, blender, washing machine, stove, TV, dishes, glasses, and silverware
  • air conditioning and ceiling fans
  • full bathroom
  • wardrobe
  • gas and water services 

Pros: You don’t have to worry about furnishing the apartment and you can move right in. They come with natural gas service and sometimes includes a parking space.

Cons: Furnished accommodations are more expensive, generally costing twice as much as unfurnished rentals. Check the available furniture and keep in mind that the more furniture there is, the more valuable it will be, and the more responsibility you’ll have to take care of it.

Unfurnished

Unfurnished rentals, on the other hand, come with no furniture or appliances.

If you bought your own furniture, or if you’re planning to ship your belongings to Mexico, then unfurnished rentals are a good choice.

Pros: They are cheaper than furnished rentals. Unfurnished accommodations let you decorate the place according to your own preferences using the furniture you already own or are planning to buy.

Cons: These normally don’t have natural gas, so you must buy a tank. You have to furnish the whole apartment.

One of the best sites to find furnished or unfurnished houses is Vivaanuncios.com if you’re looking to live in Monterrey. If you’re currently abroad, you can Aptuno.mx to take virtual tours of the rentals.

Finding Long-Term Rentals

Let’s take a look at your options for long-term rentals in Mexico.

Apartments

Apartments are one of the most popular options for long-term rentals. In Mexico, there are two types of apartments:

  • two- or four-apartment duplexes
  • apartments in a shared building

Let’s look at each one more closely.

Two- or four-apartment duplexes consist of one or two apartments on the first floor and one or two on the second floor. You access the apartments through a common hallway or staircase. Sometimes, these rentals come with parking spaces.

Apartments in a shared building number from six to 30 apartments. Usually, the occupants of these apartments enjoy common areas such as a swimming pool, a gym, an events room, and more.

Generally, these two kinds of apartments in suburban areas are unfurnished, but there are some exceptions. You can find apartments to rent in Mexico City on inmuebles24.com.

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Also, if you’re interested in an apartment with all the amenities, you can find information on GranCiudadNuevoSur.com.

Read more: The Complete Guide to Renting an Apartment in Mexico City

Houses

Renting a long-term house may be an affordable option. They usually have all the common areas, two or more bedrooms, and a patio, making it a good option for those who want to retire in Mexico.

They are furnished or unfurnished, located in cities or on the outskirts, and the prices are set accordingly. But for sure you can find a good price and a suitable place if you’re patient with your search.

Renting a house lets you enjoy the peace and quite. You also get a private garden or patio area and your own parking space.

You can look for houses to rent directly from landlords using Mercado Libre.

Read more: Retiring in Mexico: The Complete Guide

Home-Sharing

Home sharing can be an option if you want to lower your cost of living in Mexico. Many expats living in the country – whether they are students, travelers, digital nomads, or employees – share their houses or apartments with fellow expats.

Students

Students rent apartments or houses and look for roommates to share expenses with. This could be a good long-term rental option if you plan on studying, working, or teaching English in Mexico.

Usually, the student who has been in the rental the longest sets the rules, although everyone pitches in to look after the place.

By going this route, you’ll save money on rent and utilities by sharing the costs. However, you and you’re roommates are responsible for everything in the apartment. So, if something breaks, you all may have to chip in to pay for it.

Two websites where you can find shared apartments are Roomgo.com and Airbnb.com.

Employees

Co-workers also tend to share houses in Mexico.

If you want to share a house with your co-workers, determine how many people will live in the house, how long they will stay, and make sure everyone knows their responsibilities.

This option usually works when people have something in common: friendship, religion, or work.

Housing Complexes

Vecindades o casas habitacionales – or housing complexes – may interest you if you don’t want to spend a lot of money on rent. These buildings – or complejos – come with private rooms but have shared common areas such as patios and bathrooms.

These complejos may be located near large universities. They are usually furnished. But there are some others that are unfurnished. If they don’t come with furniture, they’ll most likely be in poor neighborhoods.

The cities where this type of housing can be found are Monterrey, CDMX, Puebla, Guadalajara, Cancun, and Merida, among others.

You can find these houses complexes in Facebook groups, just search for vecindades.

Airbnb

AirBNB is popular for short-term rentals, but it’s also a good choice when you don’t want the responsibilities that come with renting.

The platform offers long-term rentals, and the prices are reasonable when you rent for more than 25 days per month.

When you do this, you get high-quality housing with laundry and cleaning services. However, it’s a little more expensive than an apartment or house. Also, you need to reserve and pay for the long-term rental in advance.

Prices for Long-Term Rentals in Mexico

Each rental has unique characteristics and, therefore, prices for each type of housing vary. Prices also depend on the neighborhood.

Below is a list of average prices by property type in major Mexico cities.

Prices for Downtown Areas

ApartmentsCDMXMonterreyGuadalajaraMeridaQueretaro
1 RoomUS$450US$300US$250US$150
2 RoomsUS$1,000US$550US$300US$525US$225
3 RoomsUS$1,200US$900US$900US$600US$400
1 Room (Furniture)US$650US$400US$400US$250US$500
2 Rooms (Furniture)US$1,400US$700US$500US$400US$800
3 Rooms (Furniture)US$1,900US$900US$1,050US$600US$800
HousesCDMXMonterreyGuadalajaraMeridaQueretaro
1 RoomUS$200US$200US$300
2 RoomsUS$400US$250US$600US$600US$300
3 RoomsUS$600US$600US$600US$650US$300
4 RoomsUS$2,400US$2,000US$1,050US$1,050
1 Room (Furniture)US$1,000US$400US$250US$250US$400
2 Rooms (Furniture)US$1,200US$600US$700
3 Rooms (Furniture)US$1,400US$1,000US$1,000US$375US$800
4 Rooms (Furniture)US$1,800US$1,000US$1,500US$500US$1,000
Casa HabitacionalUS$225US$200US$250US$100
1 Room of a HouseUS$275US$250US$250US$150
AirbnbUS$37US$32US$91

Prices for Suburbs

ApartmentsCDMXMonterreyGuadalajaraMeridaQueretaro
1 RoomUS$300US$375US$200
2 RoomsUS$500US$450US$200US$400US$550
3 RoomsUS$800US$600US$400US$700
1 Room (Furniture)US$550US$375US$275US$300
2 Rooms (Furniture)US$1,050US$600US$400US$700US$800
3 Rooms (Furniture)US$1,600US$800US$650US$850
HousesCDMXMonterreyGuadalajaraMeridaQueretaro
1 RoomUS$300US$25
2 RoomsUS$750US$500US$300US$400
3 RoomsUS$800US$650US$450US$70US$700
4 RoomsUS$2,000
1 Room (Furniture)US$800
2 Rooms (Furniture)US$900US$900US$400US$500US$40
3 Rooms (Furniture)US$1,100US$1,000US$400US$800US$60
4 Rooms (Furniture)US$2,500US$2,000US$1,000US$1,200
Casa HabitacionalUS$150US$100US$80US$70US$75
1 Room of a HouseUS$300US$200US$100US$100US$90
Airbnb

Long-Term Rental Leases

Even though the rental market in Mexico is not all regulated, the government’s advice is to rent legally. The best way to sign a lease is by using a lawyer, who will review it and check if all the clauses are updated and included.

Another option is to use a real estate agency, which use a standard lease for every client. These real estate agencies may be part of the Mexican legal association Asociación Mexicana de Profesionales Inmobiliarios. Moreover, they use their own lawyers.

Requirements

Before signing a lease, you must remember that this a legal document used for any issues between the renter and the owner. So, it must be in line with the current Mexican rental laws.

There are template leases that can be found online, but they’re not legal. Also, sometimes landlords want to do a verbal agreement. To protect yourself, don’t do it.

Something that must be written in the lease is who will be responsible for paying the expenses if anything breaks down or if the place needs a fresh coat of paint when you move out.

The owner might ask you what your job is, if you have any pets, or how many people will be living in the house with you.

Some owners may even run your credit or ask that a member of your family or company acts as a guarantor.

Terms

All leases in Mexico should have the following:

  • name of the owner and renter
  • location of property
  • detailed description of the condition of the property and the facilities
  • rent amount
  • deposit amount
  • how the rental can be used
  • term of the lease (usually one year)

Deposits

The deposit is usually one-month’s worth of rent, but in some cases it could be two. This deposit covers any damage to the property. If you damage anything, the owner will deduct the cost from your deposit.

Also, the deposit covers the last month of rent if someone decides to skip out.

You can pay your deposit by bank transfer if you open a bank account in Mexico.

Responsibilities

The lease should also include the owner’s and renter’s responsibilities.

The owner may be responsible for:

  • waterproofing the roof before the rainy season comes
  • maintaining electrical connections, plumbing, and door plates, among others
  • keeping common areas clean
  • proving parking, if applicable
  • paying attention to the renter’s suggestions about the required maintenance 

The renter may be responsible for:

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  • paying rent on time
  • notifying the landlord of any kind of maintenance required on the property
  • asking the owner if it’s okay to paint or drill holes
  • communicating in advance with the owner when you plan to leave the property
  • using the property only for the purposes listed in the lease

As for utilities, unless stated otherwise in the lease, the renter will have to pay for everything. You can pay for these services at the bank, online, at the service provider’s office, or at stores like 7-Eleven and Oxxo.

Now, on to You

Now that you know how to find a long-term rental in Mexico, it’s time to get out there and start looking.

But before signing any lease, be sure you know what you’re getting into. Take a careful look at the property and the neighborhood at different times of the day to get a feel for the place.

Also, make sure the lease protects not only the owner, but also you, from unscrupulous practices.

Yuri García, currently works as a translator; he also writes content and makes proofreading & book editions in several languages. As a polyglot, he is working since 2018 with these languages: French, Spanish (Mexican & Castilian), English, and Catalonian.

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