The obligations and rights of a tenant and owner when renting in Mexico


Have you ever wondered who pays what repairs when you rent? We tell you these and other obligations and rights of a tenant and owners in Mexico.

Although in Mexico there is no law that exclusively regulates leasing, there is a very specific section on this subject in the Federal Civil Code and the Civil Code of each entity, where there may be slight changes. If you rent a property as a landlord (landlord) or tenant (tenant), it may be that sometimes you find yourself in need of repairs and you do not know who should pay them. Then we give you in a digestible way the most important points of the articles that speak of the rights of a tenant in Mexico.

The rights and obligations of the owner of the property

The owner must:

  • Deliver the house in functional condition for its use, in conditions of hygiene and safety.
  • Respond in case the property has hidden defects and causes damage to the tenant.
  • Allow the tenant to use the property without interference, for the entire time of the contract, unless they are in benefit of the property.

rights of a tenant

In case of need of repairs, the tenant must notify the owner, if he does not do it and more damages are caused, the same tenant must cover the expenses. On the other hand, if the owner does not comply with the repairs (and was notified in advance), the tenant can decide whether to terminate the rent or go to a judge.

Those repairs considered “unimportant”, necessary for the daily use of the property must be made by the tenant.

rights of a tenant

Upon termination of the contract

If there is a balance in favor of the tenant (that is, the deposits ), the owner must return it immediately, unless there is a reason to make a payment, such as damage to the property or repairs. The tenant must deliver the property in the state in which it was delivered.

In case the person who leaves the property has made improvements, the owner must pay them in the following cases:

  • They were authorized by the owner and promised to pay them, either on the contrary or later.
  • If the improvements are useful and permanent for the use and enjoyment of the owner or the next tenant, as long as the owner has previously authorized them.

The obligations and rights of a tenant

The tenant must:

  • Pay the rent in time and form.
  • Respond for damages to the property when they are caused by himself, relatives or his visits.
  • Keep, during the rent, the property in the state that was delivered, making the necessary repairs prior agreement with the owner.

The tenant can pay the rent from the day he receives the house, he is not obliged to do it before (except if it has been agreed by both parties).

One of the rights of the tenant is that if for reasons of force majeure he can not make use of the property, he is not obliged to pay the rent while there is an impediment (for example, for important damages after an earthquake or other natural phenomena); If only the partial use of the home is prevented, a partial reduction in the rent can be requested. If this extends for more than two months, you can request cancellation of the contract.

The Civil Code is specific even if the house burns down; In fact, you must be very careful, because if this happens through carelessness or negligence of the tenant, he is responsible for the physical and personal damage it may cause. On the other hand, if it comes from another property or due to force majeure, the tenant is exempt from liability.

If you intend to use the property to carry out an activity that may be considered dangerous, you must insure the place against any risk that this may cause. On the other hand, it is not allowed to use the property for other reasons that are not residential (exceptions to this must be mentioned in the contract).

If you want to change the form or appearance of the place you must do so with the express consent of the owner, otherwise, you must restore it as it was delivered and cover any damage. Upon receiving a property, you must also know the damages that exist and put them in writing (or with photographs) if it is the case, otherwise, before the law, you received the property in good condition.

rights of a tenant

This is an explanation of a section of the Federal Civil Code so that you can understand a little more your rights and obligations if you are involved in the rental of real estate.

As you can see, renting is an activity in which everything can and must be done formally, and all parties are protected. In any case, it is always useful to know your rights and obligations and, now that you do, you can take a step forward towards that new story you are about to write in a new house.

Always work with a licensed realtor and associate of AMPI Asociación Mexicana de Profesionales Inmobiliarios (Mexican Association of Real Estate Professionals)