Rental Checklist For Renting In Lake Chapala
Updated: Sep 29
Whether you are just a snowbird or serious about expatriating to Lake Chapala renting is the wise thing to do to start with. It's a great way to check out different neighborhoods and meet lots of new people. Having said that, renting also comes with its fair share of problems. To view some of the many pros and cons to renting you can read our article here. So what is the best way to go about finding a rental and what do you need to know to do so safely?
Finding a Rental in Lake Chapala
Your absolute best way to find a rental of 1 month or more is to go to our blog on Where To Find Rentals In Ajijic. Here I provide you with links to every possible way to find a rental in the Lake Chapala area. For short term rentals of a few days up to a month you are best to look at Airbnb and VRBO. Also consider one of the many B&B's. Most offer long term stay rates of up to a month.
Decide on your budget, location and amenities that you want your rental to have. Do you want access to a pool? Private or community? In the village or out? Will you have a car or rely on public transit? In a gated community or independent? Is having a view important to you? What part of Lake Chapala do you want to be in? There is lots to consider!
If you are unfamiliar with the areas and communities then Contact Us. We can provide you with a free interactive map and/or advise you on your choices to help you make better decisions. Once here, join us for a Free Tour of the Communities so that you are better informed as to where you might want to stay.
What to Ask When Renting a Property?
What is all included in your rental property? It's not always stated clearly. Who pays electricity, gas, water, taxes, HOA fees (if any), phone/internet? Is there purified water to drink? If so, when were filters last changed and who pays for this? If renting a property with a pool then ask who pays for maintenance. Who pays for gardener and maid or are they included? Is there an alarm system? If so how do you operate it? What is the internet connection like? If you have feet on the ground you can do a speed test after hooking on to the modem but if you are renting from afar you may have to rely on the honesty of the landlord or ask them to send you a photo of the speed test.Finally, when you are ready to rent, if possible, spend some time outside of the property and walk the neighborhood. Is there an 'eventos' nearby? Roosters? Noisy dogs? Lots of noisy traffic?
Normal rental contracts will ask for first and last months deposit as well as damage deposit. If you are bringing a pet you might even be requested to pay a pet deposit. Ask how and when the damage deposit will be returned to you. It should be stated in the contract.If renting direct from the owner and not through a rental agency or real estate company, you would be well advised to take the contract to a lawyer for review. We can recommend an excellent and inexpensive one to use.Along with the rental contract there should be an inventory list saying specifically what is included in the rental and in what condition. This is usually given to you as part of your walk through when you arrive to take possession.
Paying the Rent
As part of the rental contract it will state as to when and how to pay the rent. Although renal contracts should be in pesos, many owners are from the U.S or Canada and demand that the rent be paid in USD. This is their right. If you don't wish to pay in USD then keep looking for one in pesos.
Rent increases normally occur annually but in reality can happen at any time. If renting long term, make sure that as part of the contract the owner is only allowed to raise the rent once per year and only for a stated percentage.
Most people do not carry insurance but if you have very valuable items then content insurance can be purchased from local insurance agents and is up to you to do so if you wish. The property itself may or may not be insured and it is the responsibility of the owner.
If renting from sites outside of rental agencies or real estate companies extra precautions should be taken. Although rare, it can happen that unscrupulous characters will rent out a property that doesn't exist to multiple people thereby absconding with the deposits. Also, it is possible that you may be renting a property from a person who doesn't even own the property. This is possible sometimes because there are many vacant properties where the owner is deceased or never comes to the property.
That's about it. Renting is always an adventure but doing your due diligence can help you find the best rental for you at the best price.
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