Feb 26, 2010, 10:07 AM
Post #4 of 9
While there are apts that come furnished, and/or utilities included, make sure you understand what is -- and what is not -- included in the lease. Make an inventory of what is, and isn't the landlords (for things like major appliances and utility connections -- gas tank and the like) with a copy for yourself and the landlord. I usually say I've done this for my benefit, pleading slight boneheadedness and a desire to avoid any future misunderstandings.
In D.F. (and, as far as I know, several other places), a tenant owns the locks and the appliances, unless otherwise stated. Make sure you ask about them... otherwise you could find the water heater or stove has been moved before you move in. If the previous tenant left on bad terms, you may want to replace the locks. Even if they left on good terms (or you don't know), it's not a bad idea.
If you are responsible for the electric or water bill, it's usually easier to leave them in the name they're in now, unless of course, the previous people skipped out owing a huge bill (not unusual, in which case you may -- repeat MAY -- find it less hassle to pay the back bill just to get service restored).
If the apartment requires a fiador (co-signer), the landlord may accept a two month up-front deposit in lieu of that, or you will have to check the classifieds in the newspaper (usually in the apartment rental section) for a commercial fiador. There is nothing illegal or unethical about this... the fiador is simply a bonding agent, and since there's nothing unusual about not having credit, or a credit history IN MEXICO (no way most landlords could check a foreign credit histories anyway) this is perfectly legitimate.
In smaller, mom-n-pop owned buildings, most things are negotiable. If there is a business on the street level, introduce yourself, and -- if its a grocery or restaurant or the like -- become a customer. My last apt. in Mexico City had a comida economica in front, where the ladies not only kept an eye out for the local drunk who used to try to get in and hassle me for free English lessons, they saved bones for my dog AND found me an electrician when I fritzed out some wiring.