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Just a note to those interested in renting an inexpensive apartment in a good area...

Do not rent the upstairs apartment at Zaragoza 317, Chapala Centro. 

At first impression, it is a pretty apartment, light & airy.  Yes, it is just a couple blocks from the malecon.  Yes, just a couple blocks from the mercado.  Yes, just a couple blocks from bus stops.  Yes, across the street from a fabulous coffee shop - Buenos Ayres, which makes the BEST empanadas in town...

but...

NO, your toilet won't flush unless YOU buy the acid for treatment every month.  NO, there's no way to close the bathroom window in winter unless you make yourself a plastic window...  NO, you cannot take for granted that the electric will work.  You will find yourself making your coffee & juice on the bathroom floor.  NO, there are not screens throughout; interestingly, the doors must be open for you to breathe at night...  No, there are no curtains for privacy & people rooftops away can see directly into your bathroom. 

Yes, you will find yourself hearing that the washing machine works fine & is included in the rent.  Yes, within a week  you will complain of the golf-ball size lumps of lint that you are finding on your clothes.  Ah, then you will find out that all maintenance on said machine is up to YOU to pay for... if desired.  So, you will stop using it when you notice your laundry greying, and will begin humping it all to the lavanderia on the next block.

There are no filters on the tinacos and they were never cleaned the 6 months I was there.  The water will be interrupted many times by the lines clogging up - they were given an acid treatment and "a good banging" last February.  Ditto, the water heater, after it quit working and I asked the handyman to take it down & clean it out.  We got about 20kg of sand out of it.  No idea how it could function at all like that... and eventually did not.  It's still working now, but mid-April started sounding like the "thumper" barrel from my grandad's still...  :D Relax about the annoying black sh&t (flakes) that are in the water.  You won't notice until you go to soak your veggies.  Leaves a delta of nastiness in the basin.  You can take a shower if you manually manipulate the holes on the showerhead before...  we don't talk about the drain.  Bathroom water smells like rotten eggs, so you'll brush your teeth in the kitchen.  Mosquitos enter thru the 3" pvc pipe that serves as a roof vent for the shower.  Geckos love it - you'll find them in your dishes, oven, dresser = but generally only at night.  They DO eat bugs and they don't make much noise like Cambodian geckos.  You might never know they're there but for their little turds they hang on the walls & sometimes the dishes.

You will find yourself annoyed; as the electrician is fixing things, he will point out that the landlady refuses to pay for another switchplate, and so you will use only the top plug-in, as the bottom one is burned out.  You will buy new burners for the stove, because the old rusty ones keep exploding and are useless.  You will search for the source of whatever drip is depositing brown stains on the floor beneath the fridge.  You will tire of the parties when the music doesn't go off until 5AM, but more annoying are the drunken screeches of the proprietress.

When you finally reach your limit and find your new house, you will hear, "Oh, but of course I will return your deposit."  You will hear this 3 or 4 times after giving your 30-day notice.  By this time, if lies don't set well with you, you should have learned.  But if you're a slow learner, you'll go back when she says, "The new tenants are coming tomorrow and I will have the money to give you the rest of your deposit."  You will go back a few times trying to catch her home or, if before noon, hoping to catch her up.  Finally, you will have a face-to-face and she will give you some excuse for why she will not return your deposit.

If you were smart, you didn't pay the last month's rent (using deposit in lieu of rent) and she owes you only one week - $1125 pesos.  If you weren't, she'll keep the whole $4,500 pesos.

Just a word to those who don't want trouble.  Heads up.

This apartment DOES appear on Rony's list, but as he, himself, says, "Well, she's not much on making repairs." 

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I imagine Rony wil be reconsidering having this apartment from hell on his list.

I recommend that people who rent do so through a reputable rental agency with a history of service to the tenants.  Such agencies will hold your deposit and follow the law in returning them to you.  You deal with the agency regarding repairs, rather than directly with the landlord.  This may not be the cheapest way to go, but it can be well worth the difference.

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10 minutes ago, gringal said:

I imagine Rony wil be reconsidering having this apartment from hell on his list.

I recommend that people who rent do so through a reputable rental agency with a history of service to the tenants.  Such agencies will hold your deposit and follow the law in returning them to you.  You deal with the agency regarding repairs, rather than directly with the landlord.  This may not be the cheapest way to go, but it can be well worth the difference.

Yep.  Off the list she goes.  One or two small repairs, maybe yes....  but this is major.

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4 minutes ago, Rony said:

Yep.  Off the list she goes.  One or two small repairs, maybe yes....  but this is major.

Good-o, Rony.  You're one of the good guys, and this landlord needs to walk the plank.

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There is an attractive sounding rental in the Reporter this week and I wonder it is not the rental referred to here.

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48 minutes ago, bournemouth said:

There is an attractive sounding rental in the Reporter this week and I wonder it is not the rental referred to here.

That's a different apartment on Flavio Romero and the landlord, Susan, according to Rony and others I've spoken to has a very good reputation. It's in the thick of things, less than 2 blocks from Madero with a cenaduria on the ground floor but looks really nice. 

To gringal's point, in my experience renting from an agency is no panacea. They may or may not agree to fix things....all you can really be certain of is that you'll be paying far more than you would for a direct rental from owner, and a multiple of the peso price a Mexican landlord would want. Our friends here in Chapala who rent direct from local owners have multi-year leases and are very happy, but they most definitely checked out everything in detail before moving in and have very clearly spelled out tenant vs. landlord responsibilities in their leases. 

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" Our friends here in Chapala who rent direct from local owners have multi-year leases and are very happy, but they most definitely checked out everything in detail before moving in and have very clearly spelled out tenant vs. landlord responsibilities in their leases. "

You have just pointed out the important matter:  a written lease with the landlord's responsibilities listed.

Also, some agencies are more reliable than others.  Hopefully, one can get references from someone who has used that agency.

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This list of complaints is not unique. I have lived in 4 different houses where substantial problems were never addressed and deposits were like seeds in the wind. I'm sure they landed somewhere, just not where they belonged. It might be useful to set up a yelp for renters, being careful never to impute the reputation of the owners, but letting potential renters know what to look for at specific addresses. If someone takes that task on, contact me and I will add my addresses/agencies to the list. Even now I live in a beautiful architect designed house, rented through a reputable agency, but nothing gets fixed and the owner does not answer phone or email questions. The agency say it's not their responsibility but the owners. I have to choose between repairing his house or moving. It was only after moving in and speaking to neighbors that I discovered I was not alone, and that the reason the previous tenants moved was total fabrication. Just adding my sad sack story to the list.

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I accept all responsibility for renting the place.  When looking I was on foot, exhausted, and had viewed several apartments the last few days.  The spinal fractures didn't help, either, but I was looking for something inexpensive to keep me a few months until I recuperated & this presented very well.

My best lesson was:  never agree to rent a place when it is occupied and the present tenants are home.  Yes, I walked through & viewed everything; however, I was not going to peer into the cupboards, etc.  We had an agreement, I paid the deposit & had her make a receipt in my notebook. 

When I arrived with my belongings, not only was the contract not there as promised, but neither was the comfy recliner, the flat-screen TV, the pots & pans, dishes, linens, etc...  which I was distinctly told were included.  It stretched my budget, but I bought all the stuff I needed. 

I am such a hypocrite, it seems - I rented my new house when it was still occupied.  However, Liby met me here at a time set a week ahead while the tenants were out, I went through and tested everything, although from just a look it was obvious how much this building had been loved & maintained.  Furnished?  Down to the bar glasses, 2 changes of linen for each bedroom, stereo...  Everything works.  It's much more house than some folks have and they are paying nearly double what I am...  Mexican neighbors, I am loving it.

Best of all, from the get-go there was a great vibe about Liby.  When I met her husband, Obin, the same.  Lovely people, retired teachers.  Everyone in the neighborhood knows them and thinks well of them.  So, I think the Universe is making up to me for the discomfort & annoyance I put up with before.  The six months was looooong, but then I have a lot of patience.  Sometimes too much, it seems.  Pah!  Loco.

 

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On 4/29/2017 at 2:07 PM, bournemouth said:

There is an attractive sounding rental in the Reporter this week and I wonder it is not the rental referred to here.

Doubt it.  She's too cheap to spend $70 on a new switchplate or $56 on water filters, so betting she won't pay for advertisement other than a hand-written sign. 

 

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On ‎4‎/‎29‎/‎2017 at 11:27 AM, gringal said:

I recommend that people who rent do so through a reputable rental agency with a history of service to the tenants.  Such agencies will hold your deposit and follow the law in returning them to you.  You deal with the agency regarding repairs, rather than directly with the landlord.  This may not be the cheapest way to go, but it can be well worth the difference.

Most of the rentals available in Chapala are not through agencies.  One must go through Rony`s list, know friends who know of places, talk with store owners, or walk the streets looking for rent signs.  And now is the time, most places in Chapala will all be rented by the end of May.

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This terrible landlord does have it advertised on the bulletin board at Wal-mart with photos.  Possibly, it is on other boards as well.

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21 hours ago, bdmowers said:

Most of the rentals available in Chapala are not through agencies.  One must go through Rony`s list, know friends who know of places, talk with store owners, or walk the streets looking for rent signs.  And now is the time, most places in Chapala will all be rented by the end of May.

Very correct, Sir!  If one does not know people who are helping keep an eye out, then you gotta go on foot, because in a car you're clogging the street...  ;)

I found the place via Rony's list.  And I'm glad for someone else's sake it is no longer on the list. 

THIS new house would be an awesome addition to that list... but I don't know if you'd get me out with a crowbar...  :D

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20 hours ago, Zeb said:

This terrible landlord does have it advertised on the bulletin board at Wal-mart with photos.  Possibly, it is on other boards as well.

Zeb - It is an upstairs apartment across from the Buenos Ayres coffee shop at Morelos & Zaragoza.  On Zaragoza street, #317.  The front is all glass, the facade is orange, with black wrought iron.  The furniture is iron & glass & very uncomfortable...

To my knowledge, the landlady does not use computer except with the help of her sons.  All are bilingual.

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I've been here 12 years, first as an owner in Chula Vista, now as a renter in west Ajijic. Initially we came down, bought a house, hired a property mgr. to rent it out while we went back to the homeland and sold up and moved down. Used the property manager after we moved here--SUCH a blessing to have someone to call when things go wrong, and just say "please fix it"! And to explain and deal with everything! Pregnant maid who is crying while dusting? Break-in over the wall at night? No problem! We were so happy with our property mgr., we retained her after we moved here--for a $50 USD monthly fee (that has probably gone up now), she took care of EVERYTHING, and I do mean everything, all problems great and small. I feel sure that she is the major reason for our success at adjusting to things here--we had never lived abroad, and Mexico was full of surprises, needless to say. This is JUST to suggest that going thru a rental agency, while no doubt more expensive, saves one from a multitude of potential troubles.

And while I am on my rant, let me say that my rule of thumb is that for every defect you note in a rental unit, there are 10 more that you do not see. So if you are a newcomer, opt for a place with NO visible problems. And when you are a tenant  as I am now, rise to the occasion, get things done, and don't whine at the landlord. My arrangement now is that I fix whatever needs to be fixed and simply deduct it from the rent if it is over 50 USD in any month. The Mexican landlord (absentee) thinks I walk on water, as I take care of everything. Developing trust is important.

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I'm looking for a 3  bedroom, 3 bathroom for my brother and myself.  We are mature adults, prefer single level,

pool, spa, gated community?, clean and prefer furnished.  We are on a budget and want to stay $800USD a month.

We found a place in the racquet club and the agent has duped us.  Please email eyelandgirl2@gmail.com or what's app

at 949-500-6418.  Hope to move end of June rent till Oct. 1st then if everything works out well we will want to rent on a yearly basis.

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2 hours ago, Laura G said:

I'm looking for a 3  bedroom, 3 bathroom for my brother and myself.  We are mature adults, prefer single level,

pool, spa, gated community?, clean and prefer furnished.  We are on a budget and want to stay $800USD a month.

We found a place in the racquet club and the agent has duped us.  Please email eyelandgirl2@gmail.com or what's app

at 949-500-6418.  Hope to move end of June rent till Oct. 1st then if everything works out well we will want to rent on a yearly basis.

I would be surprised if you can find a 3b3b for $800pm in the Racquet Club. The going rate is $1000/1200usdpm

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On 4/29/2017 at 11:40 AM, Rony said:

Yep.  Off the list she goes.  One or two small repairs, maybe yes....  but this is major.

Rony,

 

Do you know of any private houses for rent in San Antonio?   I would consider Mirasol, Chapala * W. Ajijic.  I can pay between $4-%5000 pesos per month. I need 2 bedroom, 1 or 2 baths. small yard for 2 dogs (maso menos 10kg); 1 floor house.  Can be unfurnished but having appliances would be nice but not a deal breaker.  A;so need secure off street parking and INTERNET is a must.

 

Muchas gracias.

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On 4/29/2017 at 11:40 AM, Rony said:

Yep.  Off the list she goes.  One or two small repairs, maybe yes....  but this is major.

Hola Rony,

 

I sent you a message about 1/2 hour ago.  I neglected to tell you that I need it by August 1st or the middle of July.

Gracias.

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Hi,

Here is how it works.

I have a list of more or less 14 landlords in Chapala, who all together have about 100 properties here.  It is hard to keep track on what is available at any given time (as we tend to move a lot).  Therefore, the person who receives the list will have to contact the landlords.  Sometimes Mexicans do come to me and let me know when they have a place for rent...   basically limited to Chapala.

People can pick up the list at my house for 10 pesos for the photocopies.

It is mainly a service to people looking for more affordable places and to newcomers, who arrive at the American Legion (I live across the Legion), looking for a rental, and dont know where to start. I gathered all this landlord info, based on my years here and the people/landlords that I know.  Believe it or not but one furnished house in centro was just rented out for 2500 pesos. (That doesnt happen every day).

And to the OP, your NEW landlady, Libi, is a good friend of mine and she actually was on my list (when she told me that her house was available). Supernice landlords.

I am sure that you will be very happy there.

Sorry Sandrita, nothing in San Antonio.

Rony

 

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Rony,  you are probably the 50th person who has commented on Libi & Obin & what great folks they are!

NO problems here at all.  They are coming next week to fix a cracked lamp shade fixture over the downstairs shower...  They are attentive but do not hover.  Being known as their new renter has opened doors for me here.

Thanks for taking the other off the list.  I'm not a complainer, but it was "doing it hard" if you know what I mean... 

And thank you for taking the trouble to put that list together from your own experience.  The place gave me a roof til I got my equilibrium & "outgrew" it.  I was totally stressed out while looking, and in a hurry, and was truly relieved to find it at the time.

Best vibes!

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57 minutes ago, Jabonera said:

Rony,  you are probably the 50th person who has commented on Libi & Obin & what great folks they are!

NO problems here at all.  They are coming next week to fix a cracked lamp shade fixture over the downstairs shower...  They are attentive but do not hover.  Being known as their new renter has opened doors for me here.

Thanks for taking the other off the list.  I'm not a complainer, but it was "doing it hard" if you know what I mean... 

And thank you for taking the trouble to put that list together from your own experience.  The place gave me a roof til I got my equilibrium & "outgrew" it.  I was totally stressed out while looking, and in a hurry, and was truly relieved to find it at the time.

Best vibes!

You are very welcome.  I totally understand.  So happy that you found Libi and Obin s place.

You are living in a great neighbourhood there and in a good location.  Lots of interesting people in Las Redes.

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