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I'm on a 6 month tourist card, can I be forced into a 12 month lease?


shell1001
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My boyfriend and I came to Mexico early 2018 on a tourist card (180 days) to the Yucatan. We rented a house and my bf made "friends" with a neighbor who speaks pretty good English. Told him we were going to see about job opportunities down here eventually and come back after that visit. He sweettalked my boyfriend telling him that he had an empty part of his house (his house separated into 3 living areas) and he would give us a great deal to move back down here, only 2500 pesos, all bills included. When we came back, the lease and everything was a huge rush and viewing the place was as well. We are here again only on a 6 month tourist card. Our "friend" the landlord turns out to be full of hot air to put it nicely. Nothing was painted, we had no fridge, no stove (not even a hotplate), no bed, the toilet wasn't fixed, and there is a doorway with bars over it, but no door!! Also, he didn't translate the lease for us, he didn't give us a copy of the lease, and he didn't ask us if it was ok for him to put it at 12 months. We didn't even get time to try to muddle through the Spanish on the lease ourselves because he had to hurry to return it to his lawyer before going to work. Also, he raised the cost of the rent to 3000 pesos a month because he said he was going to get us an air conditioner. Which of course he never did either. We've been living here 1.5 months now and going crazy. Between the heat and the insects, and I've lost my cat 3 times now because we have no a/c and of course he has not put any insect netting over any of the windows. We went to his lawyer to get a copy of the lease and were told that they do not have a copy machine! The landlord also drinks quite heavily a lot, and one night came banging on our door demanding to speak to my boyfriend for 15 mins. It turns out he wants to sell this house that we are in and he told my boyfriend he wants him to buy it. When told we don't have the money to buy a house, he went on to pressure him to tell his family in Canada to buy it for him, or even more unbelievable, to ask this new business connection my boyfriend had made to buy it for him!  My boyfriend has made a good connection with a business owner who wants to get my boyfriend a work visa. Unfortunately, about 2 weeks ago, my boyfriend was lifting something very heavy and I guess he had a hernia (groin area) and it popped out. He's been in so much pain, and the doctor we saw here said it's too large (it keeps growing) and needs to be operated on. We do not have the money to pay for that operation here, but in Canada it would be free. I do apologize for the very long explanation, but I feel like it all may be important? So I have several questions. Did our landlord have the right to corner us into a 12 month lease when he knew that we are only legally allowed to stay here for 180 days? We've arranged with my bf's family to go back and stay with them long enough to for him to be able to get the surgery on his hernia. But we can't afford to pay off the lease and fly back to Canada and survive. The business owner down here reassured us that the business and my bf's work visa would both take a few months to get up and running, and they will stay in contact because we would like to come back to live. It is a great opportunity for my bf, and we could live a modest but comfortable life down here. But I never want to come back here or talk to this landlord "friend" again. He has lied and lied and I'm so angry that I was so naïve to let us be taken advantage of like this. Can our landlord prevent us from leaving the country? And can he sue us if we return to the same city in approx. 3 to 4 months? We are paying him one months rent at the end of this month but plan on leaving by the 12th. Also, we do not expect to get our deposit back. We just don't want any legal hassles, because we really feel that we were taken advantage of badly. We live in a dump compared to what others pay 3000 pesos a month here for.... :(

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1 minute ago, Yo1 said:

Walk away and don't worry about being sued--it won't happen because it's expensive and takes a long time. 

...and don't tell your landlord that you're leaving, or stick around and pay for another month.

This has been a very painful education, but hopefully,  a useful one. If you ever return to Mexico, come well armed with information and caution. Here's wishing you better luck in the future.

 

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The landlord is a con artist. You got taken. You learned a valuable lesson. I agree that you can forget about the landlord suing. He got money out of you and considers himself the winner. He will quit while he is ahead. Wishing you and your boyfriend safe travels and good health. Do not allow this bad experience to squelch your sense of adventure. In a few years this will become one of your best travel stories, becoming more funny with each telling. Best of luck.

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By the way not furnished places do not have stove or fridge usually. Everything has to be negociated before signing a lease and if you do not want to stay 12 months do not sgn a 12 month lease. Yu cannot claim you were pushed on anything , you either agree and sign or do not agree and you do not go by promises here , you use the fact they do not have what you want to lower the time or the price and do not sign until everything is like you like it or be prepare to do it yourself and forget about get the money back.  The lease you sign means nothing, what are they gong to do if you leae? sue you? I do not think so.. The guy is a bully and toll advantage of you, walk away and move far away from him.

 

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Agree with bmh except for “you do not go by promises here.” You do not go by promises ANYWHERE. Small claims courts in the U.S. are filled by litigants who went by what they were promised and verbal agreements they made not reflected in the lease. 

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3 hours ago, shell1001 said:

My boyfriend and I came to Mexico early 2018 on a tourist card (180 days) to the Yucatan. We rented a house and my bf made "friends" with a neighbor who speaks pretty good English. Told him we were going to see about job opportunities down here eventually and come back after that visit. He sweettalked my boyfriend telling him that he had an empty part of his house (his house separated into 3 living areas) and he would give us a great deal to move back down here, only 2500 pesos, all bills included. When we came back, the lease and everything was a huge rush and viewing the place was as well. We are here again only on a 6 month tourist card. Our "friend" the landlord turns out to be full of hot air to put it nicely. Nothing was painted, we had no fridge, no stove (not even a hotplate), no bed, the toilet wasn't fixed, and there is a doorway with bars over it, but no door!! Also, he didn't translate the lease for us, he didn't give us a copy of the lease, and he didn't ask us if it was ok for him to put it at 12 months. We didn't even get time to try to muddle through the Spanish on the lease ourselves because he had to hurry to return it to his lawyer before going to work. Also, he raised the cost of the rent to 3000 pesos a month because he said he was going to get us an air conditioner. Which of course he never did either. We've been living here 1.5 months now and going crazy. Between the heat and the insects, and I've lost my cat 3 times now because we have no a/c and of course he has not put any insect netting over any of the windows. We went to his lawyer to get a copy of the lease and were told that they do not have a copy machine! The landlord also drinks quite heavily a lot, and one night came banging on our door demanding to speak to my boyfriend for 15 mins. It turns out he wants to sell this house that we are in and he told my boyfriend he wants him to buy it. When told we don't have the money to buy a house, he went on to pressure him to tell his family in Canada to buy it for him, or even more unbelievable, to ask this new business connection my boyfriend had made to buy it for him!  My boyfriend has made a good connection with a business owner who wants to get my boyfriend a work visa. Unfortunately, about 2 weeks ago, my boyfriend was lifting something very heavy and I guess he had a hernia (groin area) and it popped out. He's been in so much pain, and the doctor we saw here said it's too large (it keeps growing) and needs to be operated on. We do not have the money to pay for that operation here, but in Canada it would be free. I do apologize for the very long explanation, but I feel like it all may be important? So I have several questions. Did our landlord have the right to corner us into a 12 month lease when he knew that we are only legally allowed to stay here for 180 days? We've arranged with my bf's family to go back and stay with them long enough to for him to be able to get the surgery on his hernia. But we can't afford to pay off the lease and fly back to Canada and survive. The business owner down here reassured us that the business and my bf's work visa would both take a few months to get up and running, and they will stay in contact because we would like to come back to live. It is a great opportunity for my bf, and we could live a modest but comfortable life down here. But I never want to come back here or talk to this landlord "friend" again. He has lied and lied and I'm so angry that I was so naïve to let us be taken advantage of like this. Can our landlord prevent us from leaving the country? And can he sue us if we return to the same city in approx. 3 to 4 months? We are paying him one months rent at the end of this month but plan on leaving by the 12th. Also, we do not expect to get our deposit back. We just don't want any legal hassles, because we really feel that we were taken advantage of badly. We live in a dump compared to what others pay 3000 pesos a month here for.... :(

I truly appreciate all the feedback I am receiving here. Except perhaps the one person's reaction at laughing at my situation. I do feel really stupid right now because I am not a stupid person, but obviously handled the whole situation very wrong and not with intelligence. I do not pride myself on being in a situation now where I have to break a rental agreement. I have always been a law-abiding citizen and feel very low for not being able to handle this as may be appropriate. We trusted him because he had presented himself as a friend to us, and indeed, we have been taken advantage of. I do wish I had never signed those papers, I did not realize I could be so easily pushed over by someone, all because I was trying to be nice and show respect to a "friend".  And to all who said hopefully it is a valuable lesson learned, indeed it is. 

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What you earned from this experience needs to carry over to the work visa thing, which I believe you are also being scammed on. No one can get you a work visa here. A business can write a notarized letter stating they want to hire you, but you have to apply yourself for the visa at a Mexican consulate in Canada. And they don't give out work visas there- you have to get a regular temporary residency visa first, and then change it to a work visa when you get back to Mexico.

Do the research on this- believing all these people are trying to help you without understanding how anything works here is, as you say, naive.

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19 minutes ago, mudgirl said:

What you earned from this experience needs to carry over to the work visa thing, which I believe you are also being scammed on. No one can get you a work visa here. A business can write a notarized letter stating they want to hire you, but you have to apply yourself for the visa at a Mexican consulate in Canada. And they don't give out work visas there- you have to get a regular temporary residency visa first, and then change it to a work visa when you get back to Mexico.

Do the research on this- believing all these people are trying to help you without understanding how anything works here is, as you say, naive.

Hi. Thank you. Yes. Actually we are aware of these things. I didn't go into much detail about the work visa because that was not our problem here. The business is a few restaurants owned by a Canadian couple. They are legally living and working here running the restaurants. My boyfriend is a Red Seal chef and so his skills are much desired in the expat community here. The owners have had meetings with him and a lawyer explaining what needs to be done. But I thank you for wanting to warn us about this area as well. I wish there were more people like you who meant well. 

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