Can the Mexican Government Seize my Property?
The most common fear we hear from foreigners interested in buying property in Mexico is, Can the government take my property? There are stories in the news about foreigners investing in Mexican real estate to later have it taken from them with no recourse. Using a Mexican lawyer during your real estate purchase will guarantee you title on the property, making it virtually impossible for someone to seize your home.
The ejido is property which Mexican Nationals are given the right to use by the government for living and working, typically farming. Do not buy Ejido land, you may be offered a great piece of real estate at an incredible price, This land is not for private sale and as a foreigner, you may be considered a trespasser and be removed from the property. Foreigners have paid good money and even received a contract of the sale but in the end, they do not legally own Ejido land.
50 Year Trust
There is some confusion over ownership of property inside the restricted area, which is held in a trust called a Fideicomiso, because it is held in 50 year increments people fear they will lose their rights to the property after it expires, this is not the case. The real estate trust is not a lease; it is simply renewed and can be passed on to your heirs.
If your property was purchased legally, The Mexican government has no legal right to take the property, nor do they want to discourage tourism of foreign investments.
Under the North American Free Trade Agreement, NAFTA, Mexico may not directly, or indirectly, expropriate property except for a public purpose.
The government may expropriate property under certain guidelines, it must be founded on public interest, and the owner must be compensated, it is very rare, for example, if the land is required to build roads or railways. This same process exists in most countries including the US and Canada.
Remember These Four Points to Protect Your Investment
- Make sure you have the title on the property, hire a local real estate lawyer; they will guarantee title and ensure it is free of encumbrances.
- Do not buy Ejido land, this type of property is for Mexican Nationals.
- Pay your property taxes on time.
- Do not use the property for illegal activities.