International Society of Primerus Law Firms

The Payment of Rent in Foreign Currency

Written By: Jorge Ojeda

Cacheaux Cavazos & Newton


Clients often ask their attorneys whether it is possible to agree that the rent to be paid for real property located in Mexico may be paid in foreign currency (most often U.S. Dollars). At first the answer seems easy, that yes it is possible; however, there are various aspects to consider. Foreign currency does not constitute legal tender in Mexico and, for such reason, Mexico’s Monetary Law and Provisions of the Bank of Mexico that authorize the debtor to pay in foreign currency, when payment must be made within Mexico, consider that payment is properly made when the agreed amount is delivered in foreign currency or its equivalent in pesos, in accordance with the official exchange rate published by the Bank of Mexico in the Official Journal of the Federation on the banking business day immediately prior to the date of payment.

This general rule has an interesting twist because Mexico has an open financial sector. Therefore, it is possible to open bank accounts in various countries, for example in the United States of America, facilitating international wire transfers of rent. Further, it is possible to establish that the payment of rent, a deposit and other funds due under a lease agreement should be made to the account of the lessor in a financial institution located abroad, in which case the debtor should, in principle, comply with its payment obligation in the agreed upon foreign currency.

It is important to mention, however, that even when payment of rent is made to a bank account located abroad, the rental income continues to be subject to reporting requirements in Mexico, and, the corresponding taxes should be paid in Mexico.  Additionally, the payment of rent abroad is not an absolute solution, because in the event of a dispute that results in a demand by a lessor to a lessee for payment in Mexico (which is entirely possible since the real property is located in Mexico), the lessee will be authorized to pay the rent in pesos using the applicable exchange rate described above and in force at the time the payment is made.

For more information about Cacheaux Cavazos & Newton, please visit the International Society of Primerus Law Firms.

The general information contained herein is intended for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be, and should not be construed as, legal advice or legal opinion on any specific facts or circumstances.

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