Buying land through fideicomiso is the only legal way of acquiring land in Tulum

View from Coqui Coqui Hotel in Tulum

Last Friday, more than a dozen beachfront resort and vacation properties were seized in Tulum during a government dispute. The evictions directly affected 16 hotels – such famous ones as Coqui Coqui among them  - as well as residences, shops and restaurants located on the beach. The government is being accused for unfair dispossession of properties, while the officials claim that property owners “breached an oral lease contracts with municipalities.” According to property owners, this is simply a war for the land, and the government has an interest to profit from the land.

This is not the first time that properties are seized in the beachfront zone of Tulum, and just another reminder how important it is to buy land in Mexico by following a standard legal process.

We at Riviera Maya Property Consultants have been always advising our clients to be extra careful before they make a property purchase in Tulum.

When the land is purchased following legal procedures, through a fideocomiso (bank trust), with a lawyer and a trusted agent, it becomes virtually impossible for anyone, government included, to dispossess the land.


What is the legal process of buying land in Mexico?


A foreigner buying land in Mexico within 50km (32 miles) from the coastline and 100km (64 miles) from the international border, will have to use the means of a bank trust (fideicomiso) or they may buy property by establishing a Mexican corporation.

A fideicomiso is a real estate trust where the bank (trustee) holds the trust deed for the purchaser (beneficiary). The bank acts as the Trustee, and a client is the Beneficiary of the trust. The client maintains complete control over the trust, and may sell, lease, mortgage, and pass the property on to your heirs. The trust is the beneficiary's property. Fideicomiso is equivalent to a Living Trust in the US.

The government of Mexico may not expropriate legally purchased property from the owners under NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement). The only way for Mexican government to get ownership of land is by buying it from the owners in and only in the rare case it’s needed for public purposes (such as building roads). The same process exists in the U.S. (Eminent Domain), in the UK (Compulsory Purchase) and in Canada (Expropriation).

For more information about buying property in Mexico, please refer to our FAQs.

We would be glad to answer any questions and to refer clients to appropriate notaries and lawyers. Contact us at


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