Setting up utility accounts in Playa del Carmen

Posted By on January 1, 2015

Changing your Mexico utilities to your name

After you’ve bought your new property in Playa del Carmen, or the surrounding municipality called Solidaridad, the title has been transferred and you’re now the official owner, one of several postclosing tasks you’ll have to carry out is switching the utilities into your name.

It is good to do this over the first several months and to have the bills with your name on them for future proof of address. You can go to the offices in person, or you can give a simple Power of Attorney to your Property Manager or person of trust.

Also you need the following documents listed below.

TIPS
These offices often have long lines and can be very bureaucratic. Be sure to bring all the required documentation and don’t be surprised (or frustrated) if they find some problem with your documents and send you back home.
Make sure you know exactly what they want, find out how to get that – you can ask your real estate agent for help –, go back and try again.
Find someone who speaks Spanish and is familiar with the offices to go with you. Ask your real estate agent to help you find a bilingual helper if you don’t know anyone.
The offices are listed with addresses below, but in Playa del Carmen, taxi drivers will inevitably know where each office is located.

In this guide you will find information for changing the name on the accounts for the following service suppliers:

Property Tax
Water
Electricity
Telephone
Gas

We recommend to do them more or less in this order – first the property tax, then water or electricity and then the others, because the water and electricity will require your property tax registration to set them up, while the other utilities will require the water or electricity bill.

Property Tax
This is the first account where you should change your name. The other basic utilities will probably ask you for this as primary proof of address. To make this change you will need the following documents, original and copy:

Deed recorded in the Public Registry of Property
Process Fees
Official ID

Once you arrive at the office, you will need to obtain the following: • Motion to File Application for Cadastral (for new properties) • A Form of Clarifications (for resale properties) • Declaration of the assessed value of property tax.

With all of these documents, you will be able to change the name of the property tax and you will get a registry document, called boleta predial in spanish. The office is located at Playa del Carmen’s city hall (Palacio Municipal) on 20th Ave., between 8th St. and 12 St., right behind Walmart. Open Monday to Friday from 8:30 to 15.00 hrs.

Water
Auqakan is the water service in Playa del Carmen. To change the name on this account or set up this service, you will need to bring:
Copy of the deed (or sales contract or transfer of property rights in some cases)
Identification – usually Passport Copy of property tax registration
Last water bill (unless it is a new property)
If the procedure is not performed by owner, you need a power of attorney
Payment of about $100 peso, but rates may change, so bring more!

Electricity
The CFE (Federal Commission of Electricity) is the national organization which manages all electric services. It has an office in most cities, including Playa del Carmen. To set up a contract with CFE, or to change the name on an existing account, you will need the following documents:

Identification
Copy of the deed
Proof of address with your name on it (your Property Tax Registration or water bill if you already have it)
Contract number (from the last owner; you should ask them for their last bill, or a copy of it)

If you have air conditioning, you must report the capacity of the equipment. Be sure to note this before heading to the office!

Telephone
There are two main phone companies offering service in Playa del Carmen, Telmex, and Cablemas. Telmex is the main phone company, and offers phone, cable television and internet service. You will need:

Proof of address (water or electricity bill)
Identification (passport)
Detailed location of the house (the may ask you to draw a map and give an important nearby landmark) Payment

Cablemas also provides phone service, but it’s not available in all neighborhoods. Their packages for phone, cable and internet often have attractive prices. Visit their office for requirements, which will probably be similar to those of Telmex.

Gas
There are two choices for gas service. Some homes use small, portable tanks; a truck makes its rounds through town and simply picks up the tanks to fill them then returns them the next day. You must pay cash when they pick up the tank and there are no bills or registration.

The other option is to have a permanent tank installed (usually on the rooftop.) In this case, it will be like a regular utility which you will have to contract and get set up (if it’s not already there). However, you will have to call whenever your tank is running low and a truck will come by to fill it. You will pay when it is filled.

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