How to build in Tulum: permits

How to build in Tulum: permits

Building in Tulum can be an exhausting task, even if you follow the guidelines established by the local government and stick to doing everything by the book. Don’t worry, if this is your first time building, you shouldn’t have any problem, but playing by the rules is always important.

If you hear about payments “under the table” offering to make things easier, do not fall for this. It will usually come back to bite you later on. 

We’ll share a guide for building homes in Tulum (this is strictly for housing; commercial buildings may have different guidelines). This summary is written with the 2021 construction process, so there may be some changes (legislation, government, building guidelines, etc)

First and foremost, when you hire a building company, it is important to clarify from the beginning with them who is responsible for the payment of these permits, since the line can be blurry as to who needs to bear with these expenses in the final cost.

Also, you’ll need to hire a DRO (Director Responsable de Obra) that will foresee the entire construction and make sure everything is properly defined. 

What is a Responsible Site Director (DRO)?

The DRO is a certified independent professional, auxiliary to the public administration, who is primarily responsible for ensuring that technical standards are followed during construction. Its main functions are as follows:

  1. Sign the manifest or application for a construction license for any new development.
  2. Direct and monitor the work to ensure that it complies with the applicable laws, regulations and technical standards on the matter.
  3. Supervise the different stages of the work and record its progress in the work log.
  4. Respond to any violation of the provisions of the Urban Development Law
  5. Give approval to obtain the proof of completion of work.
  6. Deliver the updated plans, the logbook and the calculations memories once the work is completed.

There are few certified DRO’s in Tulum, but you can find the updated list here. 

Now, to build in Tulum these are the special permits:

  • Authorization of felling and / or dismantling – This one has been done for all LAT land, you can ask the developer for this information. They can provide you a copy.
  • Sanitary Authorization of Construction Plans (COFEPRIS Playa del Carmen) – It is a permit that grants sanitary compliance to your plumbing installation. Pit, drainage and other elements that may be health hazards
  • Proof of Land Use (uso de suelo) (Municipality of Tulum) – it determines that your land is for housing purposes and not commercial or others. 
  • 3% tax on Payroll (SATQ) – Must be paid before workers initiate any labor. 
  • Construction License (Municipality of Tulum) – To get it, you must present everything mentioned above, except payroll tax, along with your construction plans and documents.
  • Quota of the workers’ union (According to the union to which the workers are registered) – once work has been started, the union will approach the owner/buider to ask for payment accordingly. 
  • Current payment of the Social Security – To be paid for every worker on site while building work lasts. (IMSS) This should be requested from the person who is managing the construction, to avoid lack of payments, since the person who builds is responsible for the payments on the job. The fact that there is a construction company involved does not exempt the owner of the property from liability.

Completion of Work (Municipality of Tulum) – Once the construction work has been finished, it is processed.