Renting Property in the Cayman Islands
When to Arrive on the Island
This may seem like a strange thing to consider, but when you bear in mind that most leases and availability begin on the first of the month, then planning ahead makes sense. We usually recommend that new arrivals have temporary accommodation arranged for a week to 10 days when they first arrive. This is sufficient time to get a feel for the island, view properties with your agent and secure a place with all the necessary documentation needed to get into your new home.
Apartment/Condo or House?
The first thing you need to decide is whether you want to rent a house or an apartment. Generally speaking a home is going to be more expensive than an apartment/condo. However, a house is normally more suitable for a family than a condo, often with more privacy and more room for children to play. This does sometimes incur extra expenses such as yard and pool maintenance so make sure to check.
Living in an apartment is an easy way to meet people, they are more likely to have extra amenities such as a pool or tennis courts or gym.
What are the Start Up Costs?
There are a number of general rules of thumb to follow when renting a property.
Rent is always paid in advance. All landlords require a security deposit which is at least equal to one month’s rent regardless of the rental value of the property. This money is held by the owner for the term of the lease and is refundable subject to any deductions for damage notwithstanding normal wear and tear.
The utility, cable and phone company will all require deposits as well: Electric CI$100 per bedroom; Water Authority – CI$100, Telephone – CI$100, Cable TV – CI$90, High speed internet
Furnished or Fully Furnished?
There are very few properties listed that are unfurnished. Of those that are, appliances are nearly always provided. Always double check about blinds/window treatments.
Generally speaking properties are either:
Semi - furnished – appliances, hard furnishings, window treatments, beds, mattresses, etc; or
Fully furnished – all of the above plus bed linens, bathroom linens and kitchen items and equipment.
Televisions, stereos and DVD players are separate issues so always inquire.
Remember if the property is unfurnished, the purchasing of those extra items will add to your startup costs. There is an allowance for personal belongings before duty is paid within the first six months of arrival on the island. This only applies if you have a work permit/residency in place, if the belongings are more than 6 months old and they are brought in within the first six months. Do bear in mind that if you bring them with you, and the property you pick is fully furnished, you may need to store them yourself.
What is a good Location for a rental in Cayman?
Ocean/beach front properties are going to cost you the most amount of money. If you are willing to live close to the beach, but not on it, you can get an enjoyable properties at more reasonable rates. Canal front properties are also a good alternative especially if you plan to buy a boat!
Snug Harbour, Canal Point, South Sound, Parkway and Governors Harbour are all areas that have apartments and homes, in good residential areas close to town, the beach and all amenities.
Prospect is an area 10 minutes from town that more and more people are moving to. Many new homes and apartments are springing up there, and a new shopping centre and supermarket is now complete.
The district of West Bay and Bodden Town are both within about 20 minutes of George Town, and have cheaper more traditional style homes. Wherever you live in Cayman you will never be far from the sea, shops, bus route and you will always feel safe.
What Can I expect to pay for Utility Expenses?
Electricity is not cheap on the island, because of the high standard of power we have and the cost to run the plants. The air conditioning is the most cost and the newer properties actually have split zones, which make them more economical. An apartment that has the air running permanently is going to run up bills averaging between CI$270 and CI$400 a month or more for a large home.
Water is safe to drink from the kitchen tap in Cayman because Cayman Water using reverse osmosis for the water. Average bills for families of 4 with lots of laundry can be around CI$70 but most couples will only pay around CI$40 a month. Cable runs to CI$75 per month not including pay per view options. There are 4 movie channels, 2 sports channels, all the networks and so forth. An additional 4 channel package at an extra charge can now be added. Some apartment/condo complexes have a package deal with the cable company offering a discounted rate. Check with your agent at the time of your rental.
What about Pets and Children?
Unfortunately, many owners are overly cautious when renting their properties and put restrictions on pets. It is generally difficult to find apartments that allow cats and dogs as many have (strata by-laws) or HOA rules preventing them. Even if owners of these properties place restrictions on pets and occasionally small children, these restrictions can sometimes be overcome by offering a larger damage/security deposit, usually around an additional CI$500 per pet.