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Professional Affiliations

Rentals

(345) 949.1717

hotrentals@candw.ky

 

ALL ABOUT LEASING

UNDERSTANDING THE MARKET

Just like most countries around the world Cayman has developed it's own practices when it comes to rentals. Most real estate companies share the same rental "listings". Owner's notify each company that they have a vacancy so if you see the same property advertised in three different places it is more than likely the same unit. It is understood that each agent can show the property and the agent who assists the person who takes the unit is then paid by the owner. Tenants do not pay the rental agent! All the rental agents on the island know each other and work together to make sure duplication does not occur. You are busy enough when relocating to a foreign country and starting a new job so you don't need to see the same property twice! Conveniently, you can select one agent you are comfortable with and ask them to check on listings with other companies for you. Even if is not a shared listing all agents readily show their listings to other agent's customers. This one agent can set all your appointments and accompany you on the showings. The system may not be perfect but at least knowing how it operates will help avoid confusion. (Go to our links page for access to more information about the island from the government etc. Please know we do not handle leases less than 6 months... so please try the Cayman Villas link for a holiday let).

GUIDELINES

There are a number guidelines 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 months rent. This money is held by the owner for the term of the lease and is refundable subject to any deductions for damages not withstanding normal wear and tear, or terminating a lease before the expiration date. Any interest accrued will be in favour of the owner. The utility companies will all require deposits as well:

  • Electric - Cl $100 per bedroom or $500 per property above that.
  • Water - Depending on the water company (there are two) the bill will either remain in name of Landlord and duplicate bill sent to the tenant or the bill will go directly to the tenant. In some cases the water is billed through the Strata office (condo manager's office) and your bill would be paid directly to them. It is up to the Landlord whether to collect a separate deposit.
  • TV Cable - $75 hook up fee and $125 for antennae installation if there is none, both fees are non-refundable. One TV Cable box is $72 per month for basic channel package not including pay-per-view options. Sometimes the TV connection is included in the rent. This is more likely to occur when renting a condo since the TV is sometimes included in the owner's monthly maintenance fees. You can get Direct TV (500 + channels) if your Landlord will permit dish installation and some properties already have a dish installed. In some cases TV service is provided by the condo association and is already installed in the unit. The monthly fee for the connection will be billed to you by the Strata office.
  • Telecommunications - CI $300 deposit for a telephone line for expatriates and $200 for Caymanians. Cellphone and internet access, including DSL, are readily available as well.... (AT&T and Digicel are also here as of March 15 2004!!!!)
  • Customs - There is no duty paid on personal effects that are shipped within the first 6 months of residency as long as the items are older than 6 months. This does not apply to transport. After that there is 20% payable.

There are few properties that are listed that are unfurnished; however, with the recent building boom there are more unfurnished units available than in the past. All units, furnished or not, will have appliances. A Furnished unit has appliances, hard furnishings, window treatments, beds, mattresses, etc. or Fully furnished will have all of the above plus bed linens, bathroom linens, and kitchen crockery and equipment.

LOCATION 

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 very nice properties at more reasonable rates. Canal front properties are also a good alternative.

Snug Harbour, South Sound, Parkway, and Governors Harbour are all areas that have apartments and homes, in nice 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 have been built as well as new facilities such as shopping centres and supermarkets. There are also furture plans for a 5 screen movie theatre and a water park.

The districts of West Bay and Bodden Town are about a 20 minute drive to George Town, and have less expensive, more traditional style homes. Wherever you live in Cayman, you will never be too far from the sea, and will always feel safe.

UTILITIES

Electricity is not cheap on the island with air conditioning being the biggest drain. Most of the newer properties have split AC zones with the bedrooms cooled separately from the living areas. A 2 bedroom apartment that has the air running cold permanently and has high usage of a dryer is going to run bills up to about $300-500 a month. However, using the AC sensibly (turning it down/off when you are not home) the bills will average between $120 and $200. Water costs are reasonable in Cayman. It is drinkable but most people prefer to drink bottled water. Average bills for families of 4, with lots of laundry are around $150, but most couples will only pay around $40 -$70 a month.

One TV Cable box is $106.95 per month not including pay-per-view options. Each additional box in the home would be CI$ 10 per month.

BANKING

Please select your bank before moving to the island. Why? You will need a reference letter written directly to the new bank from the bank where you have been a customer stating your credit worthiness. This reference letter must carry the official seal of the bank. This is very important since it cannot be a faxed copy so if you do not bring it with you, you will have to wait for "snail mail" delivery or pay for an overnight service and you will be without a bank account until the letter arrives. Ask your employer which bank they use and maybe go with the same bank for convenience. There may be other requirements from the bank you select so check into this before leaving home. The banking laws in Cayman have become very strict with anti-money laundering legislation. Conducting your personal business without a bank account is becoming difficult.

MAIL SERVICE AND NEWSPAPER DELIVERY

The island does not have home mail delivery. There are Post Offices in each district of the island that rent PO Boxes (a small one is CI $75 per year) but it can be very difficult to get one of your own. After you have selected a place to live find the nearest Post Office and inquire about availability. You can have mail delivered "General Delivery" to your local post office if you choose to not use your employers PO Box. The newest Post Offices are the Airport and Savannah locations which may be the best place to start. Most people end up using their employer's PO Box. If you are having a package delivered by courier service you must provide a physical address of where you want the package delivered.

There is no newspaper delivery on the island. The Caymanian Compass is published Monday-Friday and can be purchased almost anywhere! The cost is CI $.50 Monday -Thursday and CI $.75 on Friday. Friday is the biggest paper and is where you will find the most Rental Adverts.

PETS AND CHILDREN

Unfortunately, many owners are overly cautious when renting their properties and put restrictions on their tenants. It is difficult to find apartments that allow cats and dogs as many have management (strata) by-laws preventing this. However, smaller complexes and private homes are more flexible. 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.

If you need assistance with the regulations and procedures to bring a pet to the island contact:

Agricultural Inspection & Regulatory Services office
PO Box 459 GT
Cayman Islands, BWI
Telephone: (345) 947-7909
Fax: (345) 945-2267
Email:ciagric@candw.ky

AVAILABILITY

The winter or "dry" season, which traditionally runs from December 15th through April 15th, is the busiest time of year with tourists, new residents and employees all descending in a short period of time. Many new employees and especially seasonal workers begin arriving in September. Accounting staff and bankers tend to come in October, and by December it can get very difficult to find good accommodation at a reasonable rent. Many seasonal staff and teachers begin to leave in May through June, with the next batch arriving in July through September.

TRANSPORTATION Many people get around on bicycles as most things are close and the island is flat. They are available at reasonable cost both new and second hand. However, despite the lack of crime on the island bikes do tend to get stolen if they are not properly secured. Remember that bikes here must be licensed the same way a car needs to be and must have proper lighting for nighttime riding. This is done at the Vehicular Licensing Dept for a nominal fee. Public transport has recently been regulated in the Cayman Islands. There is now a bus service that runs to each of the main areas of the island making getting around that much easier, however they do not run late at night. They are abundant during rush hours. They are usually only a couple of dollars regardless of where you want to go. There are a few official bus stops around but it is easier just to flag one down when you see it approaching, (single deck mini buses) and they will normally drop you at a spot that is mutually convenient.

There are a large number of taxis operating on the island, and like the buses, these are regulated, with a central committee fixing the more than reasonable fares. These can again be flagged down or the numbers for them can be found in the local phone books. Cars are readily available on the island, new and second hand. Bringing your own vehicle from overseas can be an option but duty charges vary between 25-40% depending on the value of the vehicle, regardless of age and when it is brought down. Remember - drive on the left!

EDUCATION The standard of education on the island has vastly increased over the last few years with examination results among the best in the region. Both the American and the English systems are available. Most expatriate children will be required to go the private schools that are scattered around the island and vary in class size from 8 to 28 children. They are open to children between the ages of 4 to 16 years of age. There are also many programs. Fees vary. See contact information below:

  • Cayman Academy, 949-7190
  • Cayman International School - 945-4664
  • Grace Christian Academy - 945 0899
  • St. Ignatius Preschool and Primary- (345) 949-9250
  • St. Ignatius High School - (345) 949-1994
  • Cayman Prep & High School - (345) 949-9115
  • First Baptist Christian School (3 months to high school) - (345) 945-7906
  • Montessori By The Sea (up to age 6) - (345) 947-0684
  • Montessori del Sol (up to age 6) - (345) 949-3222
  • Triple C School (kindergarten to high school) (345) 949-6022
  • There are also pre-school facilities for children ages 2 - 4 years old.

Visit the Cayman Islands Yellow Pages for useful contact information: http://www.caymanislandsyp.com/

The Real Estate Company Ltd,

P.O. Box 31246 Grand Cayman KY1-1205 Cayman Islands

(345) 949.1717

hotrentals@candw.ky