When you are looking for a place to rent in the Cayman Islands, there is no fully-comprehensive central portal to refer to. Ecaytrade is good, and usually lists over 500 different rentals depending on the volume of inventory, plus you can filter your search by the number of beds, location and price. Unfortunately, there are quite a lot of duplicates that you will have to wade through and many properties will have already been rented, but not removed. Our advice would be to just persevere. You can also reach out to realtors who specialise in rentals as they will have a different list of what is available. You can get a huge mixed bag of properties on Ecaytrade whereas a realtor will often have a better quality of inventory as property owners know that the renter will be hand-picked and vetted by the rental agent. Finally, there is also a rental listing system on www.cireba.ky/rentals, which is ostensibly the list that real estate agents will be working from.
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Rental agents will also give you a list of what they have available, arrange viewings and drive you around to see properties. This is a free service but be aware that the property rental market moves fast and new properties are often rented within days of them hitting the market. The volume of inventory has also gone down significantly.
• Timeframe: The majority of tenancies commence on the first of the month. Landlords can be flexible if you ask, but ensure you put a security deposit down (typically one month's rent). Most rentals will not be advertised until 4-6 weeks prior to the start of the lease and it's to best wait until your permit has been approved before searching. The market moves extremely quickly. Most realtors are willing to give you a tour by video call or send additional photos/videos if you are yet to arrive on-Island.
• Deposit: The industry standard for a rental security deposit is equivalent to a full month’s rent (e.g. if you lease a property for CI$2,500/month, your deposit will be CI$2,500). In addition to this, the first month’s rent will be required to be paid in full on or before you take occupancy.
• Location: Walking distance to the beach or a shopping centre and less commuting time to an office or schools are the top priorities for people moving to the Cayman Islands, but they come at a premium. Sacrificing wish list items can mean a healthy reduction in monthly rental expense.
• Size: How many bedrooms do you need or want? Many people like to have an extra bedroom for visitors, or even a home office.
• Lifestyle: You will likely have to compromise on either your location, size or your budget. Prioritise your wish list prior to the search.
Rental Options - Style of Housing
In Cayman there are various types of housing to choose from: family homes, town-homes, condominiums, apartment complexes or rooms/apartments carved out of larger houses. The most common type of properties available are two and three bedroom condos and townhouses for which owners are looking for long-term tenants.
Detached four and five-bedroom family/executive homes are less easy to find, they command much higher rents and are usually snapped up quickly unless they are tired-looking and obviously not well-maintained. Cayman has relatively few large rental apartment complexes – rather the complexes are comparatively small with 20–40 units per complex being the norm.
Be prepared to adjust your thinking, as the convenience of large complexes with management companies dedicated specifically to rentals does not exist. Most places will have a mixture of resident owners and long and short-term renters.
Real estate agents who specialise in rentals will often have established relationships with the various strata (condo) corporations and will know what is available and has the most to offer.
Rent can widely vary depending on where you are located on-island. That beachfront bungalow may seem like a good idea… until you have to pay the monthly rent! Every year we revise this content to be sure that it’s as up to date as it can possibly be.
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Other Rental Costs
In addition to the first month's rent and deposit, you will also have start-up costs related to your new accommodation:
• Utilities Deposit: Estimate approximately CI$100 for water, CI$250-CI$600 for electricity and CI$180 for a landline, cable and/or internet package. See the Settling In chapter for more details.
• Maintenance Costs: Most landlords will take care of maintenance costs associated with garden and pool care, pest control and servicing of general systems such as A/C. If this is not specified within the lease agreement, enquire prior to signing.
• Insurance: Insuring personal belongings is the responsibility of the tenant. The property owner will be responsible for any issues that are not the fault of the tenant, i.e. inclement weather, a burst pipe or the A/C system failing.
• Furnishings: Most units come furnished. Prior to signing a lease, ask for an inventory list showing everything that comes with the unit. You will have to be prepared to supplement anything missing.
• Pets: A large number of complexes or owners do not accept pets. Those that do may require an additional security deposit, which can be as much as CI$600 per pet to cover additional cleaning.
• Monthly Costs: You will be expected to pay utilities, which will be based on consumption, the size of the unit and the age of the build. Your realtor will be able to give you an estimate on the unit prior to signing an agreement. Cable and internet may or may not be included in the rental rate. If it is included, it is usually a basic package and you can pay to upgrade.
For potential renters, the best approach is to email one of the realtors below, make a connection and have them guide you in your search. Please note that each agent or company will have their own rental listings, but they will have access to each other’s, as well as properties listed on Ecaytrade.com.
Many companies offer new employees two to four weeks of temporary accommodation to assist with relocation. The 13% tourist tax will not be added to your hotel bill on presentation of your work permit.