Cayman’s rental inventory is slim and demand continues to increase. There is no central portal so the best place to start your search is by contacting a realtor who specialises in rentals.
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They will give you a list of what they have available, arrange viewings and even drive you around to see properties. This is also free of charge. Alternatively, you can look on ecaytrade.com and see what rentals are listed there; as of July 2019 it has 389 rentals available. The prices of rentals have increased significantly as the number of available properties has dwindled. Where someone used to be able to find a two bedroom condo in West Bay for CI$1,500 you now cannot get that same property for less than CI$2,000.
To manage your expectations, communicate your wish list to a realtor prior to your arrival. Have the following in mind when you contact an agent:
- Time-frame: The majority of tenancies commence on the first of the month. Landlords can be flexible if you ask and put a security deposit down (typically one months’ rent). Most rentals will not begin to be advertised until 4 – 6 weeks prior to the start of the lease and the rates will fluctuate throughout the year so wait until your permit has been approved before you start your search. The current market moves very quickly. Most realtors are willing to give you a tour by FaceTime or send additional photos if you have yet to arrive on-Island.
- Price range: Rent in Cayman is not as affordable as you may be used to and you may have to forgo that beachfront condo or extra bedroom to stay within budget.
- 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$1,500/month, your deposit will be CI$1,500. In addition to this, the first month’s rent will be required to be paid in full on or before you take occupancy.
- Location: Again, be realistic, not everyone lives within walking distance to the beach or a shopping centre. A reduction in the commuting time is often one of the top priorities for people moving to the Cayman Islands, so you may want to make sure you choose a property which factors in journey times to the office and schools.
- 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, townhomes, 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 write the rent cheque! Every year we revise this content to be sure that it’s as up to date as it can possibly be.
|Area||1 BR||2 BR||3 BR||Commute (min)|
|Seven Mile Corridor||$1500-2000||$3000-5500||$5000+||20-25|
Other Rental Costs
When you find the place that is right for you, you will usually need to put down a security deposit and the first month’s rent in advance. You will also have start-up costs related to your new accommodation:
- Utilities Deposit: Estimate approximately CI$100 for water, CI$200-CI$500 for electricity (depending on the size of the property) and an estimated CI$150 for a landline, cable and/or internet package.
- 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. Some may be “fully-furnished” (linens, kitchenware and all appliances are supplied, as well as furniture). 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 which do will require an additional non-refundable security deposit, which can be as much as CI$600 per pet (to account for a specialised cleaning of the unit done once the tenant has left. Carpets, sofas and curtains will all be professionally cleaned to make sure that no animal hair remains. If you acquire a pet during your tenancy you must notify your landlord..
- Monthly Costs: You will be expected to pay water and electricity 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 10% tourist tax will not be added to your hotel bill if you can prove you are a resident, i.e. by presenting your work permit.