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. Be prepared with cash or have the ability to get it quickly.
Utilities Deposit: Estimate approximately CI$100 for water, CI$200-CI$500 for electricity and CI$100 for telephone if setting up direct-debit standing orders. Otherwise, you may be asked for more.
Maintenance Costs: Make sure the landlord will take care of maintenance costs associated with garden and pool care, garbage collection, pest control and servicing of general systems such as A/C. Sometimes cable television/internet is included, especially in condo complexes.
Insurance: Insuring personal belongings is the responsibility of the tenant.
Furnishings: Most units come furnished. Some may be “fully-furnished” (linens, kitchenware and appliances are supplied as well as furniture). Prior to signing your lease ask for an inventory showing everything that comes with the unit. You will have to be prepared to supplement anything missing.
Children: Certain apartment complexes are child-friendly and have larger outside play areas with shade trees.
Pets: A large number of complexes or owners do NOT accept pets. Most which allow for pets will require an additional non-refundable security deposit, which can be as much as CI$600 per pet. These funds will be used to have additional, specialised cleaning of the unit done once the tenant has left and before the new tenant takes over the lease. Carpets, sofas and curtains will all be professionally cleaned to make sure that no animal hair remains. If you do not have a pet prior to entering an agreement, but wish to, you must notify your landlord as a common courtesy as this could jeopardise your lease agreement.
Smokers: Many landlords do not want to rent to smokers.
No Sharers: Sometimes landlords will require apartments not be shared, i.e. only one family per unit.