Information for Landlords

If you are considering renting out your property, whether it be your current residential home, or an investment property that was purpose bought, there are always a number of question that are asked of us as agents.

You may be considering using an agent or maybe marketing the property yourself. You may also benefit from our management services or possibly these are not needed for your property. I hope that this will be a good starting point in answering your questions.

Is my Home Rentable?

There are three basic things that tenants look for when choosing a rental home;

  • Price
  • Location
  • Clean & well maintained standard

1. Price

Price is always a sensitive issue but it is especially so during these hard economic times. Post Hurricane Ivan, rentals rates went up on average 30% due to the shortage of available rentals but since the beginning of 2010, rental rates have been dropping steadily and many are now well below the pre Ivan (2004) prices. Tenants are looking for a good deal, and in many cases a bargain and Landlords for the first time in Cayman real estate history are having to accept that the rental income is probably not going to cover all monthly costs and expenses.

In order to expedite the process of placing tenants you should make sure you are realistic with the price you are expecting based on the current market.

Compare your property with others of similar standard in your area, or alternatively, ask an agent. Here at Tessa Hydes Property Management we are happy to meet with and give owners advice regarding the marketability their property.

2. Location

As the old adage says Location, Location, Location is so important to tenants. Many of the people looking to rent are expatriates who are looking forward to the many benefits of moving to a small island. One of the most common `wish list` requests when hunting for the ideal property is to escape from the big cities and the associated commuting. Desired location varies drastically from client to client depending largely on their place of employment. This also plays a factor in the price you can expect for your rental. Generally speaking the further away from the main areas of South Sound, George Town and Seven Mile Beach, the lower the comparative rates will be. However, although these are the most requested areas, we do regularly get requests for other districts including East End and North Side; (not everyone is in Banking!). And as the Government’s `Go East` initiative continues hopefully the Landlords in these areas will also feel the benefits.

3. Clean and Well Maintained Standard

Everyone agrees that clean and well maintained is what you expect for a rental property. Unfortunately that is not always what we see. By taking care of those little things like dripping taps, over grown yard/ garden or walls that need a lick of paint, an owner is increasing the value for rent as well as protecting his/her most important investment. 21 tips will give you a few pointers to think about when renting your property.

Why use and Agent?

Some Landlords do indeed place tenants themselves without the help of an agent. Many do it successfully and without much hassle. Others will tell you that they will always use an agent. The reasons these owners do this are numerous;

  • Agents are well experienced in tenant placement, with properties from small economy studio apartments to million dollar homes all successfully rented.
  • Tenant placement is time consuming – placing advertisements, screening prospective tenants, showing the property, taking inventory, negotiating among other things can be an unnecessary inconvenience.
  • Agents have legally drawn up lease agreements on hand that provide both the tenant and the landlord with protection and obligation, providing for a harmonious tenant/landlord relationship. These agreements may be changed to suit individual needs.
  • Agents have marketing tools at their disposal that not all landlords have available; – newspaper advertising, huge client data base, fax/email links with major companies, referrals from Government and major companies on the island and a purpose built web site. THPM’s website has been commended for its user friendliness and we get a vast amount of clients via this media.
  • In addition, many owners, especially those off island, will use an agent to manage a property on their behalf. By having someone experienced on island, taking responsibility for your investment, you can sit back and enjoy the rewards without any of the hassles.

Insurance

Tenants are responsible for their own belongings when residing in your property. The insurance of the property and your contents is your own responsibility although tenants are liable against damage under most lease agreements. We recommend that you always get insurance. You can interview, screen, examine and grill perspective tenants but there are no guarantees in life. There are insurance policies for contents, public liability loss of rent and mortgage protection as well as the usual building insurance, all of which should be carefully considered.

Tenant Placement Fees

Leases 6 months or more in length 100% of one month’s rent
Leases 4-5months in length 50% of one month’s rent
Short Term Fee (3 months or less) 10% per month