Start-up cost and utilities
There are a number of general rules of thumb to follow when renting a property.
Rent is always paid in advance. Rents are usually due on the first of each month. If moving in mid month your first rent will normally be pro rated.
All landlords require a security deposit, which is at least equal to one months rent regardless of the rental value of the property. This money is held by the owner for the term of the lease and is refundable subject to any deductions for damage not withstanding normal wear and tear. Any interest accrued will be in favour of the landlord but given current interest rates these are negligiable.
If a landlord is accepting pets, there are often additional deposits for this.
The utility, cable and phone companies will all require deposits as well;
Electric – As of January 1 2015, CUC are now collecting deposits based on the average consumption for a month over the previous 6 months plus 45 days. Depending on the property that can really add up so be prepared!
Water – Water Authority – at owners discretion, but usually CI$150.
WestStar Digital Cable – CI$90 hook up fee which is non refundable.
Telephone/ Broadband – Set up costs are: Landline $40.00 / ADSL $60.00.
Please also note the line rental of $15.00 will be charged for 3 months in advance and is Pro-rated from the period of signup. ADSL is also prorated for the current billing period at time of sign up and is based on plan selected. See http://www.time4lime.com/ky/personal/internet/plans.jsp The customer has the option of paying a $200.00 deposit or applying for direct debit.
Direct debit and on line banking options are available to pay all bills.
Electricity is not cheap on the island, because of the usage of air conditioning. Most of the newer properties actually have split zones systems, which make them more economical.
A 2 bedroom apartment that has the air running permanently is going to run bills up to about $350-$500 a month. However, by only using it in an evening or during the summer months, the bills can average between $250 and $350.
Water is not too bad here in Cayman. It is drinkable but most people prefer to drink bottled water. This can be bought at the supermarket or delivered to your door on a monthly account.
Average bills for piped water for families of 4 with lots of laundry can be around $120, but most couples will only pay around $60 a month. Along Seven Mile Beach properties also incur a sewage charge. Check with your agent who is responsible at your property for the bill.
Most homes are equipped with electric stoves but some of the older homes, and ironically more modern kitchens use gas. It is provided here in bottle form and is very economical. The bottled gas company will deliver to your door as needed.
Digital Cable TV runs to approximately $80 per month not including pay per view options. There are lots of movie channels, sports channels, all the US networks and so forth. Additional channel packages at an extra charge can be added. Some apartment complexes have a package deal with the cable company offering a discounted rate. Check with your agent.
Many units now offer satellite TV with the tenants choosing their own packages. This usually gives you about 60 channels starting at around $60 per month.
Prior to signing a lease agreement it is worth checking out just who is responsible for those little extra things we often forget about. For example, sewage, garbage collection, regular yard and pool maintenance, the servicing of air conditioning systems and quarterly pest control.
As a general rule an owner will normally include these services as part of the lease agreement for peace of mind but you should always clarify prior to signing.
Also remember that as a general rule, smoking inside your rental property will not be allowed and any violation of this will result in your forfeiting your entire deposit.