Renting Property in Turks and Caicos

When you are considering moving to the Turks and Caicos Islands there are always a number of questions that are asked regarding long-term accommodation. If you have decided that you are in the market to rent a property rather than to purchase then the information below should be a good starting point for you.

WHEN TO ARRIVE

This may seem like a strange thing to consider, but when you bare in mind that most leases and availability begins on the first of the month, then planning ahead makes sense. We usually recommend that new arrivals contact their CENTURY 21 ® Agent a month prior to arriving on Island and have temporary accommodation arranged for a week to 10 days when they first arrive. This is usually sufficient time to get a feel for the island, view properties with your agent and secure a place with all the necessary documentation needed to get in into your new home. Many companies actually pay for this temporary accommodation so ask ahead.

There is currently a shortage in rental availability on Grand Turk and Providenciales, therefore if you are relocating to one of those Islands we request that you contact your CENTURY 21 ® Agent as soon as you know you’ll be relocating to the Turks and Caicos Islands.

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APARTMENT OR HOUSE?

The first thing that you need to decide is whether you want to rent a house or an apartment. Generally speaking, a home is going to be more expensive than an apartment.

However, a house is normally more suitable for a family than an apartment, often with more privacy and more room for children to play. This does some times incur extra expenses such as yard and pool maintenance so make sure to check.

Living in an apartment is an easy way to meet people, they are more likely to have extra amenities such as a pool or tennis courts, and are generally more readily available.

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START UP COSTS

There are a number of general rules of thumb to follow when renting a property.

Rent is always paid in advance.

All Landlords require a security deposit, which is at least equal to one months rent, as well as the prepayment of first and last month’s rent, regardless of the rental value of the property. The security deposit 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 owner.

The utility, cable and phone company will all require deposits as well:

  • Electric – US0 along with a 0.00 nonrefundable installation fee.
  • Turks and Caicos Water – no deposit.
  • Cable – 0 hook up fee which is non refundable.
  • Telephone – 0 deposit for a land line and 0 for a post paid cell phone line.

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FURNISHED/FULLY FURNISHED?

There are very few properties that are listed that are unfurnished. Of those that are, appliances are nearly always provided. Always double check about blinds/ window treatments.

Generally speaking properties are either furnished: -appliances, hard furnishings, window treatments, beds, mattresses, etc. or fully furnished: – all of the above plus bed linens, bathroom linens, and kitchen crockery and equipment.

Televisions, stereos and VCR’s are a separate issue so always inquire, though televisions and microwaves are becoming the standard for fully furnished properties.

Remember if the property is only furnished, the purchasing of those extra items will add to your start up costs. Some people do choose to travel with these items as personal effects are normally duty free for persons moving to the country. This only applies if you have a work permit / residency in place, if the belongings are more than 6 months old, and if they are brought in within the first 6 months of living within the Country. Do bare in mind that if you bring them with you, and the property you pick is fully furnished, you may have to store them yourselves.

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LOCATION

Ocean/beach front properties are going to cost you the most amount of money. If you are willing to live close to the beach but not on it, you can get very nice properties at more reasonable rates. Canal front properties are also a good alternative.

Thompson’s cove, Cooper Jack, Blue Mountain and Turtle Cove are all areas that have apartments and homes, in nice residential areas close to town, the beach and all amenities.

Chalk Sound, Leeward, Grace Bay Hills, Long Bay and Turtle Tale are all nice areas that are between 10 and 20 minutes from town that more and more people are moving to.

Wherever you live in the Turks and Caicos Islands, you will never be too far from the sea, shops and friendly people that will always make you feel safe.

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UTILITY EXPENSES

It is worth checking out prior to signing a lease agreement 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 normal include these services as part of the lease agreement for peace of mind but you should always clarify prior to signing.

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HIDDEN EXTRAS

It is worth checking out prior to signing a lease agreement 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 normal include these services as part of the lease agreement for peace of mind but you should always clarify prior to signing.

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PETS and CHILDREN

Unfortunately, many owners are overly cautious when renting their properties and put restrictions on their tenants. It is generally difficult to find apartments that allow cats and dogs as many have management (strata) by-laws preventing them. It is getting easier as times go by and smaller complexes and private homes are more reasonable. Even if owners of these properties place restrictions on pets and occasionally small children, these restrictions can sometimes be over-come by offering a larger damage/security deposit.

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AVAILABILITY

The winter or ‘dry’ season, which traditionally runs from December 15th through April 15th, has always been the busiest time of year, with tourists, new residents and employees all descending in a short period of time. Many new employees especially seasonal workers begin arriving in September. Professionals tend to come in October, and once into December, it can get very difficult to find good accommodation at a reasonable rent. Many seasonal staff and teachers begin to leave in May through June, with the next batch arriving in July and August. Many current residents use this time to look around for new accommodation or just to catch up with the market changes.

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TRANSPORTATION

There is very limited bus service in the Turks and Caicos, therefore most persons have their own vehicle. Persons moving to the TCI should also look to have their own vehicle.

There are a large number of taxis operating on the country that these are regulated, with a central committee fixing the more than reasonable fares. These can again be flagged down or the numbers for them can be found in the local phone books.

Cars are readily available on the island, new and second hand due to the transient population. Bringing your own vehicle from overseas can be an option but duty charges vary between 25-45% depending on the size of the vehicle, regardless of age or value when it is brought down.

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Published by Century21 on . Last Updated .

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