Whether considering relocating to Barbados or just finding a new home to rent, there are several aspects that spring to mind when selecting a residential rental. Our rental agent Rosey McCartney presents an overview of common questions that prospective renters often ask.
Q: Where can I start my rentals search?
A: There is no Multiple Listing Service (MLS) in Barbados, instead properties are spread across multiple platforms, so engaging a trusted agent is where you should begin. The Terra Caribbean website is one of the largest portals of rental listings on the island and that is also a great place to start.
Q: How do I decide on a budget for a rental home in Barbados?
A: Financial experts advise that a maximum of 30% of your income should be budgeted for your rental. You need to also take into consideration the costs of utilities and the transportation cost to commute from your chosen location.
Q: What is the usual length of tenancy for residential rental homes?
A: For long-term tenants, the standard tenancy duration is a year. However, short term tenancy may be as short as one to five months in total duration.
Q: Can rental rates be negotiated?
A: Duration of tenancy is the best leverage for pursuing a negotiation with a landlord. Historically, we have been able to negotiate lower rent costs by leveraging the duration of the tenancy for our long-term tenants.
Q: Do rental rates fluctuate?
A: Sometimes rates fluctuate, but only in the case of short-term rentals. The most common example of this is during the Christmas period. If you are looking for a four-month rental home around the Christmas, then you will encounter a smaller pool of options due to demand, which then subsequently drives up price points over other times of the year.
Q: Are rental homes usually close to key amenities?
A: Thanks to the island’s geographical size and its road network, once you are in Barbados you will realise that the whole island is very accessible. Therefore, all rentals are more or less within fifteen-minutes’ drive of key amenities in major towns and commercial centres including Bridgetown, Warrens, Six Roads, Holetown, Oistins and Speightstown.
Q: Does location impact rental prices?
A: Yes, it does. Rental homes located on prime beachfront and in coastal locations command a higher rental price than those found inland. In addition, rates for homes within gated communities are higher than for non-gated neighbourhoods, and rentals along the west coast generally cost more than those along the south coast.
Lifestyle and Tenancy
Q: Are pets allowed?
A: Many landlords prefer not to allow pets, but those that do usually include a pet deposit, which is just like a security deposit. If the landlord does not require a pet deposit they will include a clause into the contract that makes a tenant liable for any damages caused by their pet.
Q: Do tenants take care of their own landscaping and maintenance? A: This varies on a case-by-case basis. Some landlords with rentals under US $1,500 may request that the tenant upkeeps the grounds, but in the case of gated communities or rentals above US $1,500, pool and garden maintenance is sometimes included in the rental rate.