There is a large selection of apartments and condos available for long-term rent in Cayman Islands. Expats will find that costs vary substantially, depending on location and proximity to areas such as George Town and the 7 Mile beachfront. Many places come with facilities such as tennis courts and pools.
Rental accommodation is relatively easy to find, and annual leases are generally available. During the tourist season (November and February) it can be more difficult to secure an annual lease. Monthly costs vary depending on whether the place is furnished or unfurnished, location and size.
Types of accommodation in Cayman Islands
There are various types of accommodation for expats to choose from when renting, including houses, condominiums, apartment complexes and rooms/apartments in larger houses. The most common types of properties available are two- and three-bedroom condos and townhouses, which are popular for long-term renting.
Household goods can be purchased locally, while most landlords provide a full range of crockery, cutlery and other household items if the place is furnished. Most accommodation in Cayman Islands is furnished.
Finding accommodation in Cayman Islands
There are real-estate agents situated across the islands who can help house-hunting expats. Alternatively, there are many websites advertising property online, which can be useful for expats. Expats should act quickly when signing a lease as properties tend to go quite quickly.
Renting accommodation in Cayman Islands
Those working on the island for two to three years generally rent property rather than buy. The property market is well run thanks to the transient nature of expat stays on the islands.
Once expats have decided on suitable accommodation, they must approach the landlord as soon as possible to negotiate a suitable lease agreement.
Making an application
The first step in the rental process after finding the desired accommodation is to file an application. Prospective tenants can either do this directly with the landlord or via an estate agent. The landlord or agency will perform various checks, after which a lease is signed between landlord and tenant.
A standard rental contract is usually valid for a year with the option to renew at the end of the initial term. In Cayman, tenants are sometimes able to negotiate shorter leases, but this is up to individual landlords. If the property is furnished, a full inventory of items will need to be drawn up and signed.
Tenants will have to pay a deposit, usually equivalent to one month’s rent, in addition to the first month’s rent to secure the rental agreement. This deposit belongs to the tenant and must be paid back at the end of the lease, unless the landlord deems it necessary to make use of some or all of the deposit for breakages, outstanding rent or other expenses the tenant may be liable for as agreed to in the contract.
Renters need to carefully check the terms of their lease to determine which utilities are included and what additional expenses they’d be liable for. Usually, utilities such as gas, water, electricity and internet usually aren't covered by the landlord, but this varies from property to property.
Buying property in Cayman Islands
Thanks to the tax laws in Cayman Islands, purchasing property is highly popular with foreigners. There are no restrictions on foreign ownership of real estate if the property is for personal use and there are no annual property or capital gains taxes.
The transfer of property in Cayman Islands is an incredibly efficient real-estate process. The process requires a single land transfer document signed by both the vendor and purchaser to legally transfer the title. That said, it is recommended that expats seek local legal and real-estate advice before purchasing property.
►See Healthcare in Cayman Islands for more about the local healthcare system
Are you an expat living in Cayman Islands?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Cayman Islands. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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