Congratulations on moving to Barbados! The rental process can be extremely easy as long as you work with a reputable agent who lives and works in Barbados. For renters moving to Barbados, your relocation starts long before you sign the rental agreement. The process begins from the time you start considering moving to this beautiful island. Although preparing to move overseas may seem like a huge task, you should take comfort in the fact that you will not make any ill-advised decisions without thoroughly researching all of the necessary variables.
Moving to Barbados
Barbados is a small island located in the Caribbean Sea. The island’s closest neighbours are St. Lucia to the north west, St. Vincent and the Grenadines to the west and Grenada to the south west. The island receives favourable sunshine throughout the year, even though it is in the very-active Atlantic tropical storm belt. Barbados is a small 166 square miles, but the island is very popular with visitors from the United Kingdom, Germany, the United States and Canada.
Barbados Work Permit Requirements
Non-nationals moving to Barbados for employment will need a work permit. It is customary for the employer on the island to apply for one on your behalf. The employer will have to provide proof to the government that you are needed by the company because there is no one resident on the island with your specialised qualifications. If you are moving to Barbados to open a business, you may be asked to provide proof of this.
Rental Properties in Barbados
There are several types of properties that make up the rental market on the island. There are single-family houses, townhouses, condos, apartments and villas. These properties can be found throughout the island. However, many renters in Barbados prefer to live in areas that are close to good public transportation and other amenities such as supermarkets and gas stations. These are some of the factors that you must consider before you make your final decision about moving to Barbados.
If moving to Barbados, it is best that you work with a trusted agent or a trusted friend on the island. Competent real estate agents will try to work with you and your budget. The type of property that you choose should meet your needs in every sense. However, many expats live in town homes and condos in gated communities. In several cases, housing is one of the perks of the job, so the tenant will not have to factor rent in their expenses.
Questions to Ask Your Landlord
Before you move to Barbados, there are a few questions that you should ask your landlord. Asking these questions before you pack up and get on the plane can spare you some headaches in the long run. If you are organising your accommodation on the island on your own, these questions are necessary.
1. How long is the rental agreement for?
You will need this information to present to immigration on entry into Barbados. Rental agreements may run for a period of 6 or 12 months. However, a longer agreement can be requested.
2. How much is the rent and what does it include?
The amount of rent to be paid should be a figure that can comfortably pay each month. Some properties include utilities, furnishings, parking, upkeep and maintenance, storage and light cleaning in the rental fees.
3. What are the rules of the house?
Many rental properties in Barbados have rules that should be followed throughout the rental period. Some landlords do not allow children, pets or guests after a certain time. Also, many rental properties will prohibit smoking, excessive drinking, cursing and the use of illegal drugs.
4. What is the crime rate in the area?
Living in a safe area is a top concern. As with any other country in the world, there are some areas that are not as safe as others. Ask for specifics about the area such as where it is located, what are some of the neighbouring districts and what is the crime situation like in those areas.
5. Have there been any break-ins at the property?
Staying safe whilst living in Barbados is a priority. You will want to feel comfortable that where you are living is a safe place. The landlord should confirm is the property has a monitored security system, cameras and bars at the windows.
6. Is the property safe?
All homes should be outfitted with smoke detectors and properly functioning appliances. Ask the landlord if the home’s gas, electrical and plumbing and air conditioning are up to date.
Double Check the Rental Agreement
The rental agreement contains all of the details about the property, clauses for default, your rights as a renter and the landlord’s rights. This is a legal document that will hold weight in the event of a dispute between the landlord and the renter. In addition to the rental agreement, you should keep copies of all correspondence with the landlord.
A good rental agreement should list the term of the lease or tenancy; the amount of rent to be paid each month; the start date and end date of the tenancy; rent increases; rental incentives (if any); what the rent includes; the services to be provided by the landlord; the security deposit required; property inspection results or declarations; reasonable rules of the tenancy; rental arrears procedures; and statutory conditions.
If there is anything in the document that is not clear, ask a legal professional to review it for completeness.
In addition to the rental agreement, you should have contact details for the landlord and a record of any payments or deposits made to secure the property.
What to Bring When You Move to Barbados
After you have finalised your move to Barbados, you should start packing the items that will move with you. You can ship items by sea and this can take a few weeks or longer. Or you can bring smaller items with you when you fly in. Take note that goods shipped by sea may attract some duties and taxes. Alternately, you may decide to buy whatever you need on the island.
You should bring:
- Clothing: At least two weeks’ worth of underwear, sleepwear, shorts, swimwear, tank tops, exercise gear, business casual outfits, elegantly casual outfits and socks
- Shoes: Flip flops, slippers, sandals, sneakers, loafers, office shoes, beach shoes, waterproof boots
- Toiletries: Soap and body wash; deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrush, shampoo and conditioner; lotions and moisturizer; sunscreen; razors; makeup, hair accessories; hair removal lotions, bug repellent
- Medication: Prescription and non-prescription medicine; painkillers;
- Gadgets: Laptop; cell phone; electronics chargers; camera; plug adapter, umbrella, raincoat,
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