Tips for Renting Property in Nassau, Bahamas
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An expat talks about renting a home on Paradise Island, Bahamas. Did you know that most rentals in the Bahamas are fully furnished? and many landlords won't allow any of the existing furniture to be removed.
Popular Areas in Nassau for Rental Properties
On Paradise Island, there are several. We chose a small spot on a secluded road. Many people live in the Sunrise Beach Villas, Harbor View, Flamingo and of course the Ocean Club Estates if you can afford it. Bayview is another affordable option on PI as well.
On Nassau, many expats choose to live on the west end: Sandyport/Cable Beach area. Lyford Cay is an upscale community with a lot to offer as well. Treasure Cove is another spot well liked by expats.
Precautions Expats Should Take When Renting in Nassau, Bahamas
First, last and deposit straight up front is the norm. Suggest going through a realestate agent as well. I've heard bad stories about local land lords never giving back deposits even when you give the property back better. Seeing first hand is a must.
Steps in Renting a Property
1. Research online for places and understand the market value.
2. establish an agent (word of mouth works well).
3. View and have deposit ready.
4. You'll need to provide your work details or financial proof to get the contract.
5. First and Last months rent.
6. Keys and move in.
Rental Prices in Nassau, Bahamas
All on Paradise Island:
Smallest one bedroom: 1500-1800,
Well furnished one bedroom in nicer area: 1800-2000.
Two bedroom: 2000-3500 depending on venue, amenities and furnishings.
Three bedroom: 2800-5000.
Almost all available units are condo type properties. Some townhome styles and few stand alones.
7000-10000 will get you into ocean club estates condos.
Credibility of the agent. Must have 50% downpayment (I think). Have a trustworthy person do a full home inspection. Much of the areas are very old and a buyer must be aware of what is under ground and in the walls.
What's Included in a Rental Property
Most rentals are completely furnished with all the main appliances necessary to live. It was hard to find a rental property where we could put our children's room set. Many of the properties are set up for vacationers so much of the furniture is whicker and cheap. A well furnished home is out there, but must be looked for.
Necessary Documents for Foreigners Renting Property in Nassau, Bahamas
Passport and work contract for me. All the other items were needed to open the bank account so no worries. If you have proof of funds from another bank, you are good to go.
Renting with Pets
I'd say yes. But definitely ask before hand.
Furnished vs. Unfurnished Rentals
Furnished. Much of our search and decision were based on the furnishings. Many of the landlords will not permit moving anything out either.
Typical Lease Terms
We have for one year. I know some people have gotten two year deals. Depending on job, some landlords only work on the length of the expat's work permit which is typically one year.
Paying Rent in Nassau
At first we were transferring money through our Bahamas bank to the desired account. That was costing an extra $150 a month and once I figured this was illegal, got the landlord to accept cash payments. I think typically, wire transfers are common but take forever to complete in the bank. 30 minutes minimal to get it going.
Most won't pay any but keep the bills in their name. It is easy to get the bill and go online or to the bank to pay. Power and water are separate bills.
I don't think so. We didn't. I would not expect so.
We did not have one. Proof of job and contract was all that was necessary. Plus, they get a quarter of the annual fees up front.
Subletting in Nassau, Bahamas
I have heard about it but it is not permitted in our contract. We do know of some people doing this. I think it is pretty risky though.
Not required but available. Many of the insurance companies provide this service.
Handling Disputes with Your Landlord
You will have to got to court if your agent can not make sense of the dispute. Our landlord and property manager has been fair thus far in repairs and discussions. Do not expect to win in court as an expat.
Granting Landlord Access to Show Property
We have an open relationship and value their feedback. We've been give one day and up to two weeks notice. Whatever you feel comfortable should be built into the contract.
Additional Advice for Foreigners Renting Property in Nassau
We chose PI because it is fairly safe and our advice for any expat is to keep your school and shopping in mind while making a decision. All our decisions were based on where the child would go to school and where I work. Keeping it simple as possible with the best safety. Happy to provide more first hand knowledge of the Bahamian process.