CUC – “Caribbean Utilities Company” commonly known as power or electric. This is likely to be your most costly utility bill and because of the high temperature and humidity it is generally required by landlords to run your air conditioning at all times. If you’re out for any length of time, instead of turning it off, it is strongly recommended to turn it up to a higher temperature so that it still conditions the air, otherwise mould can grow. General CUC costs for apartments and townhomes are as follows:
- 1BD - $100-$150
- 2BD - $250-$400
- 3BD - $350 - $700
All costs are subject to the age of the property and the time of the year.
WATER - The water here is drinkable but can be a bit harsh so water filters are commonly used, but not necessary. If you prefer bottled water there are plenty of options available to you. Water bills here are reasonably cheap, generally costing roughly about $30 per person a month, depending on usage of course. The average couples bill is about $50-$70 a month.
GAS - Most homes are equipped with electric stoves but some of the older homes, and ironically more modern kitchens use gas. A large gas tank is usually about $400 for the year.
CABLE TV/INTERNET - Check with providers Flow, Logic, Digicel or C3 for package pricing tailored to your needs. Fibre internet connection is now available throughout much of the island. Cable TV and internet services range from $100-$200 per month. Many condominium complexes include basic cable TV as part of the rent ($40 saving).
PHONE - Many choose a postpaid plan once settled in the islands. Our small island population means phone companies here are unable to offer deals and pricing you might find in US, Canada or the UK. There are prepaid contracts that start at $99 per month from FLOW but be mindful that data usage and roaming charges can increase your bill significantly.
START UP COSTS - When moving in to your new home, you’ll need to cover the following:
- Security deposit - this is equal to one month’s rent and is required to secure the unit and remove it from the market. Some owners offer the flexibility to pay this over the first 2 months; if moving costs make that an appealing prospect make sure you let your agent know up front.
- First month’s rent - this is due at the commencement of your tenancy. If you’re moving mid month, the first month will likely be prorated so that your rent will be due on the first of the month for the remainder of the lease.
- Water deposit - sometimes an owner wishes to leave the water account in their name but can change the billing to the tenant’s address; in this case it is common that the owner will charge a $150 water deposit to ensure that the final bill of the tenancy is paid after the lease ends. On providing proof of payment, along with a copy of the final bill the deposit will be returned to you.
- Pet Deposit - The standard pet deposit/fee is $500. This goes towards the cleaning of the upholstery in the unit as well as sanitizing the vent ducts to ensure all dander is removed.