Renting in the BVI

Renting in the British Virgin Islands

When considering renting in the BVI, it is worth spending some time exploring the different areas and looking at what each area has to offer. Do you want to spend your free time on the beach? Do you like to eat out and want to be close to a variety of restaurants? Do you sail, dive, or surf on your weekends? Where will your children go to school? Where you choose to live in the BVI can make the difference between liking and loving your new island life!

Before you make the move, talk to a BVI real estate agent at Emerald Properties BVI. Ask questions and tell us what it is you are looking for in your life in the BVI. Make a wish list – what amenities can you not live without? Life in the BVI can sometimes be a lot simpler than your life back home.

We will listen to your requirements and strive to find you the perfect place to suit your needs. Then we’ll take you to view a number of properties that fit your requirements. Once you have chosen your new home, the next step for us is to secure the property for you. Prior to moving in, you’ll need to pay the required security deposit and the first month’s rent in advance, along with a signed lease agreement.

Renting in the BVI – FAQ

There is a wide range of rental accommodations available in the BVI, from a small studio apartment to a large 5-bedroom family villa with a pool.

Here are answers to some of the questions you might have about renting a property in the British Virgin Islands.

The standard long-term rental lease agreement is for 12 months. Short-term leases are possible for under 6 months; however, you will usually find you pay a higher monthly rent for a shorter term lease, as these properties do tend to concentrate on vacation rentals.

This will depend on particular owners, what type of pet, and where it is to be kept. Owners that accept pets will usually require an additional pet deposit as well as a pet clause added to the lease agreement regarding control and cleaning up after pet. Pet deposits will range from $500+ USD per pet. Ask your agent which properties are pet-friendly when you start your rental home search.

Most landlords will require a security deposit and the first month’s rent. The security deposit is usually the same as the monthly rental amount. Occasionally the security deposit may be a little more due to extras such as pets. Sometimes a landlord will require the deposit plus first and last month’s rent. Check with your agent on what the policy for a particular property is.

Rental prices vary, depending on factors such as location, age of property, apartment or stand-alone property, amenities and level of furnishings. Renters can expect to pay (per month):
  • Studio- $600- $1000
  • 1 bed- $1500-$2500
  • 2 bed- $1800- $3500
  • 3 bed upwards- $3000+
  • Stand Alone with Pool- $3,500+
  • Prime villas- $5500- $8500/month
We use these standard terms to describe rental homes:
  • Studio – Usually a fairly small space with one room that comprises kitchen, living and sleeping area
  • Apartment – From a 1-bedroom upwards, apartments are usually in a block of 2 or more similar size accommodations
  • Standalone house – A property that has no adjoining neighbors
  • Townhouse or condominium – A townhouse is a split-level property with adjoining neighbors on one or both sides, usually comprised of living area and kitchen downstairs with bedrooms upstairs. A condo can be either a townhouse or on one level like an apartment. Condos are usually in a complex of similarly styled properties and can have the benefit of shared facilities such as pool and gardens.
  • Villa – A standalone home that usually includes a pool and epitomizes the luxurious of the Caribbean lifestyle

Here are the terms used with BVI rental properties:

  • Unfurnished – This is a bare apartment with no furnishings or appliances included.
  • Semi-furnished – Major appliances are included (refrigerator/freezer and stove). Some properties will also include a washer and dryer and/or a dishwasher.
  • Furnished – Large furniture items provided as well as appliances.
  • Fully furnished or move-in ready – Everything is provided, from pots and pans to furniture, appliances, and in the case of “move-in-ready,” linens and towels.

As you’d expect, the cost of renting unfurnished and semi-furnished properties is going to be cheaper than renting a place that is fully furnished and move-in ready.

Generally, when renting in the BVI, utilities are not included. See FAQ on Life and Living in the BVI for more information on utilities.

Your monthly utility bills of course will depend on usage and size of property.

Utilities like electricity, water, gas, and TV are not usually included in monthly rental prices.

  • Electricity — To get connected go to the BVIEC offices in Road Town to request a Customer Change of Name Request form. This needs to be signed by both you and your landlord. You will also need to provide photo ID. It is a good idea to take your work permit along with passport and driver’s license. You will need to pay a deposit to the electricity company, but this is refundable or transferable should you move or close an account.
  • Gas — Most stoves and ovens are gas-powered by propane with tanks that you need to have swapped out when empty. There are a number of propane suppliers that will come and replace your tank with a full one. Prices vary, but range between $80-$90 USD for a 100-lb. cylinder. Smaller cylinders such as those used for barbeque grills can be taken to a propane supplier for refills.
  • Water — There are two types of water sources and rentals will either have one or both. Nearly all properties in the BVI have a water cistern underneath the property. This is sometimes the only source of water to your home.The BVI’s public water supply is not connected to all properties, and for those that are, they are sometimes not the most reliable. If your rental home is connected to the public water supply, you will need to go to the Water and Sewerage Department (located at Baughers Bay on the edge of Road Town) to change the account into your name.

    Cistern water is collected from rain, and if the home you’re renting relies on cistern water, conserve water usage — especially in the dryer months. However, there are water-delivery companies who will fill empty cisterns.

    Water may sometimes be included in your rental price, but check with your landlord on which water source the home relies on.

Call Emerald Properties BVI 284-346-7090: your trusted partner for finding a perfect property to rent in the BVI!

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