5 Tips for Maintaining Your Caribbean Property While You Are Overseas

Tips to Maintain Caribbean Property

Buying a property in the Caribbean offers several remarkable benefits. First, you get a second home where you can spend your holidays or whenever you want to take a break and relax. You will also have a ready place where you can retire once you reach your golden age.

Another advantage of owning a home in the Caribbean is that you can get a second passport legally. The Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship by Investment program, for one, allows foreigners to become a citizen of the country when they purchase a government-approved property.

Other countries in the Caribbean, such as St. Kitts and Nevis, Dominica, Grenada, and St. Lucia, also have similar programs.

Owning a property in the Caribbean also means having a source of passive income. Since you will be in your home country or another one most of the year, you can turn your house or apartment into a rental, thereby getting the chance to earn some extra money.

Managing and Maintaining Your Home While You’re Away

If you decide to turn your Caribbean property into a holiday or short-term rental, managing and maintaining it can prove to be a challenge when you are out of the region. However, there are ways of doing these effectively, even if you are far away.

Below are the five best tips for managing and maintaining your property in the Caribbean while you are overseas:

1. Invest in Necessary Upgrades and Enhancements

While in the Caribbean, take a look around your home. Check if any pipes or lighting fixtures need to be replaced. Determine if your cooling system needs to be inspected or repaired as well.

While checking your home, think about the current décor: is it still appealing or does it look outdated?

Whether you want to turn your property into a holiday or short-term rental, you want to get a high rental price. Improving it to make it the perfect home allows you to set rates that people will be happy to pay.

Modernizing your home can help you attract younger tenants or tourists. Focus on the kitchen and living room, as these are the areas that catch the eye of viewers and where people spend a lot of time in.

Keep in mind that you don’t have to invest a lot to improve your home, especially if you bought it recently. Choose the areas that need some upgrades or additional décor. Prioritize features that require repairs as well.

When your property is in tiptop condition, you will not only be able to increase the rent or fees you can charge but also reduce the chances of issues coming up once you have tenants or regular guests.

Also Read: How to Sell, Cancel or Get Rid of Your Timeshare

2. Install Additional Security Features

Since you are far from your home, you can get peace of mind by installing quality security alarms, which will help keep your tenants or guests and your property safe.

Bear in mind that since your property may be vacant for long periods, it can become a target for burglars and vandals. If you want to keep an eye on your home even if you are overseas, consider investing in CCTV or security cameras.

If you have a security camera system installed, make sure it comes with an app so that you can see real-time views and recorded footage.

Advanced home security systems that feature burglar alarms and motion-detecting lights also come with apps that alert you when they sense something unusual. If you have a huge budget, consider investing in these additional features,  too.

Another security feature that you can consider is an automatic lighting system, which creates the illusion that someone is at home, even if your tenants or guests are somewhere else or if your home is currently vacant.

3. Get Insurance for Your Property

Another way of experiencing peace of mind whenever you are far from your Caribbean home is by getting insurance for your property.

A landlord insurance policy will protect you against storms, floods, fire, and other natural disasters. It can also give you protection against subsidence, theft, vandalism, and other intrusions.

Even if your property is not seriously damaged, it will still cost a lot to fix structural damages or replace lost items. You can get the money to pay for necessary repair and replacement work from your coverage.

4. Set Up a Bank Account Exclusively for Your Property

To keep track of your income and bill payments easily, open a savings or current account which you will use for receiving rental fees and paying for utilities.

By using only one account for rental payments, you will avoid getting confused by all the money coming in and going out. You will also be able to check if your tenants are paying on-time or not.

Use this bank account to set up automated payments that suit your deadlines to ensure all the bills are paid on time and to avoid the hefty charges imposed on late fees.

Also Read: Top Jobs That Involve Traveling

5. Work With a Property Manager

Although a security camera system allows you to keep an eye on your home even if you are overseas, there are still many elements of property maintenance and management that require your presence or of an authorized representative.

A property manager can handle all operations or issues that you can’t.

Your property manager will take care of all your home maintenance needs. If there is a burst pipe or the lawn has to be mowed, he or she will call the right contractors to work on these issues.

Property managers will also take care of finding and vetting tenants and managing all paperwork, particularly the tenancy agreement, which is crucial if you are only renting out your home for short-term periods. They will also take care of evictions.

If your home is a holiday rental, a property manager will also market your house or apartment, communicate with inquiring guests, manage schedules, give and collect the keys, and check the premises after each checkout.

Since a property manager has several important roles and responsibilities, you have to ensure you hire a capable, reliable, and trustworthy one.

Regardless of where you are in the world, you can keep an eye on, maintain, and manage your home in the Caribbean and get extra income when you follow these tips.

Kal Kennard
Kal Kennard is a Partner at Citizens International, a white-glove specialist firm offering private client services necessary for citizenship, residency and investment into the Caribbean, North America, and Europe. Based in the Caribbean for the past 15 years, she is an experienced consultant who works directly with many professional partners and advises clients worldwide.

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