Buying a rental property — or multiple rental properties — is a great way to establish a presence in The Bahamas and generate some passive income at the same time.
Of course, if you don’t intend to live in the country, you’ll have to outsource the task of managing your properties and liaising with your tenants to another person or company.
Today, I’m going to take a look at the role of property managers for Bahamian rentals. We’ll examine how to find a Bahamas property management team you can trust, and what to expect in your role as landlord.
Renting Property in The Bahamas
Before we dive right into talking about Bahamas property management options, here is a quick refresher on the Bahamian property rental market. Property owners in The Bahamas rent out both commercial and residential properties, ranging from bare-bones city condominiums to luxury beachfront estates (and everything in between).
Depending on the property you have to let out, you may opt for:
- Long-term rentals, housing expats who spend extended periods in The Bahamas but don’t own their own house
- Short-term rentals, serving vacationers who want something outside the hotel experience or those in the country for a short business trip
Leases exceeding one month are considered residential stays and must comply with the country’s rental regulations — which generally favor landlords’ rights over those of tenants.
Standard long-term rental practice is to ask for first month, last month and a security deposit when renting to new tenants, and most lease agreements are for a set period of time — not month-to-month.
What to Expect from Your Property Manager
Contracting the services of a property management professional is never an inexpensive prospect yet, given that they will be responsible for the care and protection of your property, it’s not the sort of thing you want to cheap out on.
What Do Property Managers Do?
In general, a property manager will interact with your tenants (and prospective tenants) to save you much of the work that comes with being a landlord. They can market your property, collect rent, handle maintenance issues, repair requests, and tenant complaints.
All of this is a great way to shed some of the responsibility and hassle that comes with renting out your property. But it’s doubly important when the property you are renting out is in a different geographic location than where you live. To rent out Bahamian property while living in another country, it’s essential to find a Bahamas property manager that you can trust.
How to Find a Reliable Property Manager
Since we’ve established that trust and reliability are especially critical when searching for Bahamas property management professionals, finding the right one is not a task you should take lightly. Don’t just hire the first property management team you find. Take some time to research your choice carefully.
Here are a few tips to help you find property management professionals you can count on:
- If possible, get recommendations from friends, colleagues or other expats
- Ask the local realty association (the BREA) for suggestions
- Search professional directories online
- Look for managers (or management teams) with recognized accreditation
Choosing a Bahamas Property Management Professional
Foreign investment in The Bahamian real estate market is common. As such, there are many property management teams offering services in The Bahamas. All you have to do is find one that fits your needs, and with whom you feel comfortable.
A few questions to consider when narrowing down your choice:
- Does this property manager handle long-term or short-term rentals (or both)?
- How frequently will they visit your property?
- How will they handle marketing your property when it is vacant?
- What services do they offer? Possible options include:
- Security inspections
- Property inspections
- Hurricane preparation
- Selection and supervision of contractors
- Grounds maintenance
- Utility and property tax payments
- How will they address tenant complaints, non-payment or eviction?
Once you’ve selected a Bahamas property management team, ensure you carefully read your agreement with them and clearly understand their fees, rights and responsibilities to you.
You’re Ready to Get Started
Hopefully this article has given you a solid grounding from which to begin your search for a Bahamas property management team.
Remember, this person (or organization) may often be the sole custodian of your Bahamian property, so don’t be afraid to ask for references or get answers in writing before you commit. Do your research carefully and you’ll be well on your way to worry-free property rental in The Bahamas.
If you still have questions that I haven’t answered here, please don’t hesitate to let me know. I’m always happy to provide more information. Get in touch with me today.