Looking for that perfect place to buy, sell or rent? Look no further!
Alexander is a long time tenant, owner and even landlord. He's lived all over the world but has spent about half his life in St. Kitts and half his life in Canada. He has a pretty unique view in things as he can see all three perspectives of the tenant-landlord/manager-owner relationship and has experienced it from different countries.
Alexander used to work an office job in a suit and tie in the Great White North and decided that it wasn't in his best interest, so now spends as much time in the outdoors here in St. Kitts. Scuba diver, dog owner and avid kiteboarder, he's always looking for that new adventure.
When diving into home ownership, you may notice words and terms
flying around that you don’t understand. To avoid overwhelming you with
the ins and outs of the real estate language, let’s start by talking
about the difference between an exclusive and non-exclusive listing.
Exclusive Listing: An exclusive listing arrangement means you are granting your agent with exclusive access to find a buyer for your home. With this type of agreement no other agent will bring potential buyers to your home because only the listing agent is entitled to the commission. After an agreed period of time, you can arrange to work with other agents.
Non-Exclusive Listing: A non-exclusive listing arrangement means your listing will be available to other agents and they will have the opportunity to bring potential buyers to your home. The advantage of this type of arrangement is the exposure of your home. Your listing will be syndicated to various websites including remax-stkitts.com which allows potential buyers and agents to consider your home. Non-exclusive listings are the most common type of agreements in the Real Estate market.
To put it simply: Exclusive Listings will be less work for you, the owner/seller as you only need to deal with one agent. That agent will be coordinating efforts with all other agents and potential buyers. Non-exclusive agreements means that you have to deal with all the agents who are trying to sell your property. Some agents might offer added bonuses for going exclusive with them as well.
Your real estate agent will discuss both options with you to determine the right strategy for your home. Visit remax-stkitts.com to get in touch with a local RE/MAX agent who will be able to walk you through the options to determine which one is right for you!
Sea Mist is a gorgeous house just on the borders of Frigate Bay and Half Moon Bay. It’s high enough on the hills to have an incredible view of the South East Peninsula and the beaches in between, has a pool and a gorgeous gardens.
The owners are eager to sell and have just reduced the price of the house! Take this incredible opportunity to snatch up one hell of a deal!
What a week we’re having. Things usually aren’t this bad but even major cities in the developed world have their issues too I suppose.
Please be advised that your water supply has been interrupted by the St. Kitts Water Department, to facilitate an emergency repair of the main pipe located along the Frigate Bay Road.
We anticipate that this work will take several hours for completion.
Your patience and understanding will be greatly appreciated.
We’ve heard that the water will return around 1.30pm today.
We’re currently going through a drought right now. The government has made efforts to avoid an entire collapse of the water system including shutting off the water at night and buying water from some of the desalination plants for the hotels. It helps but what we really need is a steady supply of rainfall, preferably not from hurricanes please.
UPDATE BY THE ST KITTS WATER DEPARTMENT
The Water Services Department is presently executing emergency repairs to a 10” diameter water transmission line in the Frigate Bay area. There will be an interruption to supply for the time that it will take to complete all repair works. Work will be done in a brisk manner to have the service returned as soon as possible. We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience caused. We do appreciate your usual patience and understanding at this time. Signed Water Engineer Planning
Received earlier from the St. Kitts Electric Company. Please take note and ready yourselves for any issues that may arise.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE SKELEC, Basseterre Sunday September 8, 2019 Schedule Outage Notice to Relieve load On September 7, 2019, during routine maintenance on our largest generating unit at the Needsmust Power Station, engineers discovered damage to the unit that could lead to severe equipment failure. In order to execute repairs and prevent further damage, the unit will have to be placed offline (out of service) for up to fourteen (14) days. Repair work has already begun and SKELEC has also sought additional assistance from regional and international partners to fast track repairs. Additional generators have also been procured ahead of schedule in light of the recent breakdown. The additional units are expected to be on island and installed within two (2) weeks. While repairs are being done and the additional units are installed, it may become necessary for us to commence a series of planned outages to mitigate against the loss of generation capacity. The planned outage schedule is attached below and shows the days, times, areas to be affected and the duration of each service interruption. This schedule goes into effect from September 9th. SKELEC apologizes for any inconveniences that may be caused by these series of outages and we value our consumers’ patience and understanding as we seek to be proactive in this regard. Updates on the progress of the repairs and planned outages will be given as necessary on all forms of social and traditional media. For the most current updates, please check our Facebook (@skelecltd) page and website (www.skelec.kn) Monday 9th September 2019 Time Affected Areas 9:00am – 12:00pm Bird Rock, Frigate Bay 10:00am – 1:00pm Industrial Site, Bird Rock 12:30pm – 3:30pm Canada Industrial, Halfmoon, Conaree 3:00pm – 7:00pm Challengers to Halfway Tree 6:30pm – 9:30pm Lodge to Mansion 7:30pm – 10:00pm New Road, St. Peters Tuesday 10th September 2019 Time Affected Areas 9:00am – 12:00am Dieppe Bay to St Pauls 10:00am – 1:00pm Sandy Point to Conyers 12:30pm – 3:30pm Tabernacle to Dieppe Bay 3:00pm – 7:00pm Canada Industrial, Halfmoon, Conaree 6:30pm – 9:30pm Shadwell to West Farm 7:30pm – 10:00pm Industrial Site, Bird Rock Wednesday 11th September 2019 Time Affected Areas 9:00am – 12:00pm Challengers to Halfway Tree 10:00am – 1:00pm Lodge to Mansion 12:30pm – 3:30pm New Road, St. Peters 3:00pm – 7:00pm Bird Rock, Frigate Bay 6:30pm – 9:30pm Industrial Site, Bird Rock 7:30pm – 10:00pm Canada Industrial, Halfmoon, Conaree Thursday 12th September 2019 Time Affected Areas 9:00am – 12:00pm Canada Industrial, Halfmoon, Conaree 10:00am – 1:00pm Industrial Site, Bird Rock 12:30pm – 3:30pm Shadwell to West Farm 3:00pm – 7:00pm Dieppe Bay to St Pauls 6:30pm – 9:30pm Sandy Point to Conyers 7:30pm – 10:00pm Tabernacle to Dieppe Bay Friday 13th September 2019 Time Affected Areas 9:00am – 12:00pm Industrial Site, Bird Rock 10:00am – 1:00pm Canada Industrial, Halfmoon, Conaree 12:30pm – 3:30pm Dieppe Bay to St Pauls 3:00pm – 7:00pm Sandy Point to Conyers 6:30pm – 9:30pm Tabernacle to Dieppe Bay 7:30pm – 10:00pm Shadwell to West Farm
Welcome to your new home! All nice, shiny, clean, pristine and hopefully in perfect shape. Or maybe it isn’t, maybe the previous tenants were pretty bad and your home, despite your landlord’s best efforts has a couple of problems. Maybe some of these problems weren’t just on the surface and despite a check before the old tenants moved out and another when you took over some things were missed. Now what?
First things first. If you haven’t read up on our previous post: The importance of a move-in walk-through maybe now would be a good time to do that. It actually helps with the first step which is getting that proper walk-through when you move into your new home. But for argument’s sake, lets say something was missed by both you and your landlord and you want to bring it to their attention to get fixed. What do you do?
At some point during the process you’ll need to find out the best way to report things to your landlord. Some landlords work by email, others by phone, some might require you to report it in person and others by a maintenance system. At Remax St. Kitts, we use a ticketing system and we always ask our tenants to schedule a walk-through with us through the ticketing system. This ensures the walk-through is done and helps our tenants see exactly how our system works.
When notifying the landlord the devil is in the details. A simple one line email might seem sufficient enough for you but “AC not working” doesn’t tell the landlord or their technician anything if you have more than one AC in your home.
We always suggest to our tenants to keep the title as simple as possible. So “AC not working” is fine as an introduction but more detail is needed for the body of the message. I’d suggest something on the lines of this:
“Was using the AC in the bedroom with the kiteboarding poster on the door of the bedroom. It was blowing cool air but we heard a loud pop and then the AC shut off. We’ve tried to turn it on again since but it won’t turn on now.”
This not only gives your landlord much needed information but it also prevents a lot of back and forth between you and your landlord. There’s no need to figure out where the problem is, what happened and how you tried to resolve it and what the out come was.
Depending on the severity of the issue and what exactly has an issue, you can actually look into some problems without consequence. If it’s an issue with your kitchen sink, a piece of furniture or even an internet or cable issue, it might be worth looking into yourself if you’re comfortable with trying to fix things. If you are comfortable and are able to fix it, make sure to let your landlord know anyway. What you’ve done might be a temporary fix and may need more expertise to fix so it doesn’t happen again.
Electrical, appliance and certain plumbing issues should be looked at by a professional and should be reported to your landlord as soon as possible to avoid further damage.
Whatever the case, make sure to find a temporary solution to prevent further damage until your landlord or their technicians can come out. A drip under the sink is a small issue, but left unchecked can damage the cabinetry to the point that it may need to be replaced all together. Placing a mop bucket, bowl or pot to catch the water is such a small action but can save you hundreds of dollars and headache.
It’s very important to understand that if it’s determined the problem wasn’t reported in a timely manner or you neglected the issue, you can be held responsible for the repairs.
Generally speaking, common sense is essential when dealing with problems in your home but here are some examples and how to avoid charges because of neglect:
Bed frame breaks from people jumping on it. Place sturdy items under the frame to ensure it does break more.
AC starts dripping inside your home. Stop using the AC until a technician can investigate. If this is not possible, place a bucket or other item to catch the water. Do not use towels to catch the water. Move any decorative items, furniture and electronics away from the leak.
AC blowing warm air. Stop using the AC all together, this requires a technician.
Toilet is leaking from the water valve or the toilet tank. Use a bucket or a pot to catch the water to avoid damage to around the toilet and possibly the floor below you.
Fridge is not cooling. Check if items in the freezer are frozen, it’s possible the vent connecting the freezer to the fridge is blocked by items in the freezer.
Once your landlord has been notified, stay on top of them. It’s their job to make sure you are living comfortably and that your home is running as it should. It is actually in their best interest to fix the issues that come up, neglect is neglect and small issues can become costly if they are not handled in a timely manner.
If a technician has not come out to fix your issue, make sure to let your landlord know. If they come out but the issue isn’t resolved and you don’t receive word on why, make sure to keep on your landlord.
One of the hardest parts as a landlord when living and working on an island is getting the proper parts to fix issues. This can take a bit of time as parts need to be found, ordered, shipped to the island and finally passed through customs. It is unfortunate, but sometimes despite the best efforts the wrong parts can be ordered or even worse, very difficult to find both of which delay the entire process. Just bare with the process, but if you don’t get any updates, don’t be afraid of asking what’s up.
Renting a place is such a big part of life that almost everyone will do it at least once. Moving from one place to another can come with so many different emotions: frustration from looking for a new home, delight in finding the perfect spot, anxiety on the thought of organizing the actual move, sadness from leaving loved ones or a home that you’ve lived in for so long and the wonder or fascination in your sense of adventure in finally starting that new part of your life and calling a new place home and experiencing all that may come with it.
There are so many things to do when moving, so many moving parts and trying to keep track of everything can be tough, but that’s a conversation for another time.
When you’re finally moved in to your new place it’s always important to organize that infamous walk-through with your new landlord. Some people – like us – like to do it in the first week that you’ve moved in. This gives you time to settle down and enjoy your new home but most importantly it also gives you time to test the waters, so to speak, and see if there is anything that you, as a tenant, need to bring to the attention of your landlord.
Organizing a meeting with your landlord should be one of your top priorities. Again, depending on what your lease says, it may not have to be an immediate meeting but it’s best to at least organize it as soon as you can. Generally speaking, this shouldn’t be a problem, but a fair warning: some landlords might manage more than just your new place. As an example, as one of the largest property management companies on our islands we manage houses, apartments, condos and studios. So when we have move-ins we have a lot of move-ins to handle all within a short period of time – think of the span of a week or two. Another thing to keep in mind is that certain places might have high and low periods so getting an appointment really depends on where you are moving to and what kind of scheduling they have there.
Some landlords are able to do the walk-through during the move-in itself, typically they’ll bring the inventory list and walk through your new home with you. Try to keep a keen eye and take note of any problems with the paint, tiles or floor boards, furniture, and fittings. If you’re new home has inventory you’ll be tasked with counting every individual item in the property with the landlord present.
Otherwise, you landlord has given you some time to get settled before the walk-through. I always suggest for anyone to have their walk-through the first week they are living in their new home. A week is enough time for you to get settled, clean up a bit, schedule the walk-through and most importantly see what your home is actually like. Learn its ins and outs.
You have your walk-through organized, great! Now what do you do? That depends on the scenario as well. To start with, if electricity is not included in your rent and your walk-through is not happening when you first arrive, the first thing you’re going to want to do is get that info from your landlord. When our tenants move in, we take note of their electric reading. Most landlords in this scenario will hopefully do the same. Next, start taking notes of what’s going on in your new home, cracks in the tiles, tears on the furniture, knicks on the walls and even if the water heater doesn’t make hot enough hot water. The idea is to be ready with a list of items for your landlord to take note and have on record that these things happened before you moved in.
Take photos! Don’t be shy, take photos and share them with your landlord, keep them somewhere safe online and make sure the photos are time stamped with the dates. If your new landlord has sent you an inventory list, start the process and start counting the items, take notes – it will make the actual walk-through that much quicker when it’s time.
When the time comes and your landlord is coming over to physically do the walk-through with you, the best things is to personally show them all the items on your list, all those knicks, scratches, dents, cracks and whatever else you were able to find. To speed up the process, make sure your house is clean and tidy, a dirty or untidy space is difficult to maneuver and problem can be easily hidden. It also gives a bad impression to your landlord so early into your relationship. Next, take the inventory that needs counting out of storage and put it in an easily accessible location so it’s easy to count. Make sure not to mix any of your personal items in with the inventory provided in your new home.
Now that you’ve shown your landlord anything you’ve found make sure that you get a copy of the inventory list with all the missing or broken items signed by both you and your landlord, they’re going to want the same. This will be handy for when it’s time to move on to your next place, believe me.
So that covers the furnished or move-in ready properties, but what about the unfurnished ones? The same rules apply, but there is just less to worry about. Problems in the structure or fittings are easier to notice because they aren’t covered in things.
A late walk-through can have penalties or cause issues with your landlord. In some cases landlords may not want to cover damages to the property because they were not reported in time. I cannot stress this enough, make sure you organize for a walk-through!
While it’s to both you and your landlord’s benefit to have the walk-through done in a timely fashion, keep in mind that, ultimately, you as a tenant need to take action and make sure that you are protecting yourself in the long run. Don’t only organize that walk-through but also make sure it happens. Get a copy of that signed inventory list or walk-through check list. Take and save those photos of your new home.
It can save you a lot of headache and hassle when it comes to your the return of your security deposit!