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Information for Buyers

Rental income can often make owning possible
here are some ins and outs…

Renting Your Dominican Republic Property

Many of our buyers chose to use their properties as rentals when they are not in the DR. Renting and the ability to have a DR property pay for itself often makes owning possible. If you are planning on using your condo or villa for just a few months per year, then renting may be for you.

The Dominican Republic is the Caribbean’s leading tourist destination with a strong base and continued strong arrivals and growth. Yearly, the Ministry of Tourism invests over 45 million dollars on international promotion. The DR tops over five million tourists each year.

For our buyers who want to rent their condo or villa, this means occupancy rates between 60-90% over the course of the year (depending on location, type of property, decorating, etc.) and nightly rates from $110 – $500/US a per night.

Many condo and housing developments have on-site rental management programs and cater to owners who are not in residence. Dominican Republic Properties works with several developers and companies that offer this type of product.
If you choose to buy a property in an area that does not provide this service, then there are several reputable property management companies in the area. Please let us know and we will be happy to put you in touch with one of them, as well as provide information about how their programs work.

Part of our service is to advise you on which properties will make the best rentals, how much they will rent for on a daily or monthly basis. You should be aware of all the charges you will need to cover with your property such as maintenance and condo charges and the rental agent’s fees. We will advise you of every cost involved; however, to the right is a list of some general costs.  Monthly fees in a condo are usually less than those in a villa. There is no pool/garden fee in a condo (it’s built into the condo fee) and electricity is generally less because a pool pump is not running.

Where Do You Start?

Many condo and villa developments have on-site rental management programs and cater to owners who are not in residence. Dominican Republic Properties works with several developers and companies that offer this type of product.

If you choose to buy a property in an area that does not provide this service, then there are several reputable property management companies in the area. Please let us know and we will be happy to put you in touch with one of them, as well as provide information about how their programs work. In addition, companies like AirBnB have made a dramatic impact on the holiday market around the world. We suggest that owners also utilize these types of vacaton marketing avenues and funnel renters through their local DR management company. This provides double marketing, but still no work for the owner.

Part of our service is to advise you on which properties will make the best rentals, how much they will rent for on a daily or monthly basis. You should be aware of all the charges you will need to cover with your property such as maintenance and condo charges and the rental agent’s fees.

We are here to assist with explaining rental in more detail, as well as ensuring you get your rental set up and earning income.

Setting Up For Rental

Turnkey

Every rental company has a minimum list of what is necessary to place your property in their rental program. Below is a general list:

  • Furniture: living room suite; dining room suite; small table and chairs for outside patio or terrace; if you have a pool, then pool chairs, a bed and night stands in each bedroom;
  • Appliances: fridge, stove, microwave, blender, toaster, coffee maker; washer; BBQ
  • Kitchenware: dinner set for four-eight persons; glasses and coffee mugs; wine glasses; silverware serving spoons; spatula; pancake flipper, wisk; plastic bowls for serving; plastic juice container; colander; set of pots and pans; frying pan; can opener; drainboard; paper towel holder
  • Linens: 2 sets of sheets for each bed; towels for four-eight persons; washcloths; hand towels; dish rags; dish towels; oven mitts; placemats; shower curtains (if necessary)
  • Audio/Video/Computer: tv in the great room (many developments want tv’s in every bedroom) ; Ipod docking station; modem for Internet; tv receiver for cable (if necessary); dvd player.

Don’t buy the high end furniture package.

Renters must pay for any damage to your unit, but wear and tear on furniture is to be expected and will happen over time. We always suggest to buy sturdy furniture, with removable covers for washing.

But how to accomplish all this in a new country? We have many clients that have chosen to spend the time and energy to do all their own shopping. There are lots of really good furniture and department stores in the area. Another option is to just let a decorator take over the whole job. We can recommend a decorator that will work within your budget.

Should I decorate well?
Yes!! The better your property looks, and the more it feels like home, the better it will rent. You will have repeat renters and word of mouth clients that you otherwise would not have had. Again, a decorator will have the right “eye” and know the best way to add warmth, character and tropical feel to a space, while sticking to budget. They will also know where to buy those specialty items like decorations, artwork, coordinating pillows/fabrics etc. Most clients find using a decorator alleviates stress and brings about a coordinated, beautiful result.

What little “extras” can I do?

Provide a guest book for renters to sign. This shows community and it’s fun reading for you and them.
Ensure your place is kept spotless. Most management companies have great cleaning, but make sure the little things are being done.
Provide an old laptop
Provide a blow dryer in the main bath
Really nice, fluffy towels
Have a working, local cell phone for renters to use. They will buy the minutes. Ensure the management company or housekeeper get it back when they leave.
Leave a list of restaurant delivery places on the fridge door

What can I do to save money?

Put your air conditioners on a timer. Renters love to turn it on and go to the beach.
Put in an on demand hot water heater. Saves money over the electric kind.
Try a solar pool pump, and solar hot water heater

What Kind of Costs?

  • Condo/subdivision fee: monthly fees in a condo are usually less than those in a villa.
  • Cleaning and yard/pool upkeep: if your property is rented, tenants will expect daily cleaning service and in the case of a house, your yard and pool must be maintained. There is no pool/garden fee in a condo (it’s built into the condo fee) and electricity is generally less because a pool pump is not running.
  • Utilities: most developments have onsite facilities to pay your bills for you. If not, a management company can handle the collection and payment of monthly expenses.
  • Maintenance and repairs: costs associated with replacing appliances, dishes, towels, bedding, etc., as well as upkeep of the property. Many developments have onsite staff to handle painting, electrical issues, plumbing problems, etc.
  • Insurance: dependent on value of property and how much you want to insure contents for. Generally a $200,000 US villa will be about $1,400 US/year.

Approximate, Monthly/Yearly Costs

  • Subdivision/Condo Fee:  $150-$400 US
    • Includes security, back-up power, garbage collection, maintenance of common ares, sometimes gas, cable, internet)
  • Rental Management Costs:  20% of short term rental income, 15% of long term rental income (over one month generally)
  • Cable:  $30-$100 US for a general/upgraded channel package
  • Housekeeping:  $50-$300 US.  Dependent on level of service/number of days per week of service/size of property)
  • Electricity:  a general rule is $50-$100/month per bedroom if a rental unit
  • Internet:  Can be a separate cost $20-50 US, dependent on package
  • Insurance:  $500-$1,800 US/year.  Dependent on property value.

 To Rent Or Not To Rent

PRO’S

The big pro to renting is not having any bills here in the DR – and likely earning an income over and above monthly expenses. It’s great to make your initial investment in a condo or villa, and then have the property carry itself. Most buyers find they earn a tidy sum over and above expenses and use the money for their vacations, or even have it wired back to their home countries. We caution buyers to keep a realistic mind set. It’s a rare rental property anywhere that can be expected to carry all its monthly expenses, additional mortgage financing costs, and also have $$ left over.
For people that own property in two countries, most find that their real estate in their home country costs them money every month. It’s nice if their DR property doesn’t dip into their wallet. We even have a few developers offering a rental guarantee.
Because all properties we sell have full management services and a rental component, it’s not necessary to source renters or worry about the actual “renting” of the property personally. The DR is a solid tourist destination, and management/rental companies are good at putting properties and renters together. Check ins/outs, maintenance, marketing, and renter services are all handled by the rental program – usually in-house at many developments. You can supplement your income by doing additional marketing yourself on sites like Airbnb, VRBO, and in your own area.

CON’S

The cons to renting include wear and tear on your property, having strangers in your home, being unable to truly personalize the property, and sometimes finding time to use it yourself. While rental companies are good at ensuring your condo or villa doesn’t sustain damage, normal wear and tear like paint marks, furniture deterioration, loss of dishes, etc. is a normal occurrence. Expect to purchase a lot of towels, sheets, and glasses! These are all considered a cost of doing business. Actual damages are not acceptable: broken lamps, bbq’s, stereos, etc. Renters are charged for any actual damages they cause.

From Our Blog

Expert advice, fun and good information

“We have lived in many places around the world. The DR offered us the best balance of price, weather, and community for our winter retirement home. We enjoy the summers in Canada and escape at the first sign of cold in the winter! The buying process was similar to Canada, the lifestyle is healthy and warm, and the friends we’ve made are more like family now “
Arthur & Joanne • Edmonton, Canada
We love Cabarete Beach! We purchased an affordable, 1500 ft2 condo just a few steps from the sand. We love being close to the water, the watersports, shopping and restaurants. We don’t live in the DR; we are both still working. We visit our condo for vacations and have a management company rent it the rest of the year. We are very pleased with our purchase, love the property and the lifestyle..”
Jason & Teddi • Edmonton, Canada
We have owned our DR villa for over three years now. We met Mel and Colleen at a trade show, and spent the next few years in communication with them about the Dominican. We finally came down, loved it, and purchased a home. It’s been a great experience, and we love our house and our DR friends. We are still working, so we let our villa rent when we are not in the DR. It’s made owing cost effective and our villa has been maintained, rented and cared for in our absence.
Greg & Charlotte • Edmonton, Canada