Long Term Rentals in St. Thomas
I get calls daily about rentals. Some people have their act together, others are totally clueless. So forgive me if I am not always pleasant, it is difficult enough to even answer all of my inquiries. Sometimes I think I would be better off just ignoring them. So let's cover some basics in the St. Thomas rental market.
First of all, if you send me an email telling me what you want, but exclude the price, then I can't help you. Why would you not think that is important? Tell me again: you are looking for a three or four bedroom home, on the beach, modern, in a gated community. OK, that all sounds great, but don't you think it would be important to tell me that your budget is $2000 or less? BECAUSE IT DOESN'T EXIST. Don't waste my time, or your own time, with ridiculous requests. Give me a budget. Then i can at least tell you what to expect within that range, as close to your needs as possible. If you are even blessed with a reply.
Are you looking to secure a long term rental starting next year? That's great. But I can't see further than sixty days down the pipeline with regard to a rental. We can't even know what will be available then. Tenants typically have 30-60 days to give notice whether they intend to extend their lease. If you want to see examples of types of places you want to see, that is fine, but don't expect me to try to secure you a place that far ahead. Let's be serious here, I don't even think about what I want for dinner until 5:00 that afternoon.
First, last, and security? You can't handle that, and want me to take installments? Not going to happen. If you can't afford to pay first, last, and security, then do not expect me to be comfortable that you will be able to pay rent. Because that scares me. Especially if I see you out at nice restaurants and bars drinking every night. Rent is more important to me than assuring you support the Whiskey Gods. So save your money if you want a place to stay, or drop your budget until you can afford such.
Plan to sign a one year lease then skip out after a few months? Read the paragraph above, that at least gives a little bit of protection to the homeowner. But if you intend to do this, don't ever plan on coming back to the island. Because it is a small place, and your games will be very transparent to those that have the ability to give you a roof over your head or not. We actually do check referrals, believe it or not.
When you look at a listing for a long term rental, and it says one year lease, do not think you can lease it for three months at the same price. During Season. Do you understand this? We lease for a year to assure it is kept full. We are willing to give a break on price in exchange for our long term reliance upon income. If you want a place for six months, starting in December, then open your wallet a lot wider or just commit for a year.
Are utilities included? Maybe in an efficiency apartment below a home. Not in anything I have. You want me to pay for you cranking the AC all day while you are gone at work? That sounds lovely, but it isn't going to happen. Sorry dude. If you can't afford the utilities yourself, don't expect me to pay for them instead. If you want to pay vacation rental prices, then I am sure we can work something out where I pay for them. Didn't think you would like that answer though.
You want me to include housekeeping? Um.... I clean my own house, I am not going to pay to clean yours. If I have a really nice home, I may require it be cleaned by a particular person and include it in the rent, but you will still be paying for it in some fashion.
You want to find a rental but you don't know when you can come down and look? Because you still live in the States? OK, how about once you figure that out, you can get in touch. Because nobody pays me to tell the future or read minds. I can't help you if you can't help yourself.
In all seriousness, prices in the VI are higher than most other locations in the US. Don't expect Columbus, Ohio prices here. It won't happen. You must curb your expectations or adjust your budget, but you can't have it all. We used to say about sailboats that you can have a boat that is inexpensive, fast, and comfortable. You can have two of those three. But you can't have all three. That is kind of how it is here with rentals. You want a nice place in a great location for cheap? Well so do I.