Student Housing in St Lucia
8 Helpful Tips About Student Housing In St. Lucia
Traditionally, student housing is organized and operates as part of your chosen medical school. It is important to know that this is not the case for Student housing in St Lucia. Although the school may assist with different aspects of the process, ultimately, it is up to you locate and secure your housing. Caribbean Habitats has been assisting students like yourself with housing for some time now. Here are some tips to ensure a smooth transition.
1. Secure your accommodations ahead of time…. (or at least begin the search)
It is always a good idea to seek your student housing in St Lucia ahead of time. Some schools warn against this, but many students arrive on the island with no idea of where they are going to be spending their time here. When you do this, you limit yourself, and run the risk of taking anything available because of desperation when you arrive. Remember, just as you are coming to begin school here, so are many other students. The saying, ‘the early bird catches the worm’ cannot be more true with student housing. We are a tiny island, only 238 Sq miles with limited properties concentrated in limited areas. Caribbean Habitats tries to make it easy for you to transition. We do understand that you maybe skeptical about securing something prior to arrival, but that is what we are here for. At the very least we recommend that you begin the process ahead.
So you have heard that the Rodney Bay Village is the place to be. It is home to places like Kentucky Fried Chicken, Subway, Churches Chicken, Rituals (the Caribbean equivalent to Starbucks, has the WiFi and all, plus they sell great food) There are an unlimited number of other restaurants to choose from. There are two malls, 3 supermarkets, and a small casino. It has a night club and several bars. It is within walking distance from a very lovely beach. The Rodney Bay Village is the entertainment district of St. Lucia. It is very popular with students and you do not have to ask why. The ability to find familiar food and the close proximity to everything is very attractive, but please understand that you have to pay for the convenience. Many many students ask me for this very highly sort after area but do not want to spend the money for the area. Please understand the owners of these very beautiful properties will not allow you to stay in their properties for next to nothing. Please be realistic with your expectations. To save some money, consider living a short bus ride away from the Rodney Bay Village area. In most cases the bus ride will be less than $.80US each way. Like we said before St. Lucia is small, no where is really far.
Please remember that when contacting someone in St Lucia like myself to coordinate housing for you, you must have a budget in mind. Plan ahead, do your figures ahead of time so you have an idea of what you can afford monthly. Remember to factor in utilities, food, transportation, and personal items when making your budget. I know it is difficult to determine what your budget is but, a good guideline is that around $562.00US can get you a studio, $750.00US a month can get you a one bedroom. Please remember that you get what you pay for, so be realistic with your expectations. Do not commit to more than you can chew because sometime shortly after you are going to be hunting for a roommate, or break your lease commitment.
4. Budget for Bills
I know we mentioned it above, but we will again because, this is an important point. Please make sure that you budget for other bills above the monthly rent. In most cases, you will be responsible to pay for your water, cable, internet and electricity. In any combination of two, three of all four of these. These are your bills, you have used the service, you had the comfort and convenience of the services, so you have to pay for the service. Please budget for your bills them. It is not fair to leave your roommate or the owner with your unpaid bills. In any event, most owners will now take your security. Depending on the provider the bills can cost around the following cable: $26.00US, internet: $33.00US.
Most accommodations will include hot and cold water, some may also include cable and internet, but almost always you will have to pay for your own electricity usage. A good number of places may come with rooms equipped with air conditioners units. All I can say is that if you use them air conditioners, your bills will be high. You cannot and should not leave them running all day and night without having to pay the piper. Ac’s as you know pulls an exorbitant amount of electricity. Electricity is very expensive here, so please be mindful and turn off and unplug. Most people use the standing fans which work as well. Just remember, you use it, it is your responsibly to pay for it. It is not fair and unethical not to pay your bills. St. Lucia is a small island, everyone knows everyone. The last thing you want is to be evicted and no one else wants to rent to you.
I would like to make it very clear that the rules for renting do not change because you are doing so in St. Lucia. In most cases the owner is going to require the first months rent and a security deposit. They will also require that you make some kind of commitment. Sign a lease for 6 – 12 months. I get many potential students asking for month to month leases. Month to month leases are not the rule, they are the exception. I am sure you can imagine why, every time someone moves out the owner has to clean and most time paint again before they can rent the place again. It is very costly and they do not like this arrangement at all.
Here are a few things that come up very often. So before you ask, here are the answers:
- You cannot move yourself and stuff without a financial commitment.
- You cannot pay half now and half in a few weeks.
- You cannot expect that out of the kindness of the home owners heart, they will hold a property for you for 2 months while you get your stuff together.
- You cannot go on vacation and decide because you are not physically in the apartment for a few weeks that you do not have to pay the rent for the month. Your stuff is still in the apartment.
- You cannot decide that because you are on vacation you can have someone else live in the apartment until you come back.
Property owners have financial commitments to meet. The goal is to generate income, and as much as they would like to accommodate these very numerous and regular requests, they just cannot accept these types of requests. Also something to remember, who will want to rent out their apartment to you when from the very start, you demonstrate financial hardship.The process is similar to what you are use to over there. Yes we are a small island, but developed enough to have working rental process like every where else in the world.
This is very important when considering housing. For some, this works excellent, as it can significantly reduce the monthly expenses. Having said this, for others, this arrangement is a nightmare. Make sure when considering living with others you have something in common and have a very good understanding of how the finical commitment between you will work. You know yourself best. If you know that you are not the rooming type, then live on your own. If you get along with everyone, and you can make friends with a statue then consider having a roommate.
Please remember that you should take some time out of your busy schedule to clean up. Generally speaking most areas do not have a problem with rats, and mice, roaches, and ants. However, if you do not keep your living quarters clean, eventually you will have so unwanted guests moving in with you. This is an island and if you are not clean they will eventually come. That cannot be blamed on the accommodations, or the area. The blame will be left to you. So as you make a mess clean up. If you have a roommate sit and discuss the cleaning arrangements.
Finally, I advise to please take the whole issue of student housing seriously. You are coming a far distance and the last thing you want is to be in a situation where you are absolutely unhappy while here. As you may realised from reading above, finding student housing in St Lucia, maybe a bit overwheleming, not know the ins and outs of the island. Let Caribbean Habitats assist you to plan ahead…..