The Value of Renting a Licensed Jamaica Villa Vacation Rental
The Value of Renting a Licensed Jamaica Villa – Mais Oui Villa in Jamaica Drone Side ViewAs we try all to get back to our lives and experience the joys of travel, this is the perfect time to reacquaint you with renting a licensed Jamaica villa.
The Jamaica villa vacation lifestyle is a unique experience, perfected since the 1950s, and, for a long time, was a well-kept secret among those in the know. This travel trend is now booming. Even Airbnb has made a very successful launch in Jamaica and will only continue to grow.
Is the Jamaica villa that you are renting “legal”?
So you have found what seems to be the perfect villa in Jamaica, but have you checked that it is a legal rental? Is it licensed by the Jamaica Tourist Board?
Just because a listing is on Homeaway, Airbnb, VRBO, TripAdvisor, Booking.com or the other booking sites or agencies does not mean that the property is licensed and in compliance with local laws.
In fact, anyone can list a property. I would venture to bet that a significant percentage of the online listings are not licensed by the Jamaica Tourist Board.
What it takes to be a licensed Jamaica villa rental?
To become licensed, there are inspections and certifications that are necessary.
It isn’t a process for the faint-hearted because it costs a lot of time, energy, and money.
Here the public health inspector comes and checks not just your kitchens and bathrooms but the whole property for cleanliness. They even checked our staff’s quarters.
They interviewed our housekeepers to make sure they knew how to change not just regular linens but also how to manage them when soiled. They asked about their process of cleaning the bathroom as well as other areas.
They can get picky. We put in three sinks in the kitchen – wash, rinse, and sanitize. They kindly asked us to label each one accordingly. And, we did.
FOOD HANDLER’S PERMITS
All staff that handles food preparation and or serving of food have valid food handler’s permits.
They checked the water quality.They made sure we had pool rescue equipment in place. We had to have posted pool and hot tub rules with appropriate signage readily visible.
FIRE SAFETY INSPECTION
Perhaps this was the most enlightening inspection for us.
Each and every bedroom, as well as the general areas, were required to have working smoke detectors. The inspector checked every single one.
They even required a fire extinguisher over in the tennis court gardens because the cabanas are made of wood and “anything can happen”.
We have 19 smoke detectors and 10 fire extinguishers on the property.
They helped us work through our evacuation plan in case of an emergency. We have our emergency alert system so that anyone can activate it. Our assembly point is clearly marked outside. Emergency lights come on in case of power outage. This is in addition to having a generator.
The police came by and did an assessment of the property to identify any possible security breaches.
First off, they do an assessment of your local area to determine how safe the area is in the first place.
Discovery Bay is a very quiet area and is not overpopulated. People aren’t coming here in droves to try to snag a job with the hotels as might happen in the large tourist towns where all-inclusives abound. You hardly ever hear of any safety issues in Discovery Bay so that was a significant plus for us.
Without going into detail here, our inspection went great.
The entire property is walled and gated. We have electronic gates. For security reasons, we won’t share our security details online; however, we are happy to discuss them with guests who book our villa.
NO OBJECTION LETTER FROM THE PARISH COUNCIL
Fortunately, our land title allows for use in the tourism industry.
We had to submit the architectural plans for the house so that they could verify that what was constructed was what was approved by the parish council.
This is so very important in Jamaica because, due to the red tape and expense associated with building, many people proceed without the proper approvals and inspections with the hope that they don’t get caught. Unfortunately, that means that some of these buildings might not be built to code.
What else is necessary for licensed Jamaica villas?
Once you have the inspections, it isn’t over.
You still need public liability insurance.
You need to be registered as a company in Jamaica and pay taxes.
Then comes the Mother of all Inspections … the TPDCO Inspection
Here they come in and they check everything – soup to nuts. White glove on the picture frames and all.
To say they are thorough is an understatement. That’s a good thing though because it means once you have passed their inspection you have certainly earned it.
Enhancing the Experience for Our Jamaica Villa Guests
Getting and maintaining the license is absolutely a lot of work; however, it is a necessary evil in our opinion.
The process helps to keep owners accountable and guests safe.
We learned quite a bit during the process. Some of the agencies also learned from us too.
Annual Renewals for our Jamaica Villa License
And the process doesn’t end there. All those inspections, except for the no objection letter from the parish council, have to be renewed every year.
What’s the risk of renting an unlicensed Jamaica villa?
The risk of a property being shut down with guests in-house is likely to be low. The authorities would have to find you first. The same way that AirBnB, Homeaway and the villa vacation rental agencies limit contact with the owner, is the same way it is difficult for the authorities to find the physical location of the properties through the listing sites.
The bigger question is what assurances do you have that the property you are booking will be safe and up to standard. Do they have a COVID-19 plan? This is where you have the highest practical risk. And, this is exactly why you must insist on booking a licensed property.
The Value of Licensure for Your Jamaica Villa
Being licensed by The Jamaica Tourist Board is just one more way that we show our commitment to delivering a high-quality product to our guests and to developing tourism in Jamaica.
The next time you get ready to book a villa in Jamaica, especially a “cheap” villa in Jamaica, think safety first. Make sure it is properly licensed with up to date inspections. The piece of mind is worth it.
Read our article: 10 Things to Think About Before You Book a Cheap Villa in Jamaica
It is safe to rent a Jamaica villa vacation rental.
You may have heard about the family that died in a vacation rental in Mexico presumably from carbon monoxide poisoning or the fire at a property in Boothbay, Maine which resulted in the death of two people.
With recent concerns about travel safety worldwide, you may wonder whether it’s safe to rent a villa in Jamaica.
The truth is that incidents at vacation rentals or villas around the world including in Jamaica are few and far between.
That said, add some extra security by renting a licensed property. You will probably pay more than an unlicensed property but, again, the piece of mind will be worth it.
Rest assured. There is no need to stay holed up in an all-inclusive resort. Villas are an established lodging alternative for a memorable Jamaican holiday.
Mais Oui Villa is a licensed villa in Discovery Bay Jamaica. Contact us now to book.
If you are visiting Jamaica and are looking for a large villa in Ocho Rios Jamaica region, look no further than the 8-bedroom Mais Oui Villa in Discovery Bay, offering the best of both worlds – close to not only the attractions of Ocho Rios but also to those in other nearby regions like Rio Bueno-Falmouth, 30 minutes closer to Montego Bay’s airport than Ocho Rios, but without all the crowds and hustle and bustle of a large town.
‘Til next time.
Think and dream Jamaica!
Sherry, Darrell, and Darrian
Considering a visit to Jamaica with a group? Contact us today for more information about, Mais Oui Tennis & Spa Villa, our boutique 8-BR ocean view Jamaica villa rental experience in beautiful Discovery Bay, Jamaica. Perfect for multi-generational families and groups, retreats, and intimate destination weddings and vow renewals.
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