May a work permit holder rent out rooms?

| 02/08/2018

Are there any restrictions on an ordinarily resident person renting out a room on a short-term basis (for example via Airbnb) in properties owned here on the islands? Does one need an extra work permit for this and is the dependent spouse free to get involved with the work that typically occurs with such an activity, (such as advertise for the property online, welcome and take care of the guests, and file the report for the taxes that have to be paid)?

I am aware that one needs to apply to get permission for short-term rentals and that one has to pay a tax on the turnover that is created. But I have never heard anywhere that one needs a special work permit for this. Nevertheless, the question came up, whether this is perhaps necessary.

Advance ChevroletAuntie’s answer: I appreciate the detail of your question, which helped when I contacted the Department of Immigration for their assistance. I think you will be relieved by the response, which is also much shorter than your query.

A DOI official confirmed that residents in Cayman do not need to satisfy any additional immigration provisions to rent out rooms on a short-term basis.

The situation is the same for your spouse, meaning he or she is not required to get a work permit to help take care of renting the rooms.

In addition, since you mentioned applying for permission to rent rooms, you may find this previous column on licensing requirements helpful.


Category: Ask Auntie, Immigration Questions

Comments (11)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    It is important to stipulate that it is only for 2 or fewer units. Any more than that and EVERY one needs a trade and business license. And then you would need a work permit from that business.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, I know that and you know that, but Immigration does not know that and so tells people it is OK when it may not be. Better they say nothing.

  2. Anonymous says:

    The answer provided may only be correct if the number of units is two or less. Anything more would seem to need a separate work permit.

    All short term rentals require licensing under the Tourism Law.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Some lease agreements and/or Strata by-laws may prohibit sublets to short-term, non-commital tenants, or may insist on additional liability insurance for those registering their units for rent. It’s not always desirable to have this kind of transient, whooping-up, resort-minded guest traffic in complexes that don’t have the staff, or services found at hotels to clean up in their wake.

  4. Anonymous says:

    An enterprising idea, but the legally registered property owner must be involved in that process. The address and complex must have been approved and registered (via safety/quality inspections and fees) to list a property on AirBnB, and CIG taxes must be paid, or the legal property owner may find themselves in hot water.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Wow, they missed a chance to discriminate there. Better close that loophole quickly.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Well isn’t that a loophole for you!

    Doesn’t the query describe the provision of providing bed and breakfast or hotel services? Then why does any of the other work permit holders that work in the hotel industry need a work permit? From what I read, the work permit holder is working outside of the restrictions of their work permit. However, it appears that the immigration department do not view it this way.

    • Anonymous says:

      You seem surprised that Immigration may be adopting a position inconsistent with some aspects of the law.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Because you are trading a business license is needed. Only Caymanians can do this trade without a license.