Trinidad & Tobago

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Country Details

Trinidad & Tobago’s economy is primarily industrial with an emphasis on petroleum. It is the leading Caribbean producer of oil and gas.  Trinidad is one of the wealthiest and most developed nations and the second richest country in the Caribbean.  English is the country's official language, but the main spoken language is either Trinidadian Creole or Tobagonian Creole, English-based creole languages, which reflects the African, Indian and European heritage of the nation.  It is also known as the birthplace of calypso, soca and limbo.  The official currency is the Trinidad & Tobago dollar (TTD).

Important things to know when renting a property in Port of Spain, Trinidad:

Common Expat Areas - The areas where affordable, desirable rentals are most likely to be located within the island are: St. Clair, Ellerslie Park, Fairways, Haleland Park, Moka, Westmoorings, Goodwood Park, Bayshore and Shorelands.

  • All landlords require a guarantor. If the company doesn’t serve as the guarantor, the landlord may request rent up front.  In case the transferring corporation is unable to guarantee the lease, they may also be asked to provide an employment letter indicating the position, monthly allowance and years the employee has been working at the company.  It is up to the landlord to accept this letter in lieu of a guarantor.
  • Most landlords agree to negotiate the rent in USD.

Q&A

  • Who pays rental commission? The landlord pays the rental commission
  • How much is the rental commission? The rental commission is one month
  • Is an advance rent required? Yes, if there is no guarantor
  • What is the standard lease term? The lease term is for one year
  • What is the frequency of payments? Payments are made monthly
  • Is there a security deposit? The security deposit is one month’s rent
  • Who holds security deposit? The landlord holds the security deposit
  • The lease written in what language? The lease is written in English
  • The lease is normally prepared by? The lease is prepared by the destination services provider; preference is to use the corporate template if one is available to insure that the legal aspect has been approved
  • Is a business release clause accepted? Yes, with 30–60 days notice

 

UTILITIES

Utilities are not included in the rent.  Costs vary based on usage and size of property.  Tenant is responsible for acquiring new service and for monthly payment.

Electricity – Electricity is supplied by the Trinidad & Tobago Electricity Commission (T&TEC) -www.ttec.co.tt

Telephone/Internet – The largest telephone and internet provider is Telecommunications Services of Trinidad and Tobago (TSTT) – www.tstt.co.tt. Flow – www.flowtrinidad.com is also a popular choice.

Service is usually already connected in a rented property and it is under the landlord´s name, but the tenant pays the cost.  Obtaining your own telephone service requires having a residency permit.

Cable – Generally housing complexes and apartment/condo buildings have a contract with a particular cable company covering the area.  The most popular company is Flow – www.flowtrinidad.com.

Cellular Phone – The most common providers are:

Public schools are not recommended in Trinidad.  The most common expatriate schools are:

  1. International School of Port of Spain – www.isps.edu.tt - follows the American school calendar - (Pre-K – 12)
  2. Maple Leaf International School – www.mapleleaf-school.com – follows the Canadian school calendar - (Pre-K – 12)
  3. St. Andrews – www.standrews.edu.tt– follows the British school calendar - (Elementary School)
  4. The British Academy – britishacademy.edu.tt – follows the British school calendar – (High School)
  5. Dunross Preparatory School – www.dunross.edu.tt - follows the British school calendar -(Elementary School)

Day Care/Pre-school: Day Care Centers and Pre-schools operate either all year round or during the school calendar in which the school operates.

Elementary School: Kindergarten (5-6 Years old), 1st (6-7), 2nd (7-8), 3rd (8-9), 4th (9-10) and 5th grade (10-11).  In the 5th grade, children take an entrance exam before entering the High School of their choice.

High School: Forms 1 to 6 (equivalent to middle & high school in the American curriculum)

Registering your Child/ren
To be considered for admissions in most private international schools in Trinidad, all applicants are required to comply with a five-part application process:

  1. Completion and submission of an application form
  2. Parent and student interview (may be waived in the case of international applications)
  3. Completion and submission of all requested evaluation and recommendation forms as well as transcripts from previous schools covering at least two years
  4. Submission of results of standardized or special testing
  5. Completion of educational placement test

Non-English records need to be officially translated. Some schools will not require translation of these records or may translate them for free; this requirement will be determined based on the school the child/ren will attend.

Driver License
If you are a non-resident and the holder of a valid driving permit from another country, you are entitled to drive for 90 days from the date of arrival in Trinidad and Tobago with your foreign driving permit. If your period of stay is more than 90 days, you are required to apply for a Trinidad and Tobago driving permit.  A Regulation Study Guide and Highway Code is available from the cashier at all Transport Division offices. You can go to the nearest Transport Division office when you are ready to take the written exam.  You will need to bring the following documents:

  • Three passport size photos with a green background
  • Complete Application for Driving Permit/Endorsement (Form #4)
  • Your valid foreign driving permit and passport showing date of entry

After passing the written exam, you will be given an appointment for the practical driving test.  It is important to know that in Trinidad and Tobago one drives on the LEFT hand side of the road.

Hospitals

Malls - www.tntisland.com/shopping.html

  • Port of Spain – Long Circular Mall, Ellerslie Plaza – Also popular are Downtown Street shopping with small malls in between.
  • West Trinidad – Highland Plaza, The Falls at West Mall, Starlite Shopping Plaza
  • Central Trinidad – Atlantic Plaza, Centre Mall
  • East Trinidad – City of Grand Bazaar, Trincity Mall
  • South Trinidad – Gulf City Shopping Complex