The Right Of The Barbadian To Own Property Under Threat

Submitted by the People’s Democratic Congress (PDC)

Although we in  Barbados are not going to be any time soon seeing the completion of the Population and Housing Census 2010 Report,  most of us can vouchsafe still that far more Barbadians and Caricom resident nationals – not regional and extra-regional visitors – are renting residential commercial properties – apartments, houses, rooms, etc. on a monthly/weekly basis at this juncture more than at any other time, say, in the whole of the post-colonial period of Barbados, and perhaps, too, more than the number of Barbadians that currently own these rented and non-rented residential properties themselves (no 1  contention).

While individual Barbadians rent these commercial residential properties for various reasons, for example, for purposes of achieving independence away from families; for purposes of removing themselves from around estranged partners; for reasons of portraying  status, it is the thought  somehow still – that as more and more individuals and families of the masses and marginal middle classes get into the habit of residential renting – the more it seems that they are unable to have their own homes ( no 2 contention) – that is most unfortunate.

However, we in the PDC will seek to support those two contentions by presenting – at the end of this article – an amount of recorded circumstantial evidence contained in a very brief analysis of the responses provided by persons questioned as part of a person to person  informal non-scientific survey that was conducted by the PDC  in Bridgetown on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of this week. During this time too a total of 23 persons – males and females – young and middle aged – were approached and were found to have their own homes – most with mortgage arrangements in place. They were, of course, found to be outside of the essential scope of this survey, even though their help in partially confirming contention no 1 was needed.

Nevertheless, that DLP/BLP Governments over the years would have put no social educational demographic material policy programmes in place to drastically reduce the overwhelming number of people who rent residentially in this country, is highly deplorable and disgusting, esp. from the standpoint that they have not been preaching that residential rent directly impacts on the propensity to save and invest (which are very important aspects of a country’s material financial affairs), and from the standpoint that many younger people when faced with renting residential properties especially at very high “prices”, with very limited income, are almost certain – unless they are very fortunate  – to have their own homes only long after they have passed their productive familial best.

Well, instead of attempting to reverse such ignoble trends, these useless DLP/BLP governments have been over the years making things worse in some of the above senses by themselves following tradition, and simply putting down rented accommodation in so many ill-conceived housing estates across the country.

The number of Barbadians and Caricom resident nationals renting private accommodation esp. apartments and single rooms in Oxnards, Rendezvous, Kingsland, and in numerous other places have been growing substantially, esp. in recent years with the influx of Guyanese into our Barbadian shores.

Also, it must be expressed that financial institutions in Barbados would have seemingly been more than willing to lend money to persons  who – invariably though would  have qualified for other types of lending – would nevertheless still have been getting such money to provide build extra/spaces in the form of homes, apartments, rooms, etc.  for the principal purposes of renting them out in order to provide additional sources of income in times of opportunity or crisis.

However, the fact that so many people would have gone and produced so much accommodation in the last couple of years, but before the start of this localized depression in 2008, at the height of the Guyanese influx, and too the fact that many many persons were also “purchasing” such spaces, rooms and even at some very outrageous “prices” and in some cases with dilapidation shambles at the back of it, but who would have been now faced with the present localized depression affecting the country and this residential rent sector and are fleeing some of these apartments, rooms, etc, does mean a time bomb is furiously ticking away within the sector.

That situation is made far worse when it is realized that millions upon millions of Barbados dollars in income go each year in UNPRODUCTIVE RENT PAYMENTS to property owners in the country – many of whom have mortgages on the rented properties.

For, many of these UNPRODUCTIVE RENT PAYMENTS by renters to these private property owners are undoubtedly then, in turn, converted significantly into UNPRODUCTIVE MORTGAGE PAYMENTS  by many such landlords/landladies who are naturally indebted to  the particular financial institutions. This process does not stop until such RENT PAYMENTS CUM MORTGAGE PAYMENTS become  – on one hand – a massive part of surplus value – including wicked interest income – for the relevant mortgage institutions, and – on the other hand –  a gigantic part of recycled financial debt ( more mortgage loans plus evil interest expenses  –  for many others in the country.

Amid this deepening depression in Barbados, there is evidence around that points to a serious private sector residential rent crisis that is taking place in Barbados, and which involves serious imbalances between the amount in rent payments and the amount in rent receipts in the residential rental accommodation sector in the country.

Hence, as this residential rent crisis truly worsens, and as it therefore becomes the ticking time bomb waiting to explode the private rent accommodation sector into smithereens, and too in circumstances where the cost of living, the cost of doing business, various utility bill costs  are already skyrocketing high, where the NHC has been painfully slow in reducing its waiting lists, there is going to be no respite from this vicious crisis as thousands upon thousands of renters will continue to end up after renting residential properties for years  – with no property ownership no physical property value whatsoever – derived from renting such properties – no anything of the sort to show after having been renting for all those years, and as property owners try to salvage what little money income they can from prospective renters by properly compromising on their mortgage arrangements or moderating their hunger for much money.

Such situations are awful, and are indicative of a failure in social political engineering!!
But, it is important to note that a future PDC Government shall be putting policies in place to help bring about greater growth and stability in the private/government rent accommodation sector in Barbados.

Three such policies are, (1), making sure that after a Barbadian has rented a house, dwelling or unit – private or government owned – for 8 continuous years that he/she will be entitled to own such a property; (2), making sure that a regime of rent control is instituted in this country for residential accommodation among other building accommodation; and (3), making sure that the cost of residential as well as other types of building is brought to the lowest levels possible in the country by the removal of TAXATION, INTEREST RATES, MAKING SURE THAT IMPORTS ARE ZERO-“PRICED” AT ALL POINTS OF ENTRY, etc.

Finally, as promised earlier up, here are the results of the non-random survey that was done on the particular days in question.

These results do support the contentions that, (1),  more Barbados and Caricom nationals rent more than the total number of Barbadians that own homes in Barbados, and, (2), that the more and more individuals and families in Barbados esp. those that are from the masses and marginal middle classes, get deeply into the habit of residential renting – the more it seems that they are going to find it hard or impossible in the long term to have their own homes, in this a cruel social system in Barbados.

Well, the total number of person surveyed for purposes of understanding their rent status in Barbados was 33 persons – 24 males and 9 females of various social professional backgrounds and ages. In three cases there was information supplied by 3 others acting in their capacity, but after careful consideration these were not allowed to be part of this analysis.

The types of questions posed to the 33 persons were as follows:-

a) How long ( approximated to the last full year) have you been renting??
b) How much do you pay in rent – per month, per bi-weekly, weekly – which if any utilities were included or excluded?
c) How much income do you get per month per fortnight, per week?
d) Do you save with a bank, credit union?
e) Is the rate at which you pay rent greater than the rate at which you save – or vice versa?
f) Do you expect to  rent in the long term ( 1 yr and over from the days on which surveying was done), at the same place or elsewhere?

So, here is the very brief analyses of the total responses from those persons sampled to the particular questions asked. Whereas, a total of 5 persons have been renting for more than 15 years – a total of 5 persons have been renting for less than fifteen years but for 10 years and more – a total of 9 persons  have been renting for less than 10 years but for 5 years and more, and  a total of 13 persons have been renting for 5 years and less – 1 person’s response could not be figured out even after taking down the response.

Whereas, 3 persons pay BDS $1000 per month and over, 21 pay between BDS $ 999.00 and BDS $ 500 and more per month, whereas 8 pay between BDS $ 499 and BDS $ zero dollars per month – 1 person did not make it clear how much they pay.
Whereas, 14 claimed to get BDS $ 1800 and above per month, 10 claimed to get less than BDS $ 1799 but more than BDS $ 1200 per month, 3 persons got less than BDS $ 1200 per month. Three 3 person did not state their incomes, and 3 persons were unemployed.

Whereas, 13 persons claimed to save with financial institutions, 13 persons claimed NOT to save all, 5 persons claimed to hardly save, whereas 2 responses were not properly received.

Whereas, 20 persons expressed that they were able to get rent faster than savings, 3 persons doubted that they were able to get rent faster than savings, whereas the rest were non-responsive or were not taken note of.
And, finally, whereas a big number of people – 26 – stated that they expected to be renting in the long term, 3 could not say that they expected to be renting in the long term, whereas 1 person said renting was only on a short term basis,  the others were not in a position to say or could not have been recorded.

What was also found from the sample that we took was that only 1 person was a renter in a government housing estate, which gives some  a little credence to the view that the private rent accommodation market would have taken off tremendously in Barbados and that many people in spite of the higher costs of private residential rent accommodation still found it more desirable than government provided rent housing.

It is also important to realize that the number of persons having their own homes were outdone by those who rented accommodation from the private/government sector, and is therefore ominous as it relates to too many people in Barbados still renting homes in this country.

Where some or all utilities were part of the rent paid or were excluded, we have avoided any serious comment on such for the simple  reason that we don’t wish to complicate the analyses any further than we have.
So, we oblige.

12 thoughts on “The Right Of The Barbadian To Own Property Under Threat

  1. Enuff,

    Interesting question.

    We are unable to tell on the whole, though, for obvious reasons (see questions).

    We sought to keep this non-scientific survey fairly simple, and to avoid being too personal.

    In a few of instances ( four or so) of those who spoke along certain lines, it seems they were FORCED, and it seems more related to relationship issues ( blood, spousal, etc.) than anything else. And it seems too to be a question of the most recent cases.

    Where choice is concerned one or two of those who spoke out on certain issues made it seem that the “good” money making times “then” were responsible.

    What was also instructive was the number of Caricom non-nationals (five or six) five who were all renting for relatively long periods. Black Caricom non-nationals must be given or must pursue greater home ownership opportunities in this country.

    Finally, this is an area in Barbados ( the political sociology of rent relationships) in which many research studies can be conducted for better informing of public policy geared towards creating greater property home ownership statuses in Barbados and all of the benefits that those bring.


  2. The survey is missing one important Bajan point. A lot of Bajans prefer to rent a 1/2 million dollar house than buy a little quarter million dollar property.

    If the PDC writer is a Bajan he should have knowledge and understanding of Bajans and their desire to impress those around them.

  3. “Three such policies are, (1), making sure that after a Barbadian has rented a house, dwelling or unit – private or government owned – for 8 continuous years that he/she will be entitled to own such a property;”
    You all fuh real ! You mean to tell me that after working so hard for 15-20 years I build another house to rent out so I could have a comfortable retirement somebody could come and buy MY house after 8 yrs of continuous renting? How much votes wunna get in the last election?
    Let me if know if wanna gettin in power cause the first thing I gine do is if somebody rent MY hard-earned house for 5 years, I gine mek them move out and then move back in with a new contract.
    This is the very reason why this country is getting so unproductive. Everything ya want must be free. Free house ,Free job, Free money, free handouts from ministers.
    Why you emphasize on BLACK caricoms for ?Barbados dont belong to balck people,it belongs to BAJANS. As far as I can remember Barbados is a country of all types of colors and races. and before you come with that talk that only black people built this country, in my opinion, White people built this country too. Indians make a contribution too.

  4. Hants,

    Point taken.

    But, to be precise we did not come across any person that would have fallen right into such a scenario.

    I In Town Long,

    That is exactly what we mean!!

    At the end of 8 years continuous years of renting the person will be entitled / will have the option to purchase the apartment, house, dwelling, whatever.

    For, RENT is one of the most vile, cruel manifestations of some human beings exploiting and dehumanizing some others.

    8 years of helping to severely exploit and dehumanize such persons ARE ENOUGH.

    That 8 year time period primarily would seek to end this very vicious exploitation dehumanization which can go on for many more years.

    Simply primarily because some people are able better/more vicious than some others to use God’s resources – or the tranformed results of such – to their advantage better/more vicious than some others.

    Rent collected for apartments, houses, dwellings, plus money value in them and/or land = severe forms of exploitation.

    Let us say a house and land in Barbados are given a combined value of BDS $ 300, 000, at time of renting the house – with the house being valued at BDS $ 160, 000.

    Imagine that rent for the house is BDS $ 800 per month.

    Imagine too that a particular person rent this house ( some would say land too) for a period of eight years straight.

    So, what we would have is this person paying BDS $ 800 X 12 X 8 = BDS $ 76, 800 for the simple purpose of occupying such space.

    And, at the end of the 8th year, the owner still giving the house, a value of BDS $150, 000, and the land, a value of BDS $ 155, 000.

    Taking into consideration that rent can be increased to reflect cost of living increases and other incidentals that would increase in value at the time, it could mean that another 8 years of rent becomes BDS $ 1000 per month = BDS $ 96, 000.

    So, that the mathematics of this situation would be such that in sixteeen years the person would have virtually paid a staggering ( BDS $ 172, 800 ) for the house.

    So, at the end of the day, what the owner of this imaginary house in this extreme scenario would have is a huge BDS $ 172, 800, that is paid in by the renter to the owner; is too a gargantuan value in the house – which would have increased due to maintenance, etc. – to, say, BDS $ 180, 000, at the end of the 16 years , and too a tremendous value that is given to the land at the end of the 16 years – being BDS $ 185, 000.

    Imagine however that in this scenario the renter is entitled to purchase the house and land at the end of the 8th year – the then owner of such would still have $150, 000, or the improved value, which could be 3 % more, for the house and still have BDS $ 155, 000 for the land ( or the so-called improved value of the land at the time) – which will be quite a bounty in the circumstances.

    So, our 8 year policy does NEVER take away from what a previous owner will get in cash from the house and land interests that are sold to the previous renter – at the end of 8 years, 10 years, 16 years or whatever.

    Too, much of that cash money value received from the new owner ( the former renter) could then still be re-invested in many other ways in the country.

    But, what this policy does, among other things, is to increase the possibilities of many more persons owning their own homes in Barbados.

    Moreover, our principal attempts will be to as much as possible balance the long term interests of such renters – who could end up paying years and years of rent for nothing – and the owners of rented acccomodation in this country – who could be among the biggest exploiters in this country – as well as to as much as possible properly balance at every juncture social and public affairs with personal private affairs in this country, as our thrust would be help make Barbados an increasingly PRODUCTIVE society, an increasingly RENTLESS society, and an increasingly egalitarian and just one.

    So, there you go, I In Town Long.


  5. PDC wrote: “Let us say a house and land in Barbados are given a combined value of BDS $ 300, 000, at time of renting the house – with the house being valued at BDS $ 160, 000. Imagine that rent for the house is BDS $ 800 per month.”

    Imagine PDC that the ihe evil landlady had borrowed $300,000 from the bank or credit union in order to build the house and rent it out.

    The bank or credit union is charging interest at the rate of 9% and the loan will be paid off in 25 years.

    The monthly payment on that loan is $2517.59, so if the evil landlady rents the house for $800 per month she is LOSING $1,717.59 per month and can’t meet her mortgage payments. Let us say that in addition the insurance on that $300,000 house is $150.00 per month and the land tax is $75 per month. Now the evil landlady is losing $1,924.59 per month. And we haven’t even put in anything for repairs yet. In 16 years she will lose $310,814.40 and long, long before 16 years are up the house will be taken back up by the bank or credit union or land tax. The evil landlady will no longer own her property, and the tenant has no place to live.

    Now the house will be bought by a landlady who has to charge realistic rents, say something more than the monthly expenses which are $1,942.59 (not including anything she spends on repairs) Let us say that the landlady decides to charge $2,000 dollars a month. And the end of the month she will have earned $57.41 and she may have to spend all this and more on repairs.

    Tell the truth PDC do you know anybody who is willing to work for $57.41 per month?

  6. Let us day that in year 12 a pipe burst in the ground at the rented house, maybe the tenant does not notice (or does not care), maybe the landlady does not notice until they receive a bill for $2,000 or $3,000 or more from the Barbados Water Authority (it happened in real life to a couple of real life landlords that I know) guess who HAS TO pay BWA? Yup!!! the evil landlord and the landlord can’t go crying to the BWA or to the MP, because people believe that if you have a house rented out that you are rich and the BWA won’t forgive the debt and the MP won’t piss on you either because the MP believes that you are rich too. So BWA cuts off the water, the tenant moves elsewhere and the evil landlady HAS TO pay the bill.

    Life ain’t easy PDC. Not easy at all.

  7. David,

    It seems that service was giving trouble last night around 11.30 pm. We did send a post around that time but nothing went through. What a waste of time and energy!!!

    Many of us saw the particular article on BarbadosToday. Was okay.


    Three things.

    1) It was not so good for you to have first looked at the BDS $ 800 a month idea that we used in our scenario, and then later used it as part of the basis for your making an entirely different argument – one based on mortgage arrangements.

    That is not proper argumentative reasoning construction.

    To do so, leads to attempts on your part to seriously distort the arguments that both you and we have been making.

    2) Alas!! You still – in your above contribution/figments of imagination – were NOT able to rebut the point that we made in our own scenario, which was, that Rent collected for apartments, houses, dwellings, plus money value in them and/or land = severe forms of exploitation.

    Where mortgage arrangements are concerned in Barbados a future PDC Government shall abolish all mortgages for many reasons. One of those reasons has to do with the fact that the money got in a mortgage, when spent by the mortgagor, ends back in the core financial system within, at most, a couple of years. So why ask persons to repay money that has already gone back into the core financial system?? WHY?? It is absolutely crazy for many Barbadians to be locked into this kind of criminal exploitative dehumanizing arrangement and to be making these payments for years upon years of income earned.

    J, notice now how we have not sought to and have not applied our policy on mortgages ( the abolition of mortgages ) to your scenario. For us to have done so would have lead to attempts on our part to distort your argument.

    Finally, (3), in drawing another scenario – the one about the realistic landlady – you thoroughly weakened that contribution, and at the same time strengthened our point – that land lords and land ladies simply collect money ( what earn what, what!!) IN WHOLLY UNPRODUCTIVE WAYS – from renters and thereafter apply some of them IN WHOLLY UNPRODUCTIVE WAYS to their mortgage bills ( thus Rent collected for apartments, houses, dwellings, plus money value in them and/or land = severe forms of exploitation/dehumanization ), when you conjured up the idea of BDS $ 57. 41 being earned (?????) by the landlady.

    For, you in your own scenario failed to realize that, month by month, the owner of the interests in the house and land will be moving closer and closer to being in control of the BDS $ 300 000 house and land (settling their mortgage debt).

    Where we are concerned, in our own scenario, they are involved in a substantial investment – a BDS $ 300, 000 valued house and land. Where your scenario is concerned, a POTENTIALLY substantial investment – a BDS $ 300, 000 valued house and land – until they have finally settled – under some imagined wicked political financial system that parodies the real evil one that we in Barbados are dealing with now.

    Realize that in both our scenarios, though, that it can be construed that these persons are seriously protecting these investments even to the point of seriously continuing with this exploitation process via having renters pay high rent, through maintaining the properties, etc. at great personal, financial, material costs.

    So, how you could have arrived at juxtaposing that BDS $ 57. 41 figure with the question of whether we know about anybody who will – in the real world – WORK for that amount of money is extremely astounding, even bewildering.

    Since, in both scenarios, we are not really dealing with your first scenario – what can be eventually done is that the house and land interests can be sold for hundreds of thousands of dollars to buyers ( in your case too once the mortgage debt is settled), with, if so, the so-called money revenues on the money costs spent over the years providing for an amount of the returns – so-called PROFITS – which can be in the tens of thousands of dollars of income ( conservatively speaking ) AS PART OF THE TOTAL AMOUNTS THAT WILL BE EARNED ON THE SALES.

    So, J, investment and work are two different things – even though they are sometimes related.


  8. @ PDC

    Can’t you people take a hint?
    What do you need? ….. a bus to drive over your foot???

    BU David has set you up by inviting you to submit these regular articles …. ya joke!!

    Surely even you can see that wanna totally out of wanna depth. So far you people have not come with a single intelligent idea.

    Bush Tea is frankly tired of the juvenile nonsense that you continue to push and particularly of the fact that there is no indication in your personal lives that any of you have demonstrated any levels of success with these ‘concepts’ that you seek to articulate. (you offered to sell of your rented house to the tenent?…)

    Do yourself a favour and refuse to submit any more articles to BU – as a punishment to David and the rest of the BU family….. that way you may actually maintain the 6 or 7 votes you got last time….

  9. Bush Tea,
    I don’t believe you’re tired. Why? Because you actually take time out to read and understand what PDC is saying.

    I take my hat off to you for disassembling their rambling diatribe.

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