General Information on the Acquisition of Bermuda Property by Non-Bermudians.
Non-Bermudians MAY purchase qualifying properties in Bermuda. In order to be available to a non-Bermudian purchaser, a property must have an assessed Annual Rental Value ("ARV") at or above a set minimum level (in effect disqualifying properties in the middle to lower price ranges). NB: ARV is not a reflection of market value but rather is used as the basis for calculating Land Tax.
Your Realtor will provide you with guidance as to which properties are available to an overseas buyer. As a rule of thumb, houses in this category are likely to be priced at or above $3.5 million. Non-Bermudians, upon receiving permission from the Bermuda Government, may rent their property for a period of one year. Persons are required to pay 7.25% of the annual rent to the Government. Approval must be received from the Government before looking for a tenant.
Licensing and Fees
Overseas buyers wishing to acquire real property in Bermuda must apply for and be granted a license by the Bermuda Government. Upon entering into a contract with the vendor of the property and having selected a local attorney with whom to work, the application is prepared by the lawyer and the sale may only close after all pre-conditions including the granting of the license have been met. Bank and personal references (Bermudian if possible) will be required.
The current application fee is $1,787.50 (refundable upon grant of the license). The cost of the license, itself, is based on the agreed purchase price, currently: 12.5% for a house, and 6.5% for property within a designated resort development. In certain situations, the Government may waive the licensing fee for properties affiliated with a hotel/resort. They are offering various concessions with conditions. Please speak with your Agent for more information.
Anti-Money Laundering Laws in Bermuda
The Property Group Ltd. wishes to make its valued clients aware that Bermuda’s real estate community is subject to the same AML (Anti Money-Laundering) laws and guidelines that are already in effect in other jurisdictions.
All Real Estate companies in Bermuda now must register with the FIA (Financial Intelligence Agency) to obtain information from each person who is selling or purchasing property here in Bermuda. New laws are now in effect to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing via real estate transactions.
In order to be compliant, Property Group Ltd. agents will be required to obtain far more information than they will have requested from clients in the past. You may be asked to complete forms that are similar to those your bank or lawyer have already requested. It may seem redundant but it is mandatory and Property Group Ltd. seeks to make the paperwork as painless as possible and would like to assure clients that all information provided will remain confidential.
The Property Group Ltd. looks forward to bringing qualified sellers and buyers together as the agency has always done and brokering sales and purchases of the finest real estate available in our island home.
Taken from the Bermuda immigration and protection act 1956
http://www.bermudalaws.bm/Laws/Consolidated Laws/Bermuda Immigration and Protection Act 1956.pdf
BERMUDA IMMIGRATION AND PROTECTION ACT 1956
Trustee holding or acquiring land without a licence
No trustee shall hold or acquire land in Bermuda in trust for a person that the trustee knows or has reasonable grounds to suspect is a restricted person (other than the spouse of a person who possesses Bermudian status), unless the trustee has a licence or a deferral certificate.
[Section 77 repealed and replaced by 2007:16 s.5 effective 22 June 2007; amended by 2015 : 22 s.5 effective 8 June 2015]
It is possible for overseas purchasers to utilise a Trust for the purchase of property subject to certain restrictions. These should be discussed with your lawyer before settling on the specifics of the Sale and Purchase Agreement.
Multiple Property Ownership
Generally, Non-Bermudians are allowed to purchase two properties.
For more information, go to www.gov.bm