Acquiring Property in Bermuda
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 and condominiums at or above $550,000.
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 $1,420.00 (refundable upon a grant of the license). The cost of the license, itself, is based on the agreed purchase price, currently: 8% for a house, 6% for a condominium, and 6.5% for the property within a designated resort development
Bermuda Government has proposed to increase the license fees in March 2017 from 6% to 12.5%.
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 license
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 license 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[Section 77 repealed and replaced by 2007:16 s.5 effective 22 June 2007; amended by 2015: 22 s.5 effective 8 June 2015]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 utilize 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