Landlords who rent out sub-standard properties will face punishment – The Royal Gazette | Bermuda News, Business, Sports, Events, & Community

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Landlords who rent out sub-standard properties will face punishment

A bill aimed at punishing landlords for sub-standard living conditions was passed in the House of Assembly on Friday.

The Bermuda Housing Amendment Bill 2011 makes it possible to fine landlords by $10,000 for renting a property below the minimum standards for human habitation on a first offense.

Multiple offences can result in fines of $15,000 or seven years imprisonment.

While the amendments were approved, the Opposition expressed concerns about a section of the draft that expanded the definition of a dwelling to add emergency shelters, camp sites and work camps.

Opposition MP John Barritt questioned the motivation of the change, saying: “I'm trying to understand what mischief are we trying to curb.”

He also expressed concern that the expanded definition could hold recreational camping up to the same standards as permanent housing.

However, Government Minister for Infrastructure Walter Roban said that recreational camping is managed under a different act and that the legislation was intended to expand the definition to anything that could come to Bermuda.

“We don't just have bricks and mortar here in Bermuda,” he said. “I believe this bill was worded in a way that includes all possible types of housing that could be introduced.”

Premier Paula Cox added that another piece of legislation would be coming that would further clarify the situation.

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Published March 14, 2011 at 10:02 am (Updated March 14, 2011 at 10:01 am)

Landlords who rent out sub-standard properties will face punishment

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