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Holiday rental changes introduced for short-term residents

Walter Roban, the Minister of Home Affairs (File photograph)

A change to allow short term residents to rent some vacation rental homes for longer periods has been approved by the House of Assembly.

Walter Roban, the Minister of Home Affairs, said the Rent Increases (Domestic Premises) Control Temporary Amendment Act will allow the owners of rent-controlled vacation properties to rent out to residents for up to 12 consecutive months in a two-year period.

The pre-amendment legislation limited rentals to six consecutive months over a one-year period.

Mr Roban explained the measure was designed to help people in the work from Bermuda certificate scheme to find a fully-furnished place to stay on the island and allow property owners to generate income.

Mr Roban said at Wednesday’s sitting of the House of Assembly that the Government introduced the legislation in after concerns were raised by the real estate division of the Bermuda Chamber of Commerce.

He added people with one-year residency certificates had hit problems in their searches for a place to live.

Mr Roban said: “The chamber noticed there was an inventory shortage of studio and one-bedroom apartments as these rental units are mainly occupied by the local rental market.

“Those who have been granted a one-year residential certificate are looking for fully-furnished apartments without having to enter into a long-term contract as they cannot guarantee that they can, or will want to, remain beyond the term of their certificate.

“Landlords in the rental market do not usually offer for rent furnished apartments, and landlords are usually seeking tenants that are prepared to commit to a longer term than one year.”

Mr Roban added the policy change would only apply to rent-controlled vacation rental units – those that had an annual rental value of less than $28,800.

There is a total of 312 properties in the category across the island.

Mr Roban said that the legislation had a two-year “sunset clause” to allow the Government to review its effects and make adjustments if needed.

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Published March 19, 2021 at 8:43 am (Updated March 19, 2021 at 8:43 am)

Holiday rental changes introduced for short-term residents

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