Acquiring Property in Bermuda

While the first step is to contact a Bermuda Property lawyer here is some information to get you started.  This is just an overview and is not intended to be legal advice.  This information is just the tip of the iceberg.  In order to keep it short and to the point we have left out Acquistion of tourist accommodations/hotel, undeveloped land, inheritance, voluntary conveyance etc.

Licence to Acquire Property:

A non-Bermudian wishing to acquire property in Bermuda must obtain a licence from the Minister responsible for immigration.  Applicants must complete the prescribed form and are required to supply a banker's reference and two personal references from people who have known them for at least three years.  The referees need not be Bermudian, although this is preferable.  Evidence must also be given to show that Bermudians have been given a fair opportunity to acquire the property.  Copies of advertisements appearing in local newspapers are currently satisfactory evidence.  A licence when granted, will contain a number of conditions.

Licence Fee:

The fees for the grant of a licence issued by the Minister responsible for immigration to a non-Bermudian to acquire property in Bermuda are currently:

  • Purchase of a freehold house - 12.5% of the value of the property
  • Purchase of a leasehold condo - 8% of the value of the property
  • Purchase of tourist accommodation or hotel residence with election to keep for private use - 6.5% of the value of the property or interest
  • Purchase of tourist accommodation or hotel residence with election to place in hotel inventory - 0% of the value of the property or interest
  • Purchase of either a freehold house or a leasehold condo by a permanent resident's certificate holder - 6% of the value of the property
  • Purchase of any other type of land not mentioned above however acquired - 5% of the value of the property or interest

Acquisition of a House

In order for a freehold house to qualify for purchase by a non-Bermudian (other than one with a Permanent Resident's Certificate), it must have an Annual Rental Value ("A.R.V") at lease equivalent to the minimum established by the Government from time to time.  Currently the minimum A.R.V. is set at $126,000, ensuring that only the higher valued properties are available for non-Bermudian purchase.  (It should be noted that the A.R.V. is established by the Land Valuation Office from time to time and the amount of Land Tax payable is calculated as a percentage of the A.R.V; the A.R.V. is a notional value and does not indicate the amount of rent a property would achieve if let on the open market).

Acquisition of Condominiums

Condominiums are only available for purchase by certain categories of non-Bermudians, being Permanent Resident Certificate holders, holders of residential certificates and individuals with a close Bermuda "nexus" (such as the non-Bermudian parent or child of a Bermudian).  The minimum A.R.V for such persons without a Bermuda "nexus" is $25,800.  There is no minimum for those with a Bermuda "nexus".

Title to Property

Generally, a non-Bermudian who is granted a licence to acquire property will be required, under the terms of that licence, to hold the property in his individual name and will be permitted to hold title through a company or a trust.  This is intended to prevent property from remaining in non-Bermudian ownership indefinitely.  A limited exception exists whereby a property may be held in a trust for a limited time period not exceeding the life of the named beneficiary or surviving beneficiary where there is more than one.  An application for a licence permitting such ownership structure will be considered on a case-by-case basis.


There is no income or profits tax, withholding tax, capital gains tax, capital transfer tax, estate duty or inheritance tax payable by persons ordinarily resident in Bermuda.  As previously mentioned, Land Tax is payable by a property owner and is calculated as a percentage of the A.R.V.  Certain deeds, for example, conveyances of freehold and leasehold property and mortgages, attract ad valorem stamp duty.  Further, ad valorem stamp duty is payable on the Affidavit of Value of the estate of a person who dies owning property in Bermuda, but only upon the value of the Bermuda asset.


To reiterate, this information is not legal advice, and it is highly recommended to seek and hire a Bermuda Lawyer to assist you in acquiring Bermuda Real Estate.  Kim Sheen Properties make no representation as to the accuracy of this information.  This is simply for information purposes only.