'Ask Legal Neil' - How do I find out if a property is rent-controlled?

We have the third in our series of questions for 'Ask Legal Neil'. Neil this month discusses rent control here in Bermuda.

Q: How do I find out if a property is rent-controlled?

Rent control essentially refers to laws mandating the maximum rent that landlords may charge tenants. 

Often buyers and residents – particularly tenants - are not always clear about rent control here in Bermuda. 

Rent-controlled property in Bermuda applies to residential tenancies of dwellings with an annual rental value (“ARV”) threshold of $27,000 or less.

You can find the ARV of a property at the Land Valuation Department’s website at www.landvaluation.bm.

Other points to consider: 

Contact the Rent Commissioner’s office (www.gov.bm) to find out if a controlled rent has ever been set for a property – personnel there are very approachable.

If the property has never been let before, the first rental is not subject to Rent control. Subsequent lets should not be at a rental exceeding that of the first let unless approved by the Rent Commissioner.

If purchasing a home with a rental unit, get copies of previous lease agreements to find out whether the rent charged was in compliance; non-compliance can be expensive for the owner and possibly those who buy the property from the owner.

Persons looking to purchase a home can deal with potential liabilities by way of a property price reduction.

Neil Molyneux is a member of the Property Practice Group at Appleby (Bermuda) Limited.

The above content should not be used as a substitute for professional legal advice.  Before proceeding with any matters discussed here, persons are advised to consult with a lawyer.

If you have any questions you would like to ask Neil - on any and all legal matters regarding Bermuda property, please direct your questions to sales@propertyskipper.com

Hi Beverley, sorry to hear your news. Please consult with a litigation attorney to find out your options and possible remedies - Posted by Hi on 24/10/2019 4:05

Hi Neil. My Apartment has been Rented for 2 months. It is Rented on Month to Month Lease. I even lowed the Rent for her. I am not Please or Happy with the Tenant. Nor is she with me. I had a meeting with her pointing out what my Concerns was. she is not approachable. What are my Rights as a Landlord? - Posted by Beverly on 24/10/2019 1:58

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