Ministry: Vacation Rental Act Commences

July 2, 2018 | 15 Comments

The Ministry of Economic Development and Tourism today [July 2] announced the commencement of the Vacation Rental Act 2018, which requires vacation rental owner to register their property and pay a 4.5% vacation rental fee.

The Ministry is advising homeowners and proprietors of vacation rental units to review the Fact Sheet here on the Government website, and notes that questions can be sent to med@gov.bm or 295-5151 ext. 3457.

The Fact Sheet notes that all Vacation Rental Units are required by law to be registered, and any vacation rental owner who fails to register their property or remit the 4.5% vacation rental fee to the BTA is liable on conviction to pay a fine.

The Vacation Rentals Fact Sheet as on the Government’s website:

1. What is a Vacation Rental Unit?

A Vacation Rental Unit means any place, land-based or not, which provides sleeping accommodation for nine or fewer guests for which a charge is made. The duration of a stay must not exceed a 6 month period to be considered a Vacation Rental Unit.

2. How do I apply for a Vacation Rental Certificate?

Application forms are available at the Ministry of Economic Development and Tourism.

If your property falls under Rent Control please contact the Department of Consumer Affairs for an application form.

3. Does it cost money to register?

No. It is free to register a Vacation Rental Unit.

4. What are the benefits of registering my property?

The Bermuda Tourism Authority will provide general promotional support for vacation rentals. This includes promoting vacation rentals as a category on the BTA website along with a guarantee that your property meets a certain standard..

5. Is there a penalty for not registering?

Yes. All Vacation Rental Units are required by law to be registered with the appropriate Minister. Any vacation rental owner who fails to register their property or remit the 4.5% vacation rental fee to the BTA is liable on conviction to pay a fine not exceeding $10,000 in accordance with Section 15A [8] of the Vacation Rentals Act 2018.

6. Where can I find more information?

You can find more information on the Vacation Rentals Act by calling [441] 295-5151 Ext. 3457 or by emailing med@gov.bm.

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Comments (15)

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  1. facts of the rock says:

    this is just another way the plp takes the Bermuda public!

    • eve says:

      Being fair, it was the OBA that signed with AirBnB and gave BTA the OK to go ahead and propose this ridiculous tax. The tax is paid direct to the BTA; what do rental owners and renters get for the 4.5%?

  2. ProudBermudian says:

    I am really trying hard to understand this.

    If we attract enough visitors then there’s plenty to share between these units and the hotels, and it’s somewhat of a different market anyway.

    Surely vacation rentals effectively self-regulate since if someone doesn’t get a good review, other people just won’t stay there?

    This money stays in Bermuda. Payments to hotels largely don’t, so is it so bad to give these “little guys” a break? Hotels also get bulk discounts, government concessions etc.

    There are a lot of people using these units for retirement funds. Surely in all of our best interests for this to happen since otherwise they would struggle to afford to live? Particularly in light of the woeful state of the pension “pot”.

    As far as applying this – when do people need to register by? Are existing rentals grandfathered in since this can’t be recouped? What’s happened with the Air BnB discussions (where they would collect it on owners behalf). How is this remitted? The fact sheet doesn’t answer any of the questions that EVERYONE will have. Who on earth is running this? It’s terribly done.

    I could go on but am too tired.

    • Paul says:

      Where can I get a form toregister my apt.

    • sage says:

      5 year deferment for people just signing up would even the playing field, along with duty concessions. Which over-entitled six figure ‘earner’ came up with the $10,000 fine?

    • sage says:

      5 year deferment for people just signing on, and duty concessions, to level the field. Which over-entitled six-figure ‘earner’ came up with a $10,000 fine?

  3. lizard says:

    # 5 says that “all vacation units are required by law to be registered with the appropiate minister”. Shouldn’t that read “ministry”. Ministers come and go.

  4. Paul says:

    This vacation rental situation leaves a lot to be desired,it needs to be explained more in detail, where must I go to get a certificate or a form to fill out ?is there a website I can go to and download a form or forms.

  5. Status Bermudian says:

    Is it normal to be given only 2working days notice for the new ACT to implemented?

    I wanted to plays devils advocate so I found and read the’ACT’ . I read that the ”Minister’ has absolute power on who is given the ‘right’ to rent and he only has the last word on pretty much everything!

    The wording seemed rushed through with no substance or any real defind regulations.

    The ‘Minister’ himself gives the right?? Who gets the money- when do the landlords need to submit everything by- what are the regulations they need to adhere to- where’s the check list – so many questions and none answered by this so called fact sheet. Call to ask- how many mis-informed people will say – they spoke to someone who gave the wrong informtion. How many people are there to answer the phones?

    My understanding by also reading in early May from the quote from Mr. Dallas was that Airbnb were to pay BTA direct for all of the Airbnb rented properties- how are Government going to keep who’s who and who’s paid straight. What happens if people book privately and then who knows! Very ambiguous at best.

    This sounds very similar to way back when another act was rushed through: Some people paid the Land holders permit and some didn’t!! Where did that money go to??

    Whatever happens I don’t suppose this is the end of these conversations!

  6. Just a suggestion says:

    If Someone chose, for the very 1st time to enter into the vacation rental industry, using their little basement apartment, would it be classed as an entrepreneurship or vacation rental business.

    Would you get tax relief as previously stated for being an entrepreneur or be liable for tax as previously stated. Very broad, vague and contradicting yet again.

  7. Stevie says:

    Going to be another PLP farce. Just like the white elephant. Grand Atlantic. Same old same old PLP bs. Needing to put money back in the bank to cover their senceless wasted overseas trips.

  8. campervan says:

    We were about to pull the trigger on major renovations with a view to entering the air B&B market.
    Finger is now off the trigger until more clarity and security is provided.
    Sorry construction guys. :-(

  9. Really? says:

    I just emailed med@gov.bm, to ask where to get the form only to be advised by return “…. A copy of the application form will be provided to this email as soon as it is made available.”. Seriously … the form isn’t even ready and the Act is effective as of now? Ridiculous!!!

    • aceboy says:

      Rank amateurs.

    • Question says:

      Typical of the way they do things. 7,000 overpaid public employees and they can’t do a single thing right.

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