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The Bahamas is a coral-based archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean, comprising 700 islands and cays that range from uninhabited to resort-packed. The northernmost, Grand Bahama, and Paradise Island, home to the sprawling Atlantis resort, are among the best known. Scuba diving and snorkeling sites include the massive Andros Barrier Reef, Thunderball Grotto (of James Bond fame) and the black-coral gardens off Bimini.

380,000

The Bahamas enjoy around 320 sunny days a year. Daytime temperatures December to April average 70°F (21°C), and June to September a perfect 80°F (26°C). In general, the islands are balmy year-round, with cooling, near-constant trade winds blowing by day from the east. The so-called rainy season extends from late May to November; hurricane season is June to November.

High season typically runs from mid-December to mid-April, when hotel prices are at their most expensive. Some hotels are booked solid around Christmas and Easter, and college spring break in March means Nassau and Grand Bahama crawl with rum-fueled revelers. During low season, many hotels reduce their rates significantly. Some Out Island hotels close, but tourist accommodations are always available.

 

Bahamian dollar

English

Yes. The International Persons Landholding Act, 1993, provides for the sale of real property in The Bahamas to non-Bahamians.

Property prices vary from area to area. The Bahamas is home to a number of exclusive property developments where homes can cost several million dollars. For those who do not possess great wealth there are always cheaper properties available. Stamp duty is payable on house purchases and any house worth over $250,000 is subject to stamp duty of 10%, which is usually divided between the purchaser and the seller. The stamp duty for foreigners used to be double that charged to a native Bahamian, but this has been changed to encourage foreign investment.

A permit is required for foreigners to purchase land of 5 acres or more before the land can be developed. Failure to obtain a permit will nullify the purchase. Once the purchase is agreed and the intended usage changes the alterations to the plans must be approved by the authorities.

If a foreigner owns a property in the Bahamas they are entitled to a resident card (for which a fee is payable) and which entitles the owner and his immediate family to enter and stay in the Bahamas. This card is renewed annually and the fee is around $500 per year.

If buying a property to rent out to tenants it is necessary to register with the Investment Board though most expats will be buying for themselves. When buying a property there are a number of fees which are payable on top of the purchase price in the form of legal fees and various taxes.

It is possible for an expat to obtain a mortgage in the Bahamas and there are many advisors who can help with the process, although expats looking to buy property in the country are expected to already have funds in place when they arrive.

Property prices in the Bahamas are relatively high at the moment and it is unlikely that homes will lose their value due to the popularity of the destination. Most expats will choose to settle in one of the more densely populated areas, particularly if they move to the islands for work. Nassau and Freeport have many expats living there but as the islanders are so welcoming they mingle easily and expats do not tend to form their own communities.

The seller will pay:

  • The real estate agent’s commission (if an agent is involved)—see Real Estate Commissions below.
  • Their own legal fees—typically 2½% of the gross contract price.
  • ½ of the Government Stamp Tax—see Government Stamp Tax on Property Conveyances below.

The purchaser will pay:

  • 10% of the contract price upon signing of the sales agreement, with the remainder due at closing.
  • Their own legal fees—typically 2½% of the gross contract price.
  • ½ of the Government Stamp Tax—see Government Stamp Tax on Property Conveyances below.
  • Recording fees ($3.50 per page) on the conveyance and other closing documents which need to be recorded.
  • Payment of the permit under the International Persons Landholding Act if applicable

Renting property in the Bahamas is relatively easy if you are looking for a short-term holiday let, but finding something long term can be a little more difficult. Most rental properties available are to be found in the bigger towns, though there are some rental properties in more secluded locations.

When renting a Bahamian property there are several different types of leases available. A gross lease means that the landlord will pay all property charges normally associated with ownership. A net lease (or full repairing lease) means that the tenant will pay all charges related to the property. These charges might include maintenance, repairs and taxes. When renting a property the landlord or letting agent should be able to clarify any issues or questions you may have about the lease.

Rents are negotiable and properties which have a value of $25,000 or less cannot be rented out for more than 15% of that value. The maximum rent rises to 20% if the property is let furnished. There are several issues with this law, the main one being that since the Bahamas is such a desirable location that very few, if any, properties are worth less than $25,000 and there is no regulation on properties worth more than that amount. There are currently moves to change this value to $75,000 which will affect more properties but will still not be applicable for properties in the more affluent areas.

 

 

Deposits are payable and most landlords will require a bond, which varies in value, and payment of the first and last month’s rent in advance. Non payment of rent can result in eviction without notice and court proceedings to collect unpaid monies. It is not necessary to obtain a court order to evict the tenant and the landlord has the right to involve the police. Tenants who feel they have been evicted without due cause may take the landlord to court. It is advisable to try to solve any problems without recourse to the courts as the legal system in the Bahamas can prove expensive for both sides and very time consuming.

Tenancy agreements vary, but are usually for a fixed period. It is possible to obtain a tenancy agreement which renews each month but these are rarely used. It may be that a tenancy agreement includes domestic help, particularly if renting in one of the more affluent areas though if required domestic help is easily found.

 

infomation from http://www.expatfocus.com/

 

The Landlord pays the Agents Fees