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Bahamas Real Estate Guide to Permits, Residency and More
By Ester Napoli
Bahamas Real Estate Guide to Permits, Residency and More by Ester Napoli
White sand beaches, clear blue waters, tax breaks, real estate and property; the Bahamas never
looked so good. And yes, I said real estate. Bahamian real estate is hotter than ever.
In 1993, the International Persons Landholding Act was put into motion to encourage foreigners to
purchase a second home in The Bahamas. And it couldn't be simpler. If a foreigner buys a single
family dwelling or vacant land to be used in the construction of such a dwelling, then he no longer
needs to obtain a permit from the Government prior to the purchase. He only needs to register the
acquisition later with the Investments Board. Permanent residents of the Bahamas and foreigners who
inherit property in the Bahamas don't have to obtain a permit before acquiring land but must register
However, there are cases where a permit will be needed for Bahamas real estate. First, if the property
is undeveloped land and of five acres in size or larger. Secondly, if the property is not a private
residence, or it is not intended for development as such, a permit is needed.
In dealing with mortgages, the act is not meant to be a road block. In fact, it provides that licensed
banks, trust, and insurance companies who acquire an interest in or take possession of property under
a court order must register that acquisition. An acquisition by way of foreclosure under a mortgage or
of land acquired by an authorized foreign state will not require a permit but must be registered.
With leases, foreigners are not required to obtain permits, register leases, or letting agreements unless
they are for trade or business purposes and the term can exceed 21 years.
Bahamas Real Estate Guide to Permits, Residency and