The Rent Increases (Domestic Premises) Control Act 1978 provides tenants with security of tenure. The Act requires a landlord to show that he has a lawful ground for terminating a tenancy and to prove in a court, if necessary, the just cause for serving a tenant a notice-to-quit.
The Rent Increases (Domestic Premises) Control Act 1978 also controls increases in rent. The Act requires that every rent increase on a tenancy of a dwelling must be approved by the Rent Commissioner before being charged to a tenant.
10 Things You Should Know About the Rent Increases (Domestic Premises) Control Act 1978
- Any single tenancy of a residential unit which has an annual rental value (ARV) in the current Valuation List of $22,800 or less is subject to the Rent Increases (Domestic Premises) Control Act 1978. The ARV of a property may be found at www.landvaluation.bm or on the Valuation List on display at your local post office or library.
- A landlord may serve on a tenant a notice-to-quit for any of the following reasons:
For failure to pay rent or for breach of any other covenant or condition of the rental agreement; or
Where a landlord requires the premises for his own occupation, or for the occupation of his father, mother or any child or grandchild of his over the age of 18 years or married; or
Where a landlord wishes to rebuild the premises or intends to carry out major renovations (i.e. extensive, which cannot be carried out with the tenant in occupation); or
Where a landlord specifies that a tenant is undesirable (as defined under the provisions the law) and the landlord has given him an opportunity to remedy the matter complained of and the tenant has failed to do so.
- A landlord can increase a tenant's rent:
Where a landlord and tenant mutually agree to a rent increase, the landlord must lodge an RC/2 application in triplicate with the Rent Commissioner. The tenant can only agree after he or she has been in residence for at least six months. This is still subject to the rent commissioner approval.
Where a tenant does not agree to a landlord's proposal to increase the rent, the landlord must lodge an RC/8 application with the Rent Commissioner for approval to increase the rent.
- A tenancy of a condominium or townhouse or any other residential unit is subject to the Rent Increases (Domestic Premises) Control Act 1978, if the whole of such premise is the subject of a single tenancy and the current ARV of the premises is $22,800 or less.
- A prospective tenant cannot agree to a rent increase. If a landlord wishes to charge a new tenant rent exceeding the maximum chargeable rent under the Act, the landlord must first lodge an RC/7 application with the Rent Commissioner for approval.
- If a landlord or a tenant is unhappy with the rent increase application decision by the Rent Commissioner, either party may lodge an application to have the terms of the initial rent increase certificate reviewed by the Rent Commissioner. In such a case, shall consult the Rent Increases Advisory Panel and shall thereafter serve on the landlord and tenant certificates specifying his decision.
- If a landlord has charged a tenant a rent which is in excess of the maximum chargeable rent under the Act, the tenant may recover from the landlord the excess so charged in accordance with the provisions of the Act.
- A landlord can request that a tenant pay a deposit for a rental premise. However, the deposit should not exceed a half month's (two weeks) rent.
- The Landlord must show a prospective tenant proof of the last chargeable rent:
- A copy of the Rent Commissioner Certificate or Notice of an Agreed Increase of Rent signed by the Rent Commissioner; or
- A statement, in writing, of the lawful rent charged to the last tenant; or
- A copy of a court order showing the lawful chargeable rent for the premise.
10. Properties that fall under Rent Control and wish to engage in a Vacation Rental must apply to Consumer Affairs for a Vacation Rental Certificate which exempts you (from Rent Control) for one year.
Vacation Rental units are defined as any place, land-based or not, which provides sleeping accommodation for nine or fewer guests, for which a charge is made.
Additional Landlord and Tenant Information