Housing Act


Published: 1968-01-09

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Housing Act
HOUSING [CH.199 – 1





LRO 1/2010 STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

HOUSING
CHAPTER 199


HOUSING

LIST OF AUTHORISED PAGES

1 – 8 LRO 1/2010
9 – 12 Original Service
13 – 14 LRO 1/2010
15 – 16 Original Service
17 – 18 LRO 1/2010
19 – 20 Original Service
21 – 22 LRO 1/2010
23 – 28 Original Service
29 – 30 LRO 1/2010


ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS


PART I
PRELIMINARY


SECTION

1. Short title.
2. Interpretation.


PART II
ADMINISTRATION


3. Minister to be a corporation sole.
4. Housing Department.
5. Repealed.
6. Repealed.
7. Application for insurable loan.
8. Powers of the Minister.


PART III
INSURED MORTGAGE LOANS


Insurance of Loans


9. Insurance of loans.
10. Conditions of insurable loans.
11. Authorised limits of loans.
12. Borrower to have policy of life insurance.
13. Insured loan for dwelling house erected by an approved builder for his own

occupation.
14. Insured loan for newly erected completed dwelling house or one that is not

newly erected but is less than five years old.
15. Insured loan for renovations to dwelling house.
16. Insured loans for the enlargement of dwelling houses already mortgaged under

this Act.

CH.199 – 2] HOUSING





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS LRO 1/2010

17. Duty of approved lender to insure mortgaged premises, etc.
18. Implied terms of insured loans.
19. Insurance fee.
20. Discharge of minister’s liability as an insurer.
21. Approval of lenders and builders, etc.
22. Duty to consult town planning authority, etc.


Insurance Settlement


23. Insurance settlement.
24. Mortgage Insurance Fund.


PART IV

AUDIT AND REPORT


25. Accounts, audit and statistics.


PART V
MISCELLANEOUS


26. Matters to be prescribed by regulations.
27. Administrative expenses.
28. Service of notices, etc.
29. Offence of giving false information.
30. Repeal and saving.




HOUSING [CH.199 – 3





LRO 1/2010 STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

CHAPTER 199

HOUSING
An Act to consolidate and amend the law relating to the

housing department; the promotion of construction of new
dwelling houses for persons of moderate means; insurance of
mortgages and purposes connected therewith.

[Commencement 9th January, 1968]

PART I
PRELIMINARY

1. This Act may be cited as the Housing Act.
2. In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires —
“approved builder” means a builder who is approved

for the purposes of this Act, in accordance with
the provisions of section 21 of this Act;

“approved building plot” means a building plot
which is approved by the Minister as complying
with such standards as to situation, availability
of services, amenity and general suitability, as
the Minister may prescribe or otherwise require;

“approved lender” means a lender who is approved
by the Minister for the purposes of this Act in
accordance with the provisions of section 21 of
this Act; and includes, for the purpose only of
enforcing any right, title, power or claim
(whether against the Minister, a borrower,
mortgagor, or any other person) of an approved
lender to or in respect of any insured loan,
mortgage money or mortgaged premises, and
subject to the provisions of paragraph (c) of
section 20 of this Act, any successor in title or
assignee of an approved lender;

“borrower” means a borrower who is approved by the
Minister for the purposes of this Act in accor-
dance with the provisions of section 10(1)(e)


5 of 1968
13 of 1972
30 of 1975
E.L.A.O., 1974
27 of 1976
8 of 1983
19 of 1998
9 of 2009

Short title.

Interpretation.
9 of 2009, s. 2.

CH.199 – 4] HOUSING





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS LRO 1/2010

of this Act, and includes any person to whom
the mortgaged premises have been transferred
in accordance with the provisions of section
10(3) of this Act;

“builder” means a person whose business includes
the building of houses for sale;

“building plot” means an area of land on which a
dwelling house may lawfully be erected;

“dwelling house” includes a building or part thereof
which provides living, sleeping, eating, or food
preparation and sanitary facilities for a family;

“functions” means duties and powers;
“insurable loan” means a loan which complies with

the provisions of section 10, 13, 14 or 16 of this
Act;

“insurable risk” has the meaning ascribed thereto by
section 17 of this Act;

“insurance” means a contract to insure, and includes
a reference to any policy or other document by
which it is evidenced;

“insurance fee” means the charge made by the
Minister in accordance with the provisions of
this Act for insuring a loan;

“insured loan” means a loan in respect of which there
is in force an insurance by the Minister under
this Act;

“lending value” means the value of any premises as a
reasonably adequate security for a loan which is
secured by a mortgage thereon determined by
the Minister or otherwise to the satisfaction of
the Minister by such manner of assessment as
the Minister may prescribe or otherwise require;

“loan” means a loan or an agreement to make a loan;
“Minister” means the Minister responsible for Hous-

ing;
“mortgage” means a first charge on land for securing

money, being a conveyance by way of mortgage
of the estate of the mortgagor in such land;

19 of 1998, s. 2.

13 of 1972, s. 2.

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“Mortgage Insurance Fund” means the fund referred
to in section 24(1) of this Act;

“mortgage money” means money secured by a
mortgage;

“owner” in relation to any premises means the owner
of the entirety of the premises for a legal estate
in fee simple absolute in possession, being an
estate which is not subject to any lease or
tenancy, and which is free from trusts and
incumbrances;

“prescribe” in relation to the Minister, means to
prescribe in accordance with the provisions of
section 26 of this Act, and the word “prescribed”
shall be construed accordingly;

“repealed Act” means the Housing Act repealed by
section 30 of this Act;

“service charges” includes the following charges
made by the lender to the borrower in respect of
an insured loan —
(a) any application fee paid by the lender

under this Act;
(b) the cost of survey and of obtaining a

certificate of survey;
(c) attorneys’ fees and disbursements —

(i) for searching and settling the title to
the premises;

(ii) for preparing the mortgage and for
necessary copies thereof;

(iii) for such other searches of title as
may be necessary to ensure the
priority of the mortgage taken as
security for the loan; and

(iv) for preparing and taking any other
security for the loan.

(2) References in this Act to any other enactment
shall be construed as references to that enactment as
amended by any other enactment including this Act.

(3) References in this Act to dollars and cents shall
be construed as references to dollars and cents in Bahamian
currency.

CH.199 – 6] HOUSING





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS LRO 1/2010

PART II
ADMINISTRATION

3. (1) The Minister shall, as respects the functions
assigned to him by or under this Act, be a corporation sole,
with power to acquire, hold, lease, and dispose of property,
to enter into contracts, to sue and be sued and to do all
things necessary for the purposes of this Act and all
property transferred to the Minister by this Act or any other
Act or which otherwise becomes vested in him shall be
held by him in trust for Her Majesty in right of Her
Government of The Bahamas for the purposes of this Act.

(2) Upon and by virtue of the appointment of any
person to be the Minister charged with the responsibility
for the administration of this Act, the benefit and burden of
all deeds, contracts, bonds, securities and things in action
vested in his predecessor at the time of his predecessor
ceasing to hold office shall be transferred to and vested in
and enure to the person so appointed in the same manner as
if he had been contracted with instead of his predecessor
and as if his name had been inserted in all such deeds,
contracts, bonds, or securities instead of the name of his
predecessor.

(3) The Housing Corporation which was dissolved
on the seventh day of January, 1964, shall be deemed to be
the predecessor of the Minister.

4. There shall be a Housing Department of the
Government, comprising a Chief Housing Officer and such
other officers as may from time to time be authorised by
Parliament, which shall be subject to the general direction
and control of the Minister.

5. Repealed.
6. Repealed.
7. Every application made under this Act for a loan

to be deemed an insurable loan shall be referred by the
Chief Housing Officer to the Minister who after making
such enquiries as he deems fit, shall send a decision in
writing to the Chief Housing Officer who shall
communicate the decision to the approved lender and the
prospective borrower.

8. (1) The Minister may —

Minister to be a
corporation sole.

13 of 1972, s. 4.

Housing
Department.

9 of 2009.

9 of 2009.

Application for
insurable loan.
9 of 2009.

Powers of the
Minister.

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(a) construct dwelling houses upon land owned by
the Government or to be acquired for such
purposes;

(b) acquire dwelling houses, land or housing
projects by way of purchase, lease or otherwise;

(c) sell, lease, exchange or otherwise dispose of real
or personal property acquired by him pursuant to
this Act;

(d) carry out housing development (including the
provision of utilities and roads) building, main-
tenance, repair and other operations;

(e) carry on any business or undertaking in or for
the purposes of any housing development;

(f) grant loans on such terms and conditions as he
deems fit, to person of low and middle incomes
for the purpose of the rehabilitation and
improvement of dwelling houses;

(g) promote and encourage the construction of new
dwelling houses of sound construction and
affording suitable accommodation for families
of low or middle incomes and senior citizens;

(h) promote or encourage the means of financing
and construction of dwelling houses for the
benefit of persons wishing to own and occupy
such houses to such extent as may be necessary
to meet the public need in various parts of The
Bahamas;

(i) purchase a mortgage redemption policy of
insurance to provide life insurance coverage to
approved borrowers;

(j) promote and encourage the establishment of
such projects and facilities as would appear to
him to enhance the standard of living, general
welfare and well-being of persons and for those
purposes to exercise the powers hereinbefore
conferred upon him.

(2) In pursuance of his functions under subsection
(1), the Minister may undertake such investigations and
surveys, analysis and research as may appear to the
Minister to be necessary or appropriate, including (without
prejudice to the generality of the foregoing) the collection
of data and information on any of the following matters —

(a) the housing census of The Bahamas, and factors
affecting the total supply of housing;

8 of 1983, s. 4.

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS LRO 1/2010

(b) the current and prospective supply of and
demand for housing suitable for families of low
and middle income;

(c) the availability of land suitable for building;
(d) the design and construction of dwelling houses;

with particular references to method, materials,
comfort and cost; or

(e) the business of lending money on mortgage, and
market problems associated therewith.

HOUSING [CH.199 – 9



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[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

PART III
INSURED MORTGAGE LOANS

Insurance of Loans
9. (1) The Minister is authorised, upon application by

an approved lender —
(a) to insure any loan which is eligible for insurance

under this Act (in this Act referred to as “an
insurable loan”); and

(b) to enter into a commitment to insure an
insurable loan before it has been made or
advanced.

(2) The Minister shall, upon application by the
lender, issue an insurance policy to the lender in respect of
a loan which is insured under this Act (in this Act referred
to as an “insured loan”) and every such policy of insurance
shall bear a serial number which shall be indexed by the
Housing Department.

(3) The Minister shall at all times in the exercise of
his functions under this Part of this Act use his best
endeavours to ensure that he does not, by insuring any
loan —

(a) unduly increase the loss or risk of loss to the
Government consequent upon the default of
borrowers under insured loans;

(b) assist the borrower to construct a dwelling house
which, when completed, will not be required by
him for occupation by himself or by himself and
his family; or

(c) assist the borrower to construct or pay for the
construction of one dwelling house while he is
still being assisted by means of another insured
loan to construct or pay for the construction of
another dwelling house.

(4) A loan made in foreign currency shall be eligible
for insurance under this Act if it is made with prior
approval of the Controller of Exchange appointed under
the provisions of the Exchange Control Regulations Act,
and is made in compliance with the provisions of sections
10, 13, 14 or 16 of this Act.

Insurance of
loans.

Ch. 360.

CH.199 – 10] HOUSING





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

10. (1) Subject to the provisions of subsection (4) of
this section, a loan is eligible for insurance under this Act
if all the following conditions are satisfied, that is to say —

(a) the loan is made by an approved lender;
(b) the loan is made in respect of the erection on an

approved building plot by an approved builder
of a dwelling house of which the plans and
specifications have been approved by the Minis-
ter;

(c) the Minister is satisfied that the lending value of
the said dwelling house on the day of its
completion (together with the said plot) will
exceed the amount of the loan by a sum
calculated in accordance with section 11 of this
Act;

(d) the loan is made before any building work, other
than excavation, has been commenced in respect
of the said dwelling house or where the building
work has been commenced, it is certified that
the building and the plans after being properly
inspected conform to the requirements of the
Buildings Regulation Act and the Town Plan-
ning Act and the requirements of the Minister;

(e) the loan is made to a person (in this Act referred
to as “the borrower”) who provides evidence
satisfactory to the Minister that he —

(i) is not less than eighteen years of age;
(ii) is the owner of the building plot on which

the dwelling house is to be erected or on
which the dwelling house has been com-
menced or completed or has entered into
an enforceable agreement to purchase such
building plot;

(iii) is not under any liability to an approved
lender under any loan previously made by
an approved lender and insured by the
Minister under this Act;

(iv) intends to occupy the said dwelling house as
a residence for himself or for himself and his
family;

Conditions of
insurable loans.

Ch. 200.
Ch. 255.

27 of 1976, s. 2.

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[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

(v) is, having regard to any matters including
his means of livelihood which may appear
to the Minister to be material, likely to
discharge his obligations under the loan;

and is otherwise acceptable to the Minister as a
borrower;

(f) the approved builder has entered into a building
contract with the borrower in such terms as the
Minister may prescribe or otherwise require or
approve, for the erection in a proper and
workmanlike manner and in accordance with the
plans and specifications approved as aforesaid,
of a dwelling house on the building plot;

(g) the loan is made subject to such terms as the
Minister may prescribe or otherwise require,
including terms as to the advancement of the
loan, whether by instalments or otherwise, for
securing that the obligations under the building
contract of the approved builder to the borrower
and of the borrower to the approved builder are
discharged, and for securing that any failure on
the part of the approved builder to erect the
dwelling house in a proper and workmanlike
manner, or in accordance with the approved
plans and specifications, is remedied;

(h) the loan bears interest at a rate not exceeding the
prescribed rate;

(i) the loan is secured by a mortgage in favour of
the approved lender on the approved building
plot (including the said dwelling house when
erected thereon), which is in such form as may
be prescribed or otherwise required or approved
by the Minister and which is secured by such
further security, assignments, assurances and
agreements as the Minister may prescribe or
otherwise require or approve;

(j) the loan is made on terms that all the mortgage
money shall be repaid within a period of thirty
years following the date on which tie first
advance is made under the loan, and on such
other terms as to the payment of principal
(including the insurance fee, service charges,
charges for installation or connection of utilities,
building permit fees and other charges) and


8 of 1983, s. 5.

CH.199 – 12] HOUSING





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

interest by equal monthly instalments or other-
wise as the Minister may prescribe or otherwise
require or approve;

(k) the loan is made on such terms not inconsistent
with the provisions of this Act with respect to
insurance, repairs, alterations, payment of taxes
on property, payment of service charges and
other charges; remedies of the lender in the
event of the borrower’s default under the loan,
terms limiting or affecting the rights of the
borrower to assign or convey his estate or
interest in any premises or other property on
which the loan is secured, as the Minister may
prescribe or otherwise require or approve; and

(l) the loan is made on such other terms, not
inconsistent with the provisions of this Act, as
the Minister may prescribe or otherwise require,
for the purpose of ensuring that the Minister
does not insure loans which are not in his
opinion acceptable risks, having regard on the
one hand to the amount of the insurance fee, and
on the other hand to the need for providing
housing for families of low and middle incomes.

(2) The following provisions shall have effect for the
purpose of facilitating the arranging of insured loans —

(a) the Minister may, on such terms as he may
direct, approve, consent to or accept evidence of
any matter or thing for any purpose connected
with the fulfilment by any loan of the conditions
provided in subsection (1) of this section before
that loan is made or before any application is
made for the insurance of that loan by the
Minister;

(b) no mortgage, conveyance, contract, agreement
or bond shall fail to satisfy any of the conditions
provided in subsection (1) of this section for the
reason only that it is made conditional upon the
insurance of any loan by the Minister.

(3) With the approval of the Minister and the
approved lender the borrower may transfer the mortgaged
premises to a person who would have been eligible as a
borrower under the provisions of this Act to receive a loan
under this Act.

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(4) No loan shall be eligible for insurance under this
Act if the lending value of the premises in respect of which
the loan is sought exceeds two hundred and fifty thousand
dollars:

Provided that the lending value of the premises shall
not include the value of the building plot on which the
dwelling house is constructed where its inclusion would
cause the said lending value to exceed two hundred and
fifty thousand dollars.

11. (1) A loan shall not be eligible for insurance under
this Act if the amount of the loan exceeds ninety-five per
centum of the lending value of the house on the date of
completion.

(2) For the purposes of subsection (1) of this section


(a) where a loan is made in a foreign currency, the
percentages specified in subsection (1) of this
section shall be calculated upon the equivalent
in Bahamian currency of the lending value or
proportion thereof expressed in that foreign
currency; and

(b) the lending value of the dwelling house shall
include the value of the approved building plot
on which the dwelling house is constructed and
also the insurance fee, service charges, charges
for installation or connection of utilities,
building permit fees and other charges payable
in respect of the loan:

Provided that where, in accordance with the proviso
to section 10(4) of this Act, the value of the approved
building plot is excluded, then, the lending value of the
dwelling house shall not include the value of the approved
building plot.

12. A loan shall not be eligible for insurance under
this Act unless the borrower or the person to whom any
mortgaged premises are transferred in accordance with
section 10 either —

30 of 1975, s. 3.
9 of 2009, s. 6.
19 of 1998, s. 3.

19 of 1998, s. 3.
9 of 2009, s. 6.

8 of 1998, s. 5.

Authorised limits
of loans.
13 of 1972, s. 6.
19 of 1998, s. 4.
9 of 2009, s. 7.

8 of 1983, s. 6.

Borrower to have
policy of life
insurance.
8 of 1983, s. 7.

CH.199 – 14] HOUSING





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS LRO 1/2010

(a) has a valid policy of insurance on his life with
an insurance company approved by the Minister
for such an amount as is sufficient to cover the
full amount of the loan; or

(b) if he has no such policy, takes out either an
insurance policy on his life or a mortgage
redemption policy with an insurance company
approved by the Minister and,

undertakes to maintain the policy of insurance by regular
payment of premiums, assigns the benefits of such policy
to the lender and deposits the policy with the lender.

13. (1) Notwithstanding the provisions of
paragraphs (f) and (g) of section 10(1) of this Act and
subject to the provisions of subsection (2) of this section
the Minister may on the application of an approved lender
insure a loan made to an approved builder to enable him to
erect a dwelling house which he intends to occupy as a
residence for himself or for himself and his family.

(2) In the case of an application by an approved
lender under the provisions of subsection (1) of this section
the conditions set out in section 10(1) of this Act shall
apply save that in lieu of the conditions prescribed by
paragraphs (f) and (g) thereof the Minister shall be satisfied
that under the agreement for the loan the approved builder
is bound to erect the dwelling house in a proper and
workmanlike manner and in accordance with the plans and
specifications approved by the Minister and that the
approved builder will forthwith remedy any failure to
comply with such conditions.

14. In addition to the other powers vested in the
Minister under this Act, the Minister shall have power to
insure loans for the purchase of dwelling houses in respect
of which all the following conditions are fulfilled, that is to
say —

(a) the loan is made in respect of a completed
dwelling house which either —

(i) is newly erected on an approved building
plot in accordance with plans and specifica-
tions approved by the Minister by an
approved builder who is bound by any
enforceable contract to remedy forthwith
any failure on his part to erect the said
dwelling house in a proper and workman-
like manner; or

Insured loan for
dwelling house
erected by an
approved builder
for his own
occupation.

Insured loan for
newly erected
completed
dwelling house or
one that is not
newly erected but
is less than five
years old.

HOUSING [CH.199 – 15



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[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

(ii) not being newly erected has been con-
structed to such design and specifications
as the Minister may approve and is
certified by an inspector appointed by the
Minister to have been constructed in a
good and workmanlike manner and to be
in a good state of repair.

(b) all the conditions prescribed in paragraphs (a),
(c), (d), (e) and (h) to (l) inclusive of section
10(1) of this Act are mutatis mutandis satisfied.

15. The Minister may insure loans for alteration,
enlargement, repair or improvement of dwelling houses
under this Act where the dwelling house is not subject to
any mortgage or charge if all the following conditions are
satisfied —

(a) the loan is made in respect of a completed
dwelling house which is certified by an inspector
appointed by the Minister to have been con-
structed in a good and workmanlike manner and
is capable of being put in a state of good repair;

(b) the plans and specifications for the alteration,
enlargement, repair or improvement are ap-
proved by the Minister;

(c) the loan is made on terms that all the mortgage
money shall be repaid within fifteen years
following the date on which the first advance is
made under the loan or the estimated life of the
building, whichever is less and on such terms as
to the payment of the principal (including the
insurance fee, service charges, loan commitment
fee, charges for installation or connection of
utilities, building permit fees, and other charges)
and interest by equal instalments, or otherwise
as the Minister may prescribe or otherwise
require or approve;

(d) the Minister is satisfied that the amount of the
loan does not exceed forty-two thousand dollars;

(e) an approved builder has entered into a building
contract with the borrower for the structural
alterations, additions, repairs or improvements
to the dwelling house on such terms as the
Minister may prescribe or otherwise require and


8 of 1983, s. 8.

Insured loan for
renovations to
dwelling house.
8 of 1983, s. 9.

19 of 1998, s. 5.

CH.199 – 16] HOUSING





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

in a proper and workmanlike manner in accor-
dance with the plans and specifications approved
by the Minister;

(f) the loan bears interest at a rate not exceeding the
prescribed rate;

(g) the loan is made subject to such terms as the
Minister may prescribe or otherwise require,
including terms as to the advancement of the
loan whether by instalments or otherwise for
securing that the obligations under the building
contract of the approved builder to the borrower
and of the borrower to the approved builder are
discharged and for securing that any failure on
the part of the approved builder to erect the
structural alterations, additions, repairs or im-
provements in a proper and workmanlike
manner or in accordance with the approved
plans and specifications is forthwith remedied;

(h) the loan is secured by a mortgage in favour of
the approved lender on the dwelling house and
lot (including the structural alterations,
additions, repairs or improvements when
erected) which is in such form as may be
prescribed or otherwise required or approved by
the Minister and which is secured by such
further security, assignments, assurances and
agreements as the Minister may prescribe or
otherwise require or approve;

(i) the conditions prescribed in paragraphs (k) and
(l) of section 10(1) of this Act are satisfied.

16. (1) Where an approved borrower has an insured
loan (hereinafter referred to as the “original loan”) that has
not been fully repaid and for the purpose of making
structural additions to the mortgaged premises such
borrower has made an agreement with the approved lender
for a further loan (hereinafter referred to as the “further
loan”) to be secured upon such dwelling house, the
Minister may insure such further loan in accordance with
the other provisions of this Act if all the following
conditions are satisfied, that is to say —

(a) the need for the increased accommodation arises
from an increase in the number or age of the
members of the borrower’s family or his depen-
dants;

Insured loans for
the enlargement
of dwelling
houses already
mortgaged under
this Act.

HOUSING [CH.199 – 17





LRO 1/2010 STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

(b) the approved borrower has not defaulted in
respect of the original loan and continues in
every respect to be acceptable to the Minister as
a borrower;

(c) the dwelling house is not subject to any
mortgage or charge other than that arising from
the original loan;

(d) the plans and specifications for the structural
additions are approved by the Minister;

(e) the Minister is satisfied that the amount out-
standing on the original loan together with the
amount of the further loan will not exceed the
sum of ninety-five per centum of the lending
value of the dwelling house when the structural
additions are complete and in any case that the
said lending value will not exceed two hundred
and fifty thousand dollars or its equivalent in a
foreign currency.

(f) an approved builder has entered into a building
contract with the borrower for the erection of the
structural additions to the dwelling house on
such terms as the Minister may prescribe or
otherwise require including provisions for the
erection of such additions in a proper and
workmanlike manner in accordance with the
plans and specifications approved by the Minis-
ter;

(g) the loan is made subject to such terms as the
Minister may prescribe or otherwise require
including terms as to the advancement of the
further loan whether by instalments or otherwise
for securing that the obligations under the
building contract of the approved builder to the
borrower and of the borrower to the approved
builder are discharged and for securing
that any failure on the part of the approved


9 of 2009, s. 8.

CH.199 – 18] HOUSING





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS LRO 1/2010

builder to erect the structural additions in a
proper and workmanlike manner or in accor-
dance with the approved plans and specifications
is forthwith remedied;

(h) the further loan bears interest at a rate not
exceeding the prescribed rate;

(i) the further loan is secured by a supplementary
deed of mortgage or further charge or by an
endorsement on the original mortgage in favour
of the approved lender on the mortgaged
premises (including the structural additions
when erected) so that the whole amount
(including the further loan) outstanding at the
date of the further loan is subject in all respects
to such terms and conditions as the Minister may
prescribe or otherwise require or approve and
which conform with the provisions of para-
graphs (i) to (l) inclusive of section 10(1) of this
Act:

Provided that if the approved borrower and
approved lender so agree, the Minister may
permit the period of repayment of the whole
loan to be extended for such reasonable period
as he may think fit not exceeding the period
specified in section 10(1)(j) of this Act.

(2) The insurance fee in respect of a further loan
insured under the powers conferred by this section shall be
the sum equal to two per centum of the amount of the
further loan and the provisions of section 19 of this Act
shall apply mutatis mutandis.

(3) Where the Minister exercises his powers of
insurance under this section, the further loan and such part
of the original loan as remains outstanding at the date of
the further loan shall together be deemed to be an insured
loan within the meaning of this Act save in so far as the
context of any provision thereof otherwise requires.

(4) For the purposes of paragraph (e) of subsection
(1) of this section, the lending value of the dwelling house
shall include the insurance fee, service charges, charges for
installation or connection of utilities, building permit fees
and other charges payable in respect of the further loan.

13 of 1972, s. 8;
8 of 1983, s. 10.

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17. (1) Subject to the provisions of this section,
every premises which is a security for an insured loan shall
be insured and kept insured by the lender against all
insurable risks (as defined in the next succeeding
subsection) for the full amount of the value of the property
at the date of the making of the insured loan, or for such
greater or lesser amount as the Minister may, from time to
time, having regard to any fluctuations in the cost of
building, require by notice in writing to the lender.

(2) The expression “insurable risk” means loss or
damage by such occurrences or combination of occur-
rences as the Minister may prescribe to be insurable risks
for the purposes of this Act:

Provided that a lender shall not be under any duty to
insure or keep insured any premises against any occurrence
which is not an insurable risk on the date on which the loan
secured by such premises is insured by the Minister.

(3) All moneys received by the lender under an
insurance effected in accordance with the provisions of this
section shall be applied by the lender acting on the
borrower’s behalf in employing an approved builder to
make good the loss or damage in respect of which such
moneys are received:

Provided that if —
(a) it is not reasonably practicable to make good

such loss or damage within a period of twelve
months following the occurrence of such loss or
damage; or

(b) the Minister is satisfied, on timely application
made in that behalf by the lender or by the
borrower, that it is either not reasonably
practicable or not desirable that such loss or
damage should be made good out of such
moneys,

and the Minister so directs, all such moneys shall be
applied in or towards the discharge of the borrower’s
liabilities to the lender, and any balance remaining
thereafter shall be paid to the borrower.

(4) All premiums paid by the lender in accordance
with the provisions of this section shall be a charge on the
premises insured in like manner as the principal sum of the
loan, and with the same priority and with interest at the
same rate, and references in this Act to the principal sum


13 of 1972, s. 9.

Duty of
approved lender
to insure
mortgaged
premises, etc.

CH.199 – 20] HOUSING





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

and to interest thereon shall include references to such
premiums and to such interest thereon respectively.

(5) The provisions of section 21(1)(b) and of section
25 of the Conveyancing and Law of Property Act, and of
any enactment amending or extending any of those
provisions, shall not apply to any mortgage for securing
any loan which is insured by the Minister under this Act;
and the provisions of this section of this Act shall have
effect notwithstanding any enactment, rule of law or
contract to the contrary; and an approved lender shall have
all the powers necessary for compliance with the
provisions of this section.

18. Without prejudice to any other rights or remedies
of the Minister as an insurer, there shall be implied in every
insurance of a loan by the Minister under this Act,
notwithstanding the express terms of such insurance, each of
the following terms, namely —

(a) that if the lender is negligent in the administra-
tion of the loan or in the protection of the
security for the loan, whether before or after the
realisation of that security, then —

(i) the liability of the Minister to the lender
under the insurance shall be reduced to such
extent, if any, as it is the result of such
negligence; and

(ii) any dispute as to the fact or extent of such
negligence, or as to whether or to what
extent the liability of the Minister should be
reduced in consequence of such negligence,
shall be referred for arbitration to a sole
arbitrator acceptable to the Minister and to
the lender, or if no sole arbitrator is
acceptable to both parties, then to three
arbitrators, one of whom shall be chosen by
each party and the third of whom shall be
chosen by the other two, and the cost of
such arbitration shall be borne as agreed by
the parties, or in default of agreement, as
determined in the arbitration award;

(b) that the Minister shall be entitled to deduct from
any sum payable under the insurance a sum
equal to the sum by which the cost of repairing
or replacing any damage or loss by any insurable


Ch. 138.

Implied terms of
insured loans.

HOUSING [CH.199 – 21





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risk (as defined in section 17 of this Act) to the
premises by which the loan is secured exceeds
the aggregate of all sums paid to the lender
under insurance policies covering such insurable
risks in force respecting the premises; unless the
damage or loss has been repaired or replaced to
the satisfaction of the Minister.

19. (1) The insurance fee in respect of an insured
loan shall be paid by the lender to the Minister before the
loan is insured, and may be recovered by the lender from
the borrower in accordance with the terms of the insured
loan.

(2) The insurance fee in respect of an insured loan
shall be a sum equal to one half of one per centum of the
principal sum of the loan (being, in the case of a loan
advanced by instalments making up the loan, including
service charges, charges for installation or connection of
utilities, building permit fees and other charges), or such
other percentage of the principal sum of the loan as the
Minister may prescribe.

(3) The insurance fee shall be calculated on the
amount of the principal sum of a loan before there is
included in that sum any sum in respect of the advance of
the insurance fee by the lender to the borrower.

20. Without prejudice to any other rights or
remedies of the Minister as an insurer, the Minister shall be
discharged from all liability in respect of the insurance of a
loan under this Act, notwithstanding any of the terms of
that insurance, in any of the following events, that is to
say —

(a) if the lender fails to disclose any fact known to
the lender which may reasonably have affected
the decision of the Minister to insure that loan;

(b) if the lender fails to disclose to the Minister any
defect in the title of the borrower to premises
which are mortgaged by way of security for the
loan, being a defect which the lender has
discovered or ought with reasonable diligence to
have discovered, and if the defect is one which
might reasonably have affected the decision of
the Minister to insure that loan;

Insurance fee.

9 of 2009, s. 9.

Discharge of
Minister’s
liability as an
insurer.

CH.199 – 22] HOUSING





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS LRO 1/2010

(c) if the lender assigns or conveys, otherwise than
with the approval of the Minister or to another
approved lender, any of the rights of the lender
under the loan or under any mortgage or other
charge or lien by which the loan is secured;

(d) if the lender varies or waives any of the
obligations of the borrower under the loan
without the approval of the Minister;

(e) if the lender, otherwise than in accordance with
the terms of the loan, releases any security or
personal covenant taken as a security for the
loan, without the approval of the Minister; or

(f) if the lender has failed to comply with the
provisions of section 17 of this Act.

21. (1) The Minister may approve any lender or
builder for the purposes of this Act.

(2) An applicant shall not be approved as a lender or
builder unless the Minister is satisfied —

(a) that the applicant possesses all such qualifica-
tions, including a sufficiency of funds and
experience, as may be considered necessary; and

(b) that the applicant satisfies all such conditions of
approval for lenders or builders, as the case may
be, as the Minister may prescribe.

(3) The Minister may at any time terminate the
approval given to a lender or builder under this section by
not less than six months’ notice in writing:

Provided that no such notice of termination shall
affect the rights or obligations of any person under any
contract, or under any commitment to which section 9 of
this Act refers, being a contract or commitment which is
made or entered into before the date on which such
termination takes effect.

(4) Every approved lender shall, within thirty days
after the end of each calendar month, send to the Minister a
report in such form as may be prescribed or otherwise
required by the Minister, listing all insured loans
administered by him and which are in arrears as at the end
of that month to the extent, in respect of periodical
payments due monthly, of an amount equal to, or in excess
of, three monthly payments, and in respect of periodical


Approval of
lenders and
builders, etc.

HOUSING [CH.199 – 23



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[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

payments due quarterly, semi-annually or annually, in any
amount, and advising the Minister of the steps taken to
recover such arrears.

(5) The Minister shall be entitled, by his authorised
representatives, to inspect the books, records and accounts
of an approved lender with respect to any insured loan,
during the business hours of the lender, and where any
such books, records or accounts are kept outside The
Bahamas, to require the lender to furnish to the Minister
for inspection the originals or copies thereof or particulars
therefrom, as the Minister may from time to time require.

(6) The Minister shall be entitled, by his authorised
representatives, to inspect the books, records and accounts
of an approved builder with respect to any contract entered
into by the builder to erect or to make good any damage to
an approved dwelling house on premises charged as a
security for an insured loan, during the business hours of
the builder, and where any such books, records or accounts
are kept outside The Bahamas, to require the builder to
furnish to the Minister for inspection the originals or copies
thereof or particulars therefrom, as the Minister may from
time to time require.

(7) Every approved builder shall, upon first being
approved under the provisions of this section, pay to the
Minister such fee as may be prescribed.

22. In carrying out his functions under this Act with
respect to the approval of dwelling houses and building
plots, the Minister shall consult with every department of
the Government of The Bahamas or public authority which
has statutory functions relating to the planning and control
of building or of the development of land.

Insurance Settlement
23. (1) Subject to the provisions of this section, an

approved lender, who is the creditor under an insured loan
which is secured by a mortgage on premises, may, where
default has occurred under the mortgage, realise his
security by selling those premises in accordance with the
provisions of this section.

(2) A sale of premises in accordance with the
provisions of this subsection shall, whether or not in
exercise of the powers of sale conferred on a mortgagee by


Duty to consult
town planning
authority, etc.

Insurance
settlement.
8 of 1983, s. 12.

CH.199 – 24] HOUSING





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

any enactment, be effected by public auction in the first
instance, or failing such a sale then by private treaty. In
either of the foregoing events such sale shall only take
place at a price which shall not be less than a sum equal to
the aggregate of the following sums (hereinafter referred to
as the “settlement value”) —

(a) the balance of the principal sum of the loan
owing on the date when the security is realised;

(b) the interest owing on the said date under the
loan in respect of the period of nine months im-
mediately preceding the said date;

(c) such reasonable costs of realising the security
and of selling the premises as are incurred by the
lender as the Minister may approve or as the
Minister may have agreed as a term of the
insurance of the loan.

(3) If a sale shall not take place in accordance with
subsection (2), the approved lender shall forthwith notify
the Minister and the Minister shall either —

(a) authorise the lender to sell the property at the
best price reasonably obtainable (whether by
public auction or otherwise) and if upon sale
such price is less than the settlement value of the
property the Minister shall pay to the lender a
sum equal to the settlement value after
deducting therefrom the price at which the
premises were sold; or

(b) require the lender to transfer to him or his
nominee all rights to and in respect of the
insured loan and all collateral or other securities
therefor on payment of the settlement value of
the property by the Minister to the lender
calculated in accordance with paragraphs (a), (b)
and (c) of subsection (2) of this section; or

(c) require the lender to sell the property to the
Minister or his nominee at the settlement value
and to convey title to the Minister or his
nominee free and discharged from all liability to
the lender or the borrower:

Provided that if the Minister shall authorise the sale
of the property under paragraph (a) and such sale shall not
take place in accordance with that paragraph, the Minister
shall give further directions in accordance with either
paragraph (b) or (c).

HOUSING [CH.199 – 25



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[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

(4) The payment by the Minister to an approved
lender in respect of an insured loan of the sum provided for
in subsection (3)(a) shall discharge the Minister from all
liability to the lender in respect of the insurance of the
loan.

(5) In every sale of mortgaged premises in accordance
with the provisions of subsection (2) of this section —

(a) such premises shall be sold for the same estate
as the mortgagor would have therein but for the
mortgage, and subject only to such conditions
respecting title or evidence of title, or other
matters, as it is necessary or proper to impose on
the sale of that estate or as the Minister may
permit to be imposed; and

(b) in the case of sale by public auction, notice of
intention to sell the mortgaged premises by
public auction of the time, date and place of
such auction, shall be published in three issues
of the Gazette before the date of such auction:

Provided that a period of one month shall elapse
between the date of the publication of the first notice and
the date of the publication of the third notice.

(6) Where, in addition to being secured by a
mortgage on one premises, an insured loan is also secured
by a mortgage or charge or lien on other premises or other
property, subsection (1) of this section, shall have effect as
if references to a security included references to all
securities for the loan, and as if references to premises
included references to all premises and property on which
the loan is secured.

(7) In the case of a loan made in a foreign currency,
it shall be lawful for the Minister to make payments to the
approved lender under the provisions of subsection (3) of
this section in such foreign currency notwithstanding any
loss accruing to the Minister as a result of an appreciation
in the value of such foreign currency in terms of the
currency of The Bahamas occurring since the date when
the loan was insured under the provisions of this Act.

24. (1) The Minister shall continue to maintain the
fund known as the Mortgage Insurance Fund (in this
section referred to as “the Fund”) established under the
provisions of the repealed Act, out of which all payments


Mortgage
Insurance Fund.

CH.199 – 26] HOUSING





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

required to be made by the Minister under section 23 of
this Act shall be made, and into which all insurance fees
received by the Minister under this Act shall be paid.

(2) The fulfilment of all the obligations of the
Minister under section 23 of this Act shall be guaranteed
out of the Consolidated Fund of The Bahamas and
accordingly there shall be paid into the Fund from time to
time out of the Consolidated Fund by warrant under the
hand of the Minister of Finance such sums as may be
necessary to increase the Fund to an amount which will
enable the Minister to discharge those obligations.

(3) Whenever any sum is paid out of the
Consolidated Fund under subsection (2) of this section, the
Minister shall prepare a statement to be laid before the
House of Assembly.

(4) Without prejudice to the provisions of subsection
(2) of this section, where the Fund at the end of any
financial year exceeds ten per cent of the total amount of
loan insurance in force, the Minister shall apply the surplus
towards —

(a) firstly repaying to the Consolidated Fund all
sums paid therefrom into the Fund in accor-
dance with subsection (2) of this section; and

(b) secondly repaying to the Treasury the equivalent
of the sum of fifty thousand pounds advanced to
the Fund in accordance with section 19 of the
repealed Act.

(5) Subject to the provisions of subsection (4) of
this section the Minister may from time to time invest in
securities approved by the Governor-General such part of
the liquid assets of the Fund as the Governor-General may
approve.

(6) No payments shall be made out of the Fund except
such payments as are authorised to be made by this Act.

(7) The Minister shall maintain and operate a bank
account in the name of the “Housing Department Mortgage
Insurance Fund Account” with a bank approved by the
Governor-General into which there shall be deposited all
moneys authorised by this section to be paid into the Fund
and from which there shall be withdrawn all moneys
authorised by this section to be paid out of the Fund.

HOUSING [CH.199 – 27



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[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

PART IV
AUDIT AND REPORT

25. (1) The Minister shall keep proper accounts and
other records and shall prepare in respect of each financial
year a statement of the accounts of the Minister in a form
which shall comply with the best commercial standards.

(2) The accounts of the Minister shall be audited by
auditors to be appointed in respect of each financial year
by the Governor-General, and the auditors shall make a
report on the accounts examined by them and on the
statement of accounts prepared under subsection (1) of this
section:

Provided that no person shall be qualified to be so
appointed unless he is a member of one of the professional
bodies of accountants established in the United Kingdom,
Canada or the United States of America.

(3) As soon as the accounts of the Minister have
been audited, the Minister shall lay before each House of
Parliament a copy of the statement referred to in subsection
(1) of this section and a copy of the report made by the
auditors on that statement, and copies thereof shall be
made available by the Minister to the public at a reasonable
price.

(4) The Minister shall compile and publish such
statistics relating to his principal activities under this Act
and to the provision of and demand for dwelling houses for
ownership and occupation by families of low and middle
incomes, as the Minister may consider necessary for the
purposes of this Act.

PART V
MISCELLANEOUS

26. (1) Any power conferred by this Act on the
Minister to prescribe any matter or thing shall be exercised
by the making of regulations.

(2) Without prejudice to any powers of the Minister
under any of the provisions of this Act, the Minister may
prescribe any of the following matters or things —

(a) the forms to be used, the procedures to be
followed, the information and documents to be


Accounts, audit
and statistics.

E.L.A.O., 1974.

E.L.A.O., 1974.

Matters to be
prescribed by
regulations.

CH.199 – 28] HOUSING





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

submitted, and the application fees to be paid, in
and in connection with the making and securing
of an insurable loan, the insuring of the loan, the
making of advances to the borrower, the
realisation of the security in the event of the
borrower’s default and the settlement of claims
under the insurance policy;

(b) the standards to be conformed to by approved
building plots and by dwelling houses to be
erected thereon with the assistance of insured
loans; and plans, specifications and other docu-
ments and information to be furnished to the
Minister in relation thereto;

(c) the service charges and other charges (other than
interest on the principal sum), and the maximum
amount thereof, which may be charged by the
lender to the borrower under an insured loan;

(d) the inspections to be made of an approved
building plot which is security for an insured
loan and the stages in the course of construction
of a dwelling house thereon at which such
inspections shall be made; provision for securing
the remedying of departures from the prescribed
standards or agreed plans or specifications, and
for requiring the withholding by the lenders of
advances of loans from builders who fail to
remedy such departures; and the forms to be
used and the procedures to be followed;

(e) the circumstances in which and the extent to
which the terms of an insured loan may be
varied or waived;

(f) the maximum rate of interest which may be
charged by the lender to the borrower upon an
insured loan;

(g) the occurrences or any combination of occur-
rences which are to be deemed insurable risks for
the purposes of this Act.

(3) The Minister shall not be prevented by any
regulations made under this Act from making any
requirements which he is empowered by this Act to make
and which is not inconsistent with those regulations.

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LRO 1/2010 STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

27. (1) The Treasurer is hereby authorised to pay to
the Minister such sums as the Minister may require on
account of administrative expenses during any financial
year.

(2) The Minister shall maintain and operate a bank
account in the name of the “Housing Department
Administrative Expenses Account” with a bank into which
the advances made under the authority of subsection (1) of
this section shall be paid and from which all administrative
expenses properly authorised by the Minister shall be met.

28. Any notice or other document required or
authorised to be given, delivered or served under this Act
or regulations made thereunder may be given, delivered or
served either —

(a) by delivering it to the person to whom it is to be
given or delivered or on whom it is to be served;
or

(b) by leaving it at the usual or last known address
of that person; or

(c) by sending it by registered letter, addressed to
that person at his usual or last known address; or

(d) in the case of an incorporated company or body,
by delivering it to the secretary of the company
or body at the registered or principal office of
the company or body, or sending it by registered
letter addressed to the secretary of the company
or body at that office; or

(e) if it is not practicable after reasonable enquiry to
ascertain the name and address of a person to
whom it should be given or delivered, or on
whom it should be served, as being a person
having any interest in the premises, by addres-
sing it to him by the description of the person
having that interest in the premises (naming
them) to which it relates, and delivering it to
some responsible person on the premises, or
affixing it, or a copy of it, to some conspicuous
part of the premises.

29. (1) If any person, in giving any information,
making any application or claim or giving any notice for
the purposes of any provision of this Act or of any
regulation thereunder, makes any statement which he
knows to be false in a material particular, or recklessly


Administrative
expenses.

E.L.A.O., 1974.

Service of
notices, etc.

Offence of giving
false
information.

CH.199 – 30] HOUSING





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS LRO 1/2010

makes any statement which is false in a material particular,
that person shall be liable on summary conviction to
imprisonment for a term of three months or to a fine of
three hundred dollars or to both such imprisonment and
such fine.

(2) Where an offence under subsection (1) of this
section has been committed by a body corporate, every
person who at the time of the commission of the offence
was a director, general manager, secretary or other similar
officer of the body corporate, or was purporting to act in
any such capacity, shall be deemed to be guilty of that
offence unless he proves that the offence was committed
without his consent or connivance and that he exercised all
such diligence to prevent the commission of the offence as
he ought to have exercised having regard to the nature of
his functions in that capacity and to all the circumstances.

30. The Housing Act is hereby repealed:
Provided that any insured loan made or insured under

or in accordance with the provisions of the repealed Act
shall be deemed to have been made or insured under or in
accordance with the corresponding provisions of this Act,
and the provisions of this Act shall apply thereto
accordingly, with such adaptations and modifications as
the circumstances may require.



Repeal and
saving.
17 of 1960.

Related Laws