Building a second home on Bonaire? Here are some things to consider.

Is it your dream to build a second home on Bonaire? Many people choose to build themselves instead of buying an existing home. Building allows you to make your dream home come to life, you have more control over the budget and you are involved from A to Z in every detail. Before jumping in, it is important that you are aware of the regulations surrounding building a second home on Bonaire. Different rules apply to residents of Bonaire than to non-residents.

Revision ROB and preparatory decision

Bonaire has grown considerably in recent years and the pressure on the housing market has increased as a result. Many new homes are being built that serve as recreational or second homes. This development is partly responsible for price increases. Finding suitable housing has therefore become increasingly difficult for many residents. The Executive Council has expressed its concerns about this. They want the focus to be on a balanced supply with sufficient affordable housing for the local population. In order to provide for this, work is currently underway on the general revision of the Spatial Development Plan Bonaire (ROB). The adoption of the ROB is planned for mid-2023. Because developments may occur in the meantime that conflict with the policy included in the revised ROB, the Preliminary Decree for Residential Recreation and Housing has been created. This decision came into effect on 4 December 2021. What does this mean for you in concrete terms if you want to build a second home?

In accordance with the preparatory decision, building permits can be held (temporarily stopped/the granting thereof is postponed).

This applies to application for a building permit for building

* of a new building with a recreational use;

* of a new building as a second home (this applies to non-residents who do not use this home as their primary residence);

* for the construction of a house that is part of an allotment of at least six lots and the project does not consist of the construction of at least 25% of social rental and/or social owner-occupied homes and 25% of middle-class rental and/or owner-occupied homes.

I am a resident of Bonaire and want to build a second home. Can I apply for a building permit?

As a resident of Bonaire you can indeed apply for a building permit for a second home. If your building plans also meet the requirements and are in accordance with the applicable ROB, they will be licensed. This applies to building on an already built-up lot as well as on an empty lot.

How can I apply for a building permit?

You can request this online via the website of ‘Openbaar Lichaam Bonaire’: for individuals and for entrepeneurs.

Do you prefer to apply for the permit physically? This is possible at the Spatial Planning and Planning Department on Kaya Amsterdam 21-23. You can see the exact steps involved in applying for a building permit on the OLB website apply for a building permit.

The checklist to apply for a building permit you will find here.

I am not (fully) registered yet and I keep a house in another country: can I build a second house on Bonaire?

If you plan to come and live on Bonaire and you can demonstrate that the house to be built is intended as your main residence, you can apply for a building permit.

I am not a resident and I want to build a recreational or second home as an investment. Is this allowed?

No, if you do not live on Bonaire it is no longer possible to build a recreational or second home and you cannot apply for a building permit. Only if you come to live on Bonaire and you are going to use the house as your main residence will a building permit be considered. No permit will be considered if the intention is to rent out the house as a holiday home or use it as a second home. After all, both cases contribute to the housing shortage among residents.

I have a house in another country and have bought a plot on Bonaire with a building permit. Can I still build a second house on this lot with the new measure?

If you meet the building permit requirements and the buildings are in accordance with the ROB in force at that time, you may build on the plot.

I live abroad, but my BV is located on Bonaire and my building plot falls within my company. Can I build then?

If the house is intended for recreational rental, the building permit is retained. When it comes to a house for long-term rental / permanent living, the permit is granted.

My question hasn’t been answered yet

We are happy to help you with all your questions about building a second home on Bonaire. Feel free to contact us or drop by our office.



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