Buying Guide

Buying property in Jersey is not as straightforward as buying property on the mainland.

There are four types of residential status on the Island and the category into which you fall (printed on your Registration Card) determines where you can work and live:

Residential Status Definition Housing Work

Entitled

Someone who has lived in Jersey for 10 years

Can buy, sell or lease any property​

Can work anywhere and doesn’t need a licence to be employed

Licensed

Someone who is an ‘essential employee’

Can buy, sell or lease any property, apart from first time buyer restricted or social rented housing, in their own name if they keep their ‘licensed’ status​

Employer needs a licence to employ a ‘licensed’ person

Entitled to Work

Someone who has lived in Jersey for five consecutive years immediately before the date the card is issued, or is married to someone who is ‘entitled’, ‘licensed’, or ‘entitled to work​’

Can buy property jointly with an ‘entitled’ spouse / civil partner. Can lease ‘registered’ (previously ‘unqualified’) property as a main place of residence.​

Can work anywhere and doesn’t need a licence to be employed

Registered

Someone who does not qualify under the other categories

Can lease ‘registered’ property as a main place of residence​

Employer needs a licence to employ a ‘registered’ person​

There are a number of different ways in which you can qualify (and lose) your ‘entitled’ status which you can read more about on the official States of Jersey website.

What is the difference between qualified and registered property?

When we advertise properties on our website, they will be listed as either ‘Qualified’ or ‘Registered.’

Qualified property that was previously classed as A-H, A-J and A-K before July 2013 may be occupied by anyone who carries Entitled, Licensed or Entitled to Work status and Registered property (previously known as ‘Unqualified’) can be occupied by anyone in any of the above status brackets.

If you have been living in Jersey your entire life or at least part of it, you will likely know all this but if you are new to the Island or you have not been involved in the property buying process before, this legislation (which is much simplified) can still get confusing. For information about your legal status we would recommend speaking to the Population Office on 01534 448905 or by email on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

For information about residential property in Jersey, call our Sales Team on 01534 670333 and they will gladly talk you through everything you need to know.

Buying property in Jersey

Aside from confirming your residential status, the process of buying property in Jersey is broadly similar to buying property on the mainland.

First, you need to determine your budget and where on the Island you would like to live. When you have these two elements in place, search the Gaudin website for suitable matches. We have a range of homes on the site, from grand mansions with sea views to stunning character cottages and town centre apartments and we will arrange viewings for you at a convenient time, including weekends.

Once you have had an offer accepted on a property, you will need to instruct a firm of solicitors to draw up the contract and liaise with the vendor’s solicitor. For all Jersey property sales, you will need to obtain the consent of the Housing Minister who will determine your qualification status and such consent will only be granted when the Minister’s office is satisfied.

Your solicitor will go through the usual steps of conveyancing the property including checking the title and ensuring there are no other rights or claims over the property or land you are looking to purchase. They will do the standard local authority searches which in Jersey also include checks with the Minister for Planning and Environment, the Transport and Technical Services Department and the individual Parish.

Site Visits & Surveys

Your solicitor will visit the property to ensure that there are no additional factors that need to be determined when drawing up the contract of sale, including flying freehold (a freehold property of which a small part reaches into, or is built on or over, a neighbouring property) and building restrictions. All the information uncovered in this visit will be reflected in the contract and you will be made aware of any issues that may affect your purchase.

If you are applying for a mortgage from a bank or building society, the lender will do a valuation survey to determine that they are in fact lending on the right property and that their valuation matches the actual sale price. This is different from a homebuyer’s survey. In Jersey, all sale contracts include a ‘vices cachés’ clause which states that the buyer is buying the property in the condition found on the date of the contract with any and all defects found (hidden or otherwise) as may exist.

By this logic, we strongly advise you instruct a surveyor to carry out a detailed homebuyer’s survey before you exchange contracts. We work with a trusted selection of surveyors and will happily recommend one.

Are you ready to complete the sale?

Once you and your solicitor are happy with all the paperwork pertaining to the purchase, you will be in a position to ‘pass contract’. The conveyancing process can take anywhere up to 6-8 weeks dependent on the mortgage and if there are any upper or lower chains but you will be guided throughout the process by your solicitor as well as the Gaudin Sales Team who will keep you abreast of any and all developments.

The conveyancing process in Jersey is completed with the contract being ‘passed’ before the Royal Court. Both the buyer and vendor (or representatives thereof) must be present before the Court to pass contract. If for whatever reason you cannot be there, you can appoint a Power of Attorney to attend on your behalf. Contracts are passed on a Friday afternoon and once the formalities are completed you will be handed a set of keys and with it, vacant possession of the property.

What else do you need to pay for?

Aside from the usual costs of moving, buying what you need and renovations, you will need to pay your solicitors’ fees as well as Stamp Duty/Land Transfer Tax, assessed on a sliding scale dependent on the sale price of the property. If you are a first-time buyer meeting the requisite qualifying criteria, you will only pay a nominal fee for properties under £400,000.

If you need any further information about Stamp Duty or Land Transfer Tax, please call our Sales team.

Congratulations…

……………………the house is now yours and we hope you like living in Jersey as much as we do!

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