Jersey housing rules

Jersey has rules which restrict ownership and occupation of property through a system of ‘housing qualifications’.

People without housing qualifications can only rent or buy after 10 consecutive years of ‘ordinary residence’ in the Island. Care needs to be taken as the definition of ordinary residence is quite narrow.

There are three ways for non-locals to move to the Island and purchase or rent property:

  • Apply for high value residency status
  • Set up or migrate a business and obtain licensed status
  • Purchase or rent non-qualified property

The rules are detailed and it is important that advice is taken. We have helped a significant number of individuals move to the Islands under the different categories.

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How we can help you
Jersey tax rules
UK tax residence rules

High Value Residency

It is not possible for an individual who is already resident in the Island to be granted high value residency status. It is important that advice is taken before an application is made to ensure that all relevant factors have been considered.

In overview the requirements are:

  • Minimum annual Jersey tax liability of £145k per annum
  • Purchase or rent property of minimum values
  • No adverse reputational issues

Only one application per couple is required. The application is usually undertaken by the party with the wealth or primary income. Care needs to be taken to protect the position of the other party in the event of death/separation/divorce.

There is an application process to be undertaken. We have undertaken a significant number of applications and have an excellent working relationship with the authorities. We use technology to ensure the best and most efficient use of your time. We prepare the application and collate information for you. We have a proven methodology which we have been using since 2005.

Using an experienced UK and Jersey tax adviser to present the application ensures that there are no material omissions from the application and tax is fully considered from both a Jersey and UK perspective.

Licensed status

All businesses operating in the Island require a business licence. The business licence indicates how many staff in each residential category can be employed by the business. The business will be able to employ an unlimited number of people who have been in Jersey for more than 5 consecutive years, other categories are by specific permission.

The business may also be able to employ key staff as licensed individuals. Such individuals must be working in the business for more than 30 hours a week.

Individuals that have been in Jersey for less than 5 years that do not hold any housing qualifications are known as registered individuals.

The business will need to make an application for a business licence and in that application will include requests for licensed and registered status for key individuals. In assessing whether to issue the licensed permission the authorities will consider the following:

  • Tax contribution of the business
  • Number of jobs created
  • Industry sector
  • Reputation of the investors and operators of the business
  • How the business is regulated
  • Training opportunities for locals
  • CSR contribution

The above list is not exhaustive.

We have prepared a number of these applications over the years. The benefit of using a tax accountant to prepare the application is that it has been sense checked from a UK and Jersey tax perspective.

Non-qualified property

There are a limited number of properties on the island which are described as ‘non-qualified’ or registered. Anyone can buy these properties.

There is no application required in this status. Individuals in this category pay Jersey income tax at a rate of 20%
If they want to operate a business they will need to obtain a business licence.

Individuals moving to the island under this category should obtain Jersey tax and housing advice to ensure that you fully understand the consequences and opportunities.

Local housing qualifications are only obtained after 10 years ordinary residence in the island, there are specific rules around what constitutes ordinary residence. These rules should be considered.

Our approach

Our approach is to use technology where possible to collate and prepare the applications. We will also review applications prepared by others and give our views. The key to a successful and quick conclusion is communicating effectively to ensure that the proposition and the unique selling points are identified and explained.

We liaise extensively with the authorities during the application process.

We will listen to you and will advise you on the basis of your circumstances. Everyone’s situation is different and we provide individual solutions. We will take the time to understand your situation.

Moving can be a stressful experience. Our role is to remove the stress and keep things simple and understandable for you. We will be available when it is convenient for you.

We work on the basis of fixed fees – we have done enough of this type of work to give very accurate quotes and do not believe in surprises. We see this work as the start of a relationship not a single transaction. We want to work with you for a long time.

Team

You will be dealing with an experienced principal. Our tax team is led by Garry Bell. He Is a very experienced UK and Jersey tax adviser (23 years) and has spent most of his career in a ‘big 4’ accountancy firm environment. He was a Director and led the private client practice in Jersey and Guernsey for a number of years in one of the ‘big 4’ accountancy firms.

Garry has helped a number of businesses and individuals and businesses move to Jersey from all industry sectors and backgrounds. You will be getting ‘big 4’ experience at medium firm prices.

Garry can be contacted on email garryb@pkfbba.com or by mobile +44 (0) 7797713779, evening and weekend calls welcome.

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John Garton, Chief Executive Officer

Genuine Jersey Products Association

I’ve been using PKF bba accountants for over three years now and have nothing but good things to say. Having solid accountants with great communications skills behind your business is invaluable, PKF bba won’t let you down.

Zak Harbison

PKF bba have always been highly supportive of our business. Professional and approachable with sound advice in a very timely manner.

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