For years, Jersey has been perceived as somewhere where only the very rich, or the very famous – among them racing-drivers Nigel Mansell and Derek Warwick, and golfer Ian Woosnam – were welcome to pitch their tents. Stringent residency qualifications – based on the issue of ‘1(1) K’ licences to a handful of carefully screened, rich individuals – were designed to ensure that only the most desirable members of the international community could buy into the island’s small stock of high-value properties.

It was a restrictive policy which has worked all too well in recent years, for out of a total population of 89,000, only 155 Jersey residents currently hold the coveted ‘1(1)K’ residency qualification. Now the authorities have relaxed the rules in order to boost the island’s economy by increasing the intake of well heeled residents from the UK and Europe. Better late than never, say Jersey’s leading estate agents, relieved that the island can finally be seen to be genuinely ‘open for business’.

Historically, Jersey’s Draconian immigration and residency laws were inspired not by xenophobia, but by the need to conserve the island’s limited stock of residential property, when, following the end of the Second World War, a sudden influx of new residents sent house prices soaring. In order to prevent further dramatic price increases and the possibility of there being insufficient residential property available for future generations of local people, the States introduced the Housing (Jersey) Law, 1949. A further wave of newcomers in the late 1960s prompted more regulation, as a result of which every sale or lease of land in the island must have the prior consent of the Housing Committee.

But contrary to popular belief, says Nigel Philpott – Jersey’s newly appointed Director for High Value Residency (01534 500 730 or 07797 741017), whose job it is to facilitate all aspects of a prospective high-worth immigrant’s move to the island – the criteria for granting 1(1)K licences have never been absolutely fixed: each application has been considered on its individual merits, and ‘deals’ negotiated on a one-to-one basis.

A general rule of thumb, however, was that prospective residents should be able to show an annual income sufficient to produce about £150,000 in tax revenues for the island, based on Jersey’s current standard rate of 20% (unchanged since 1940). That requirement has now been lowered to £100,000, corresponding to an annual income of about £500,000. Stringent checks to verify both the applicant’s net worth and the source of his wealth are an essential part of the vetting process. Not unexpectedly, residents accorded 1(1)K status can only buy and occupy properties which are also classified 1(1)K. Currently, such properties range in value from about £1 million to about £7m, with one or two of the most prestigious secretly on the market for well in excess of that.

Discretion is the better part of everything in Jersey, and prospective purchasers drawn to the island not just for its benign tax regime, but by the quality of life in this tranquil, crime-free island, may be surprised to find few of the island’s most expensive properties openly for sale. Clifford Wilson of Cox Peel & Partners is one of Jersey’s longest-serving estate agents with 40 years’ experience of dealing with the island’s most exclusive properties, and he knows of at least 30 1(1)K houses which could be bought at the right price, of which only about half a dozen are currently being promoted on the open market.

With no more than nine or 10 classic manor houses to be found in the whole of Jersey, the sale of elegant Dielament Manor in the parish of Trinity, in the island’s north-east corner, represents, in Mr Wilson’s view, a rare opportunity to buy ‘one of the island’s premier homes’. The manor house stands at the end of a quarter-mile-long, tree-lined drive, surrounded by 24 acres of grassland, woodland and lawned gardens with a tennis court and a swimming pool. Remodelled in rendered granite round a much older building, the house has been impeccably maintained by its English owners, who have lived there for the best part of 20 years.

It has four reception rooms, six bedrooms and five bathrooms, plus a number of traditional outbuildings, including a colombier to further underline its manorial status. Cox Peel (01534 877977) quote a guide price of £3.75m. The same agents quote a similar guide price for secluded Beauvoir in St Saviour parish, a few miles south of Trinity: a classical Regency house dating from the mid 1800s, it has been home to another English family for the past eight years. It stands in several acres of wooded parkland, and has light, well-proportioned rooms including a drawing room, a dining room, a library/snooker room, a family room, a kitchen/breakfast room, six bedrooms, four bathrooms, a staff flat and a two-bedroom guest cottage.

By contrast, the Domaine de St Laurent at Les Charrières Nicolle, in the central parish of St Lawrence, is described as ‘a stunning modern residence’. Built in the 1990s of Jersey granite in a remodelling of a fairly ordinary 1960s house, it stands in a wonderfully private setting at the end of a long drive, surrounded by some 10 acres of picturesque woodland grounds and gardens, with glorious views over the surrounding countryside.

The sumptuous accommodation includes five opulent reception rooms, six bedroom suites and a spectacular pool and leisure complex. It is on the market with Cox Peel at £3.95m. Meanwhile, over in St Ouen parish on Jersey’s eastern flank, traditionalists will be charmed by the delightful Maison de la Ruette, an exquisite 17th-century granite farmhouse, painstakingly transformed by its present owner from a virtual wreck to a supremely tasteful, rambling, family home, using only authentic rustic materials. Approached off a little-used bye-lane, the house stands in a peaceful rural setting surrounded by landscaped gardens and farmland. It has three main reception rooms, a kitchen/breakfast room, a family room, five bedrooms, four bathrooms, a sun terrace, a wine store and a large studio/hobby room. Cox Peel quote a guide price of £1.95m.

DEGREVEMENT DEFINED

One legitimate way to bypass Jersey’s stringent residency requirements is to buy a so-called ‘dégrèvement property’, that is, a residential property taken, prior to June 9, 1993, by a Jersey-based limited company in settlement of a debt under a court order.

A purchaser who does not hold the normal residency qualifications can then acquire the freehold of the property by buying all the shares in the holding company, and will be entitled to live in the property for as long as he wishes.

However, such occupancy does not confer a right to full Jersey residency, and should the new owner wish to move, he would be entitled to sell, but should he wish to buy again, he could only replace it with another ‘dégrèvement’ property.

It was a restrictive policy which has worked all too well in recent years, for out of a total population of 89,000, only 155 Jersey residents currently hold the coveted ‘1(1)K’ residency qualification. Now the authorities have relaxed the rules in order to boost the island’s economy by increasing the intake of well heeled residents from the UK and Europe. Better late than never, say Jersey’s leading estate agents, relieved that the island can finally be seen to be genuinely ‘open for business’.

Historically, Jersey’s Draconian immigration and residency laws were inspired not by xenophobia, but by the need to conserve the island’s limited stock of residential property, when, following the end of the Second World War, a sudden influx of new residents sent house prices soaring. In order to prevent further dramatic price increases and the possibility of there being insufficient residential property available for future generations of local people, the States introduced the Housing (Jersey) Law, 1949. A further wave of newcomers in the late 1960s prompted more regulation, as a result of which every sale or lease of land in the island must have the prior consent of the Housing Committee.

But contrary to popular belief, says Nigel Philpott?Jersey’s newly appointed Director for High Value Residency (01534 500 730 or 07797 741017), whose job it is to facilitate all aspects of a prospective high-worth immigrant’s move to the island?the criteria for granting 1(1)K licences have never been absolutely fixed: each application has been considered on its individual merits, and ‘deals’ negotiated on a one-to-one basis.

A general rule of thumb, however, was that prospective residents should be able to show an annual income sufficient to produce about £150,000 in tax revenues for the island, based on Jersey’s current standard rate of 20% (unchanged since 1940). That requirement has now been lowered to £100,000, corresponding to an annual income of about £500,000. Stringent checks to verify both the applicant’s net worth and the source of his wealth are an essential part of the vetting process. Not unexpectedly, residents accorded 1(1)K status can only buy and occupy properties which are also classified 1(1)K. Currently, such properties range in value from about £1 million to about £7m, with one or two of the most prestigious secretly on the market for well in excess of that.

Discretion is the better part of everything in Jersey, and prospective purchasers drawn to the island not just for its benign tax regime, but by the quality of life in this tranquil, crime-free island, may be surprised to find few of the island’s most expensive properties openly for sale. Clifford Wilson of Cox Peel & Partners is one of Jersey’s longest-serving estate agents with 40 years’ experience of dealing with the island’s most exclusive properties, and he knows of at least 30 1(1)K houses which could be bought at the right price?of which only about half a dozen are currently being promoted on the open market.

With no more than nine or 10 classic manor houses to be found in the whole of Jersey, the sale of elegant Dielament Manor in the parish of Trinity, in the island’s north-east corner, represents, in Mr Wilson’s view, a rare opportunity to buy ‘one of the island’s premier homes’. The manor house stands at the end of a quarter-mile-long, tree-lined drive, surrounded by 24 acres of grassland, woodland and lawned gardens with a tennis court and a swimming pool. Remodelled in rendered granite round a much older building, the house has been impeccably maintained by its English owners, who have lived there for the best part of 20 years.

It has four reception rooms, six bedrooms and five bathrooms, plus a number of traditional outbuildings, including a colombier to further underline its manorial status. Cox Peel (01534 877977) quote a guide price of £3.75m. The same agents quote a similar guide price for secluded Beauvoir in St Saviour parish, a few miles south of Trinity: a classical Regency house dating from the mid 1800s, it has been home to another English family for the past eight years. It stands in several acres of wooded parkland, and has light, well-proportioned rooms including a drawing room, a dining room, a library/snooker room, a family room, a kitchen/breakfast room, six bedrooms, four bathrooms, a staff flat and a two-bedroom guest cottage.

By contrast, the Domaine de St Laurent at Les Charrières Nicolle, in the central parish of St Lawrence, is described as ‘a stunning modern residence’. Built in the 1990s of Jersey granite in a remodelling of a fairly ordinary 1960s house, it stands in a wonderfully private setting at the end of a long drive, surrounded by some 10 acres of picturesque woodland grounds and gardens, with glorious views over the surrounding countryside.

The sumptuous accommodation includes five opulent reception rooms, six bedroom suites and a spectacular pool and leisure complex. It is on the market with Cox Peel at £3.95m. Meanwhile, over in St Ouen parish on Jersey’s eastern flank, traditionalists will be charmed by the delightful Maison de la Ruette, an exquisite 17th-century granite farmhouse, painstakingly transformed by its present owner from a virtual wreck to a supremely tasteful, rambling, family home, using only authentic rustic materials. Approached off a little-used bye-lane, the house stands in a peaceful rural setting surrounded by landscaped gardens and farmland. It has three main reception rooms, a kitchen/breakfast room, a family room, five bedrooms, four bathrooms, a sun terrace, a wine store and a large studio/hobby room. Cox Peel quote a guide price of £1.95m.

DEGREVEMENT DEFINED

One legitimate way to bypass Jersey’s stringent residency requirements is to buy a so-called ‘dégrèvement property’, that is, a residential property taken, prior to June 9, 1993, by a Jersey-based limited company in settlement of a debt under a court order.

A purchaser who does not hold the normal residency qualifications can then acquire the freehold of the property by buying all the shares in the holding company, and will be entitled to live in the property for as long as he wishes.

However, such occupancy does not confer a right to full Jersey residency, and should the new owner wish to move, he would be entitled to sell, but should he wish to buy again, he could only replace it with another ‘dégrèvement’ property.

  • Tim Groucott

    Please would you give me information on how to get details on degrevement properties in jersey.

    Thank you,

    Tim

  • Chris Wilkes

    We are a retired couple looking to sell our second home in Italy to then buy the same type of property in Jersey. We do not require residency.
    Would we be able to buy an apartment for use only by us, mostly between March & October.
    Chris Wilkes

  • frieda dimascio

    If a couple wishes to retire to Jersey are they able to buy property or do restrictions still apply. Hoping it would be possible to move to Jersey from Cambridge. Please advise. Thank you Frieda DiMascio