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Finding accommodation for when you first arrive

​To feel settled in Jersey it's important to find a place to call home.

When people first arrive in Jersey, they haven’t always managed to secure a suitable place to live. It can be easier to wait until you’re in the island to find somewhere so that you’re able to view potential properties as they become available. Before signing any housing contracts with landlords or estate agents, you will need to get a registration card which shows your residential and employment status, from Customer and Local Services. Many people arrange short-term accommodation whilst they look for something longer term.

Some people choose to stay with family or friends initially, but if you don't have that option, you’ll need to organise somewhere to stay. 

Hotels or guest houses are a good choice in the short term. You should try to book in advance to avoid any chance of not finding suitable accommodation within your budget.

A list of hotels and guest houses can be found on the Visit Jersey website.

Research accommodation options

House

The kind of accommodation you’re allowed to live in depends on your residential and employment status, which will be stated on your registration card.

Residential and employment statuses and what they mean

Most people who move to Jersey for the first time will have a residential and employment status of ‘Registered’.

As a ‘Registered’ person you’re allowed to live in:

  • registered lodging accommodation
  • registered flats or apartments
  • private lodging
  • tourist accommodation (short stay and out of season eg hotels, guesthouses, self-catering units)

Housing for people with 'Registered' status

Anyone who is ‘Entitled’ can occupy any property. If you're ‘Licensed’, you can occupy most properties, except first-time buyer restricted and social rented housing and you can only have one property as your main place of residence.

Lodging accommodation

As a ‘Registered’ person you can live in lodging accommodation. You must show your registration card and photo ID to your landlord.

If you live in a self-contained unit (which contains a living and sleeping area, kitchen and bathroom) you should have a lease agreement.

If your facilities are shared, then you don’t need a registration card and you are not deemed to be a tenant. This means that you don’t have the same rights as a tenant, for example in relation to notice periods.

Housing for people with ‘Registered’ status page

Private lodgings

Jersey registration card

Private lodgings are where the person providing your accommodation lives in the same property. That person can have up to five lodgers (including children of any age).

Private lodgings are not the same as registered lodging accommodation (lodging houses). With private lodgings, there’s no lease or contract between you and the person providing you with the accommodation. This is because, by law, the person providing the private lodgings to you must:

  • have 'Entitled' or `Licensed’ residential and employment status and also live in the property as their sole or main place of residence
  • offer you (and each of their lodgers) a service such as cleaning
  • maintain the right to unrestricted access to the accommodation at all times
  • be allowed to ask you to leave the accommodation without giving you notice

The person providing the accommodation to you must not ask you to sign a lease or enter into any kind of legal contract.

Finding property to rent

You’ll typically have to undergo several checks, including proving your earnings and obtaining supporting references. You may be asked to pay a deposit, which is generally the equivalent of one month’s rent. These deposits are protected by law under the deposit protection scheme.

For those looking to rent properties in Jersey, often the easiest way is through a rental / letting agency. Letting agents act on behalf of landlords when vetting potential tenants. 

List of estate agents

Alternatively you can contact owners directly. You may be able to negotiate a better rate directly with the owner as they don’t have to factor in rental agent fees. You’ll find that owners advertise their properties in the local newspaper, local Facebook groups and on websites such as JT Insight.

Buying property

Housing advertise in estate agent windows

Most people moving to Jersey for the first time won’t be able to buy a property. You can only buy a property in Jersey if your residential and employment status is ‘Entitled’ (you’ve lived in Jersey for a continuous period of at least 10 years and have not left for more than a total of 5 years) or ‘Licensed’ (you are an approved essential employee in the island). 

Residential statuses

Property prices in Jersey can be high compared with a lot of other countries. Based on the latest available figures from 2018, an average 1 bedroom flat costs around £238,000 and a 3 bedroom house costs around £580,000.

Only Jersey mortgages can be used to purchase property in the island. You can’t transfer your mortgage from a property you own elsewhere.

Where to live

When deciding where in Jersey you’d like to live, you may want to consider your lifestyle and commute. Although commute times are generally short, if you don’t drive, you might want to base yourself in or near the town centre of St Helier. If you want to be near the sea or have the countryside on your doorstep, you may want to choose a rural parish near a regular bus route.

If you have children that will be attending a Government of Jersey school, it’s a good idea to consider the catchment area for the preferred school.

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