Commercial FAQs

All of your Commercial Property frequently asked questions are answered below.

For detailed advice concerning any of the topics mentioned, please contact Jonathan Hughes or Julie Melia.

Stamp duty is payable on the market value of the property on a sliding scale up to a maximum rate as from 1 January 2015 of 7%. Document duty of £80 and Jurat stamps of £20 are payable on each contract.

Stamp duty of 0.5% plus a document fee of £80 is payable on any borrowing secured over Jersey real estate.

Click here to use our Freehold Purchase stamp duty calculator.

Click here use our Mortgage stamp duty calculator.

Reduced rates are available to first time buyers.

The Treasury has "plugged" the majority of stamp duty mitigation schemes. Effectively the only arrangement left is where a property is owned by a company and the shares in that company can be purchased. This can only apply where the articles of the company do not grant occupation rights to residential property. Most commercial share purchase transactions will therefore be free of stamp duty where the holding company can be purchased.
 
As stated above, reduced rates are available to first time buyers.

There is a distinction in Jersey between a lease of less than nine years and one of more than nine years. A lease for less than nine years is a private document entered into between the contracting parties; no stamp duty is payable. A lease for more than 9 years is known as a contract lease and is both a publicly accessible document and subject to stamp duty.
 
Click here to use our Lease Stamp Duty calculator.

 

Freehold conveyances and the registration of mortgages only take place on a Friday afternoon in Jersey. Conveyances are completed by passing a contract before the Royal Court whereby the parties swear an oath that they are aware of the contents of the deed and will not act against it upon pain of perjury. There is therefore a requirement for the personal appearance of the parties or of their duly authorised representative e.g. an attorney authorised by a power of attorney (which has to be registered in the Public Registry in Jersey before it is effective) or by a director of a company authorised by a resolution of the board.

There is no protection for a commercial tenant on a fixed term lease who has, in the absence of specific contractual entitlement to the contrary, no right to require a renewal of the lease.

Jersey does not have the concept of a floating charge over realty. A charge over real estate must be for a fixed sum (although that sum can take into account a contingent liability such as a fluctuating overdraft or guarantee) and must be registered in the Public Registry.

A company can acquire commercial property in Jersey. Any individual wishing to acquire freehold property in Jersey must be residentially qualified. Click here for more details in respect of Housing Qualifications.

Whilst there is a land registry in Jersey known as the Public Registry, it is a Registry of Deeds and not of title. There is no guarantee of title in respect of property transactions and therefore a buyer's lawyer must thoroughly research title on each occasion that a property changes hands.

Any individual or company can lease commercial property for a period of less than nine years. A lease for more than 9 years of purely commercial property does not require consent under the Control of Housing and Work Law where there is no residential property but will otherwise require consent. A company will be granted consent but an individual must have Housing Qualifications. Click here for more details on Jersey’s Housing Qualifications.

It is not possible to get specific performance of a contract to purchase freehold property in Jersey and only the remedy is in damages. In respect of a lease of premises situated in Jersey it is possible to get specific performance to grant a lease up to a period of nine years with the remedy for the balance of the term above nine years being in damages.

If you are a non resident landlord with effect from 1 January 2009 tenants of Jersey property or Jersey agents who collect rent on behalf of a non resident landlord are prima facie obliged to withhold Jersey tax at 20% from rents paid to non resident landlords.

Non-resident landlords can however apply for a certificate which means they that receive rental payments gross.

A trust of Jersey property is presently not valid. If property is owned by a company the shares in that company can however be placed in trust.

There is no VAT but there is a Goods and Service Tax currently charged at the rate of 5%.