Renting in Guernsey
Guernsey is a beautiful island with low crime rates, a benign tax regime and stable government making it a very attractive place in which to live. With limited space it is no surprise that demand for housing is strong and strict controls are needed protect local housing stocks whilst still allowing for the movement of key or essential workers and EU passport holders into the island. There are two categories of housing:
There are approximately 1,600 open market properties on the island, many of which are considered Guernsey's finest homes. They are eligible for rent or purchase and occupation by anyone with the right to live in the UK or other EU member states.
Approximately 90% of the 22,000 houses in Guernsey are local market. They are only eligible for rent or purchase and occupation by locally qualified residents or by non-local persons who have been granted an essential Housing License by the States Housing Authority. Some of the jobs advertised locally will have a Housing License available as part of their terms of employment.
We would be delighted to view your property without obligation, and to discuss its letting potential and rental valuation, taking into account your personal preferences. We are pleased to offer this advice free with our compliments.
We prepare attractive advertisements for maximum impact, placed in the local newspaper and on our website, and undertake regular mailings to local companies and employers who need accommodation for personnel.
VETTING OF TENANTS
We want to be sure that the tenants we choose are suitable for your property. Whilst it is impossible to guarantee their reliability and trustworthiness, we do take care to first obtain bank and character references.
There are risks involved with letting your property - a tenant's personal circumstances may change and rent can go unpaid or disputes occur. The property might suffer damage, or appliances breakdown. We are able to offer direction and preliminary advice on settling such matters.
You need continue to insure your property and contents, though contents cover may need to be reduced. If you decide to remain with your existing insurers, you should advise them that the property will be let, as this may affect the terms and conditions. We inform tenants (in the lease) that they should insure their own contents and recommend that their cover includes accidental damage to your property and contents, although this is not compulsory
We prepare a full, detailed inventory of the contents and fixtures and fittings and the condition is carefully noted. A copy is given to the tenants at the beginning of their tenancy, and they are advised that it will be used at the end of the term to confirm that the property is returned in the same condition, subject only to fair wear and tear. It is advisable not to leave items at the property that you would not want damaged as this can happen unintentionally.
Typically the lease is for a period of twelve months that then continues on a rolling basis with 3 months notice and annual rent reviews .
REPAIRS AND MAINTENANCE
All properties require repairs and maintenance – quite often at the most unexpected and inconvenient times!! We ask tenants to advise us immediately should any problems occur. They are given an "emergency sheet" with the telephone numbers of preferred reputable tradesmen to contact in the event of an emergency out of office hours. You are kept informed of any problems and the next level of our involvement is for you to decide. You may have notified us of your preference to use particular tradesmen, or you may want us to obtain estimates– you tell us what you require.
We will undertake to carry out a routine visit to the property quarterly during the tenancy. This ensures that you are kept up to date on the condition of the property and made aware of any problems or faults that may have arisen, and also we satisfy ourselves that the tenant is keeping the property in a clean and tidy condition.
Gas appliances must be serviced by the landlord and a mandatory gas compliance certificate produced in accordance with The Health and Safety (Gas) (Guernsey) Ordinance, 2006.
Electrical appliances and supply must be safe. In the future, Inspectors may ask for confirmation of compliance, though no timescale has yet been stated by law. It is in your interest to provide working instructions for appliances.
WHAT THE TENANTS PAY FOR?
All amounts due for utilities used or consumed i.e. gas, oil, telephone, electricity, sewage, water and parish rates, except where these are included in ground rent for a flat. Tenants pay a security deposit equivalent to a minimum of one month's rent (or an amount agreed by both parties), which is retained until the termination of the tenancy and refunded unless there is reason to retain all or part of it.
Somewhere in the small print of most mortgage agreements in an item that requires the borrower to tell the lender of any changes in the use of the property; failure to do so could abrogate the terms of the mortgage agreement. We advise you to inform the lender that you are proposing to let your property if you have a mortgage secured on it.
The security deposit is returned to the tenants following a satisfactory final inspection of the property after the termination of the tenancy. The inspection includes a thorough review of the property – we expect and require the property to be returned in a condition, subject to acceptable wear and tear, which is comparable to the condition in which the property was first taken. In this matter we would ask you to accept our judgement as experienced agents.
It is required by law for us to know if you are not resident in Guernsey for income tax purposes.
Many landlords prefer not to have pets in their properties. However, if you have no objection to pets being kept on the premises, the lease will include a 'pet clause' which provides an undertaking that the carpets will be professionally cleaned at the termination of the tenancy. A receipted invoice is required as evidence that this has been done, at the final inspection.
We ask tenants to send us any mail which arrives for you at the property – this is then forwarded to you. However, we strongly recommend that landlords and outgoing tenants subscribe to postal redirection as it is not always possible to rely on the new occupier to forward mail and important documents could go astray.
Tenants are responsible for the general upkeep of gardens. However landlords typically may prefer a regular gardener of their own or to undertake mowing the lawn etc
We can assure prospective landlords of a friendly and comprehensive service based on many years of experience. We trust this introduction serves as a useful guide and we would welcome an opportunity to discuss your requirements in more detail and, of course, without obligation.