The County Homesearch Company is represented in the Channel Islands by our partner, Quintessential Relocation Consultants, owned and managed by Jo Stoddart. Founded to provide a bespoke service for the growing number of businesses and private individuals seeking to establish themselves in Jersey and Guernsey, the ethos and standards of service which the company provides to its clients mirrors those of the County Homesearch Company.
Jo has lived through several international relocations and previously managed a busy commercial property practice on Guernsey, having also lived and worked in Jersey, London and Paris. Her first-hand experience of relocation to the Channel Islands coupled with her in-depth knowledge of both the residential and commercial property markets on Jersey and Guernsey have equipped her with the knowledge, experience, contacts and skills to provide an unrivalled service on both islands.
Through QRC, County Homesearch provides a full range of home-finding and relocation services to private individuals and businesses seeking to move their home, their staff or their business to Jersey or Guernsey. Our primary services focus on residential and commercial property-finding but we are also able to provide a wide range of support services to our clients to ensure that their new life on the islands gets off to the best possible start.
Private client services include assistance to those moving home, to acquire a second home, purchase an investment property or search for rental property. However, many of our clients will be unfamiliar with Jersey or Guernsey and so we offer a preliminary service, organising visits to the islands and arranging personal accompanied orientation tours. We also provide independent property market advice and information as well as advice and guidance about schooling and childcare and an objective look at what life on Jersey or Guernsey would be like. A programme of settling-in services is also available to help new residents to find their feet and start making the most of island life from the start.
For our corporate clients we can provide a full programme of relocation support for employees moving to or from Jersey or Guernsey. Not only are we able to advise on the complexities of the housing laws (which are different on both islands) but we can provide guidance and advice in respect of budget and location as well as orientation services, rental searches, lease negotiation, settling-in services and departure programmes.
Jersey and Guernsey are wonderful places to live, work and do business and although in some respects they feel like a wonderfully picturesque corner of the mainland, there are some fundamental differences; the islands are independent from the UK, do not form part of the EU and have their own democratically elected governments. Consequently they make their own laws, set their own budgets and are able to fix their own levels of taxation. Being accompanied through the relocation process by experienced professionals can be invaluable to newcomers and the services provided by County Homesearch through QRC are designed to save clients time, money and stress, helping them to navigate their way through the quirks and complexities of relocation to the islands.
Our goal is to provide a bespoke service to help busy people through the transition period of relocation, to facilitate their choices and decisions, enabling them to get on with their new lives as quickly as possible.
Situated approximately 70 miles from the south coast of England and a short distance from the north-west coast of France, Guernsey offers 24 square miles of beautiful countryside, a stunning coastline and, courtesy of the Gulf Stream, a mild climate. Guernsey is independent from the UK and has its own democratically elected parliament, makes its own laws, sets its own budget and also its own levels of taxation.
The quality of life enjoyed by the island's approximately 62,000 residents is exceptional - Guernsey offers a dynamic environment in which to do business whilst retaining a wonderful community spirit, an excellent education system and a safe and nurturing environment for children to grow up in.
Guernsey offers a world-class international finance centre, which includes banking, funds, trusts and fiduciary services and is held in high regard the world over, having been one of the first jurisdictions to be placed on the OECD's "white" list. Guernsey's GDP is amongst the highest in the world and the business-friendly environment has attracted a number of thriving industries.
The natural beauty of the island provides an environment of contrasts with stunning walks along the cliffs, miles of beautiful sandy beaches and countless hidden coves. Islanders take every opportunity to make the most of their surroundings and a wealth of clubs and activities are on offer including sailing, surfing, sand racing and coasteering to name but a few. Guided walks are regularly organised and countless sporting events take place every week for all ages and levels of competence. The opportunities available are exceptional and it is a tribute to the standards of coaching on Guernsey that many islanders go on to reach international acclaim in their chosen sport. Local sporting heroes include three-times world touring car champion Andy Priaulx and Heather Watson, the first British woman to win the US Open Junior title.
Housing rules applicable to Guernsey residents
Guernsey has a limited housing stock and consequently operates a housing control system. Housing is divided into two categories - Local Market and Open Market. Although the rules for occupation are very detailed, as a general rule, anyone who is locally born and has spent at least ten years of their childhood here, or is married to a locally qualified resident, may occupy a Local Market property. A few notable exceptions to this rule are "licence holders", whose presence on the island is deemed to be "essential" due to the nature of their work. Such licences are limited in time and are generally only given to specialists in the finance sector, doctors, teachers and other professionals whose skills are not always readily available without recruiting from outside the island.
Anyone who has right of abode in the UK or is an EU or Swiss national can occupy an Open Market property. Approximately 7% of the total housing stock is inscribed on the Open Market register and as a general rule, these tend to be amongst the larger properties on the island. Anyone who occupies property inscribed in Part A of the Open Market Register is automatically permitted to work on the island and it is this category of housing which is generally sought after by those seeking to move to Guernsey for personal reasons, rather than those being relocated by their company.
Further detailed information about Housing regulations can be obtained from the Guernsey Housing department.
The island of Guernsey is divided into ten parishes with the capital of the island, St Peter Port, being the island’s town. With the exception of the parish of St Andrews which is landlocked, all the other parishes have coastal areas which vary dramatically around the island. The south coast boasts wonderful cliff path walks and amazing views towards Jersey and France, whilst the north and west coasts offer a mixture of beautiful sandy beaches, rocky coves and tiny natural harbours where fishermen anchor their boats. The east coast of the island is the location of both the main harbour of St Peter Port as well as the newer harbour at St Sampsons, near to the Vale Castle, where a lot of the island’s industrial infrastructure is situated. To the south of St Peter Port is Fort George, a former military fortress which was re-developed in the 1960’s and 1970’s into an exclusive residential area of Open Market properties. Some of these homes are amongst the most stunning on the island and boast amazing views over the sea and the neighbouring islands of Herm, Jethou and Sark.
St Martins is a very sought-after area which boasts a mixture of traditional Guernsey granite cottages, elegant manor houses as well as some very modern, state of the art properties. There is also a charming village centre in this parish and an excellent primary school as well as some wonderful restaurants including the Fermain Beach Cafe, considered by The Guardian in an article published in 2007 to be one of the top five beach cafes in the world! The parish of Forest on the south coast also boasts stunning cliff path walks as well as gorgeous, tiny country lanes, woodland and streams and an eclectic mix of large farm houses and typical Guernsey granite cottages. Torteval and St Pierre du Bois are similarly beautiful although the land slopes gently down to the sea and has a feel of open country. Coming up the west coast, the parish of St Saviours has some large properties set in rolling countryside as well as rocky coves and a lovely shoreline. Vazon Bay and Cobo Bay are both in the parish of Castel and residents can choose either to be close to the sea or to live on a more elevated position and look down on the bays. Vazon Bay is very popular for sports including surfing, sand-surfing, sand racing and a multitude of other activities whilst Cobo has a delightful village centre near to the beach. The sunsets along the west coast are stunning and many locals enjoy the terraces of some of the restaurants and pubs with viewing areas where patrons can sit back and watch the sun go down! The parish of Vale is divided into two parts and offers rugged coastlines and country lanes as well as beautiful common land known as L’Ancresse Common, which is home to the Royal Guernsey Golf Club and also boasts some lovely properties with amazing views in a unique location.
The standard of education in Guernsey is very high and there is an excellent choice of schools from nursery through to age 18. Primary school children can either be educated at one of the States funded local schools (admission usually depends on residency in the catchment area), or at one of the private colleges. Secondary education is also of a good standard and pupils may attend one of the three local secondary schools, the Grammar School or one of three private single sex colleges. Children with special needs are also well catered for on the island. Guernsey also has a varied choice of nurseries and pre-schools although these have all to be paid for privately. The majority of Guernsey's school leavers choose to attend University in the UK or elsewhere. However, the island does offer tertiary education through the College of Further Education and the Guernsey Training Agency, whilst some students opt to study on the island through the Open University.
Guernsey is well served by ferry and plane connections. Condor Ferries operates a passenger and car ferry service between the Channel Islands, the UK and France and local shipping companies operate other inter-island routes as well as a passenger-only service to Cartaret in France. Aurigny, Blue Islands and Flybe operate inter-island and UK routes as well as flights to Dinard, Geneva and Zurich. However, Islanders usually have to transit through one of the UK airports en route to foreign destinations – there are few direct flights to foreign destinations other than those mentioned above although local airlines do put on special flights to holiday destinations at different times of the year to coincide with the main school holidays.
“Thank you Jo, we couldn’t have done it without you.” November 2011
“Many thanks again Jo for such care and attention. I could not recommend you more highly.” October 2011
“I rate your service as being of significant value. This move has gone significantly smoother than our previous move and a large part of that has been as a direct result of your service.” August 2011
“Thank you so much for your help and support so far. The information and pointers you have provided both on a personal and professional level having been through the relocation process yourself is invaluable.” June 2011
“I have fed comments back to the HR team and have recommended we engage your services for any member of staff that might relocate to Guernsey over the next few years.” June 2011
“I can say without a doubt I will be taking on your services to help us with our move. Your advice to date has been priceless and I am delighted with the service I have been getting from you. Thank you!” May 2011
“Thank you for all your help. The service we received from you was outstanding and I have told as many people as I can that I highly recommend your service for any future staff relocations to Guernsey.” December 2010
“Thank you so much for all of your work this week with us. It is just crazy how the time has flown and how much we have squeezed in these past few days. You have made us feel welcome in becoming a part of this beautiful island community albeit for a short while. Thank you for the great fun this week!!! I truly could not have imagined a better experience!” May 2011
“You really just were the best person to have introduced us to island living. You helped us relax by who you are and in being so organized which helped us to be able to absorb and make good decisions.” July 2011
“The first comments I would make about our relocation is what a great person we are working with in Guernsey. You've done a fabulous job with everything and I love your professionalism with a personal touch.” June 2011
"Your recommendation for a doctor was spot on. Thanks again for all your help with info and settling in - it's been invaluable.” September 2011
County Homesearch Company Ltd
Le Jardin des Roches
+44 (0)1481 257200Email