As an important pillar within the structure of the Bailiwick of Guernsey, the jurisdiction of Alderney has some unique characteristics concerning property and the treatment of it. We at Ferbrache & Farrell are very well versed with the particular laws and procedures that apply to Alderney registered land, and also with the Court of Alderney applications that are needed.

In this particular case, we were approached by a married couple; the husband was a UK citizen, and his wife was a passport holder from a country that is not an EU Member State.  The couple sought to buy a residential property in Alderney.  For ease of reference, let us call them ‘Mr and Mrs X’. Whilst Mr X (as a UK citizen) could purchase property there in his own name, his wife could not.

Although UK immigration law transposes into Bailiwick law by an Order in Council (and with local modifications), each jurisdiction within the Bailiwick may have its own arrangements determining how property may be owned.

In Alderney, the governing law dates to 1906 and is called the Loi Relative à l'Acquisition de Propriété Immobilière en cette Île par des Étrangers ou par des Sociétés Étrangères 1906 (as amended).

The peculiarities of that piece of legislation apply to Mr and Mrs X and we were instructed to help.  It was a pleasure to be able to assist as applications under the 1906 regime are fairly rare.

In the first instance, we collated various pieces of evidence about the circumstances of Mrs X, supported by an affidavit. 

We then presented a formal written Petition to the Queen’s local representative, namely His Excellency The Lieutenant Governor of the Bailiwick of Guernsey Vice Admiral Sir Ian Corder KBE CB. 

Our Petition set out various grounds why Mrs X should be granted permission to purchase property in Alderney.

Having achieved success at the first hurdle with our Petition being approved, we then made an oral application before the full Alderney Court.  That application referred to the position taken by His Excellency and that various criteria had been met under the 1906 Law.

Happily, the application was granted enabling Mr and Mrs X to purchase their new home.

In an excellent example of cross-jurisdictional assistance (and which was greatly appreciated), the Royal Court of Guernsey kindly accommodated a video link to Court of Alderney, a neat modern treatment of a very old piece of legislation.

For any Alderney queries, please do not hesitate to contact us, we would be delighted to help.

Author Alastair Hargreaves Advocate, Solicitor & Managing Partner