Jersey: Jersey Property Unit Trusts

As a politically stable and tax neutral jurisdiction with over 30 years' accumulated experience as an international finance centre, Jersey has gained a strong reputation as a prime location in which to establish investment structures of all descriptions including a large number of property funds and property holding vehicles.

This brief guide has been prepared by the real estate finance team at Carey Olsen for the purpose of giving clients and professional intermediaries a general overview of Jersey property unit trusts, now commonly referred to as "JPUTs".


Until 2006, JPUTs benefited from an advantageous provision of UK tax law which allowed (in certain circumstances) property to be transferred to a JPUT trustee without UK Stamp Duty Land Tax ("SDLT") being incurred. This led to a substantial number of high-value UK commercial properties being held in JPUTs, including many landmark buildings in the City of London and elsewhere.

Although the SDLT exemption referred to above has now been abolished, JPUTs retain many desirable features, including:

  • no stamp duty being payable (in Jersey or the UK) on transfers of units in a JPUT;
  • no income or capital gains tax being payable in Jersey by a JPUT trustee;
  • the potential to be transparent for UK income tax purposes;
  • the potential to defer or be exempt from UK capital gains tax on the sale of UK property; and
  • being a structure recognized and accepted by lending banks in the UK and elsewhere. 

Accordingly, Carey Olsen continues to receive a steady stream of instructions to establish new JPUTs each year.


It is recommended that special purpose companies be established in each instance to act as trustees of new JPUTs ("SPC Trustees"). Although the provision of trustee services is a regulated activity in Jersey pursuant to the Financial Services (Jersey) Law 1998 (the "FS Law"), an exemption from the requirement to obtain regulated status is available where the following criteria are met:

  • the SPC Trustees are administered by an entity regulated for the conduct of trust company business under the FS Law;
  • the SPC Trustees' sole purpose of establishment and only activity is to act as trustees of a specific JPUT or JPUTs; and
  • the SPC Trustees must not solicit from or provide trust company business services to the public


A unit trust is a legal structure whereby legal ownership of assets is vested in a trustee who holds these on trust for the benefit of unitholders. Under Jersey law, a unit trust must be constituted by a written instrument which sets out, in effect, the terms on which the trustee holds the trust assets for the unitholders.

The trustee of a unit trust may appoint a manager, depending on the needs of the client and the nature of the property held. Alternatively, this function can be undertaken directly by the trustee. In addition, where a JPUT is concerned, it is usual for a property manager to be appointed by the trustee to manage the property and deal with matters such as tenant issues or rent collection.

Typically, trust instruments under Jersey law will contain provisions relating to:

  • the extent of the trustee's powers and discretions
  • the appointment, removal or retirement of the trustee; and
  • the issue, redemption and valuation of units.

Provisions can be included in a trust instrument which require a trustee to obtain the consent of unitholders or a third party (such as a lender) before certain powers are exercised.

There are no taxes, registration fees or duties payable in Jersey in respect of the establishment or administration of a unit trust. However, before a JPUT can be established, the Jersey trustee/administrator will need to identify the beneficial owners behind the structure and will need to obtain due diligence documentation to meet its obligations under the island's anti-money laundering (AML) legislation.


The extent to which a JPUT is subject to regulation in Jersey will depend largely upon the number of persons to whom an offer of units is made and the level of sophistication of those persons.  If there are less than 15 investors, JPUTs can qualify as "Very Private Unit Trusts" with very light touch regulation.


Consent to the establishment of any unit trust (other than a unit trust which is a regulated collective investment fund (see below)) must be obtained from the Jersey regulator, the Jersey Financial Services Commission (the "Commission"). This takes the form of a consent to the raising of money and issue of units under the Control of Borrowing (Jersey) Order 1958 ("COBO"). A unit trust can be established as a very private unit trust where there are no more than fifteen persons to whom an initial offer of units is made and where the number of investors may not exceed fifteen persons at any time throughout the life of the unit trust. For such structures the authorisation process has been streamlined. Details of beneficial owners are required to be disclosed to the Commission on a confidential basis.


A JPUT may be regulated under the Collective Investment Funds (Jersey) Law 1988 (the "CIF Law") if units are to be offered to more than 50 persons or are to be listed on a stock exchange. Jersey functionaries to a JPUT regulated under the CIF Law (for example the trustee or the manager) must be regulated for the conduct of funds services business under the FS Law.

It is possible for JPUTs regulated under the CIF Law to be established under the expert fund regime. Expert funds will be given regulatory approval in three working days and benefit from a lighter ongoing regulatory touch. Further, it is possible for a JPUT that would otherwise require regulation under the CIF Law to be established as an unregulated eligible investor fund or an unregulated exchange traded fund.


The Carey Olsen team has wide experience in JPUTs, regularly advising purchasers, vendors, investors, trustees and finance parties both on the establishment of the structure and on an ongoing basis. In particular, we have recently advised on issues relating to distressed JPUTs and the enforcement of security over JPUT units and JPUT assets. We have also advised on changing the regulatory status of JPUTs, either to permit a wider offer of units or to cancel certificates issued under the CIF Law.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

In association with
Mondaq Advice Centre (MACs)
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.