Disputes over Jersey property – relief
What is Jersey relief?
Jersey customary law imposes an obligation on every property owner to set back any new building (or any part of it) constructed on the property so as to allow for a relief (or offset). This relief (or offset) may be contracted out within the property title contracts between the neighbours.
Boundaries & relief
A boundary relief is a strip of land running along the inside of a boundary between two properties which must not be built on, unless the contract of title gives a contractual right to do so.
The width of a relief depends on whether the wall will have windows (other than windows with opaque glass which do not open) or other openings, or not. If it has no windows or other openings, or if the only windows have opaque glass and cannot be opened, the width is 1½ Jersey feet wide. (As there are only 11 inches in a Jersey foot, this means 16½ imperial inches.)
If the wall has windows or other openings through which one can see, the width is 3 Jersey feet (33 imperial inches).
Windows & relief
Jersey customary law provides that a window (which include conservatory windows and greenhouse) should be built at a minimum of three Jersey feet (2 feet 9 inches Imperial) from the boundary of the neighbouring property unless the window is non-opening and opaque.
When to seek legal advice?
Jersey property law dealing with relief and boundary issues can be complicated. A cursory review of the contract may provide a layman with an indication of the boundary, but the customary law of Jersey relating to property law must also be factored in. This may have a bearing on the issue in question and can be an issue that needs to be considered. For example, the fact that you have planning permission to build your extension does not necessarily mean you have the right to build up to your boundary as your land may be subject to a relief or building restriction. We would suggest that you seek Jersey law property advice before engagement to avoid costly issues.