Due to the size of the island and the density of the population, there are strict controls on who may occupy dwellings on Guernsey. The island’s affluence and limited stock of land means that house prices compare with the more affluent parts of the south-east of England. The Housing Control legislation allows the Housing Authority to grant housing licenses to persons brought to the island to fill positions, which the Housing Authority considers to be essential to the well-being of the community. These housing licenses enable such persons to occupy local market dwellings.
Essential licenses are sought by an employer and are limited to a specific post. Such licenses are usually available for a fixed period, such as three or five years. The law also allows approximately 1600 dwellings to be registered as available for non-locally qualified residents without the need for a licence. These properties are known as Open Market homes and are considerably more expensive than Local Market homes because of their restricted supply. Guernsey offers an ideal balance between accessibility to mainland UK and tax seclusion.