Plans have been put forward by the Environment Minister for regular inspections of rental homes. However, these have been labelled as ‘needless’ and a ‘waste of time’ by the Jersey Landlords Association who believe a complaints system would be more effective.
The proposals aim to regulate, licence and inspect rental properties annually, to ensure they are meeting basic standards. There have been complaints that many rental properties fail to meet minimum expectations, with tenants left struggling to get their landlords to fix faults and problems. With the cost of housing so high in Jersey, renting is a necessity for many Islanders and the system should therefore benefit both landlord and tenant.
If this is passed in the states, the policy will lead to landlords paying a license fee of up to £200 per unit to let out a property, plus an initial application fee of £50 per unit. The JLA have argued that this will ultimately lead to increased rent and have instead called on the government to impose the existing law. This would allow the system to be policed by complaints. For example, if a tenant complains about a hole in the roof, they would contact Environmental Health and Safety whereupon an inspector would be sent out, speak to the landlord and ensure the issue is resolved.
The matter will be under debate in January 2020.