Landlord licensing moves closer for Jersey

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A register of landlords has moved a step closer with plans for a mandatory licensing scheme across Jersey.

The States argues the register will reveal the location of every private rented home on the island for the first time.

Mapping the extent of buy to let would enable ministers to set minimum housing standards and to root out rogue landlords flouting the rules, claims Environmental Health Director Stewart Petrie, who is asking landlords and tenants for their views about the licensing scheme.

“The purpose of the consultation is to get public feedback on the proposals for introducing this licensing scheme,” he said.

“It will help ensure minimum standards for the quality of housing provision continue to be met in the private rental market. We welcome all feedback whether from a landlord, tenant, managing agent or interested member of the public.”

The States agreed to implement the licensing scheme in October 2018.

Currently, landlords operate under the voluntary Rent Safe programme.

“The intention is for licensing of the rental sector to improve the quality and management of privately rented properties in Jersey by setting a decent standard for landlords to comply with and enable compliance inspections to be undertaken where intelligence suggests the property is not being well managed,” says the consultation document.

“This proposal is designed to increase confidence within the sector, reflecting the many good landlords whilst requiring poor landlords to improve their offer.”

Meanwhile, Jersey Landlord Association chairman Robert Weston is calling for landlords so they can quickly remove tenants and recover any associated costs.

“The present proposal will undoubtedly deter new landlords from entering the letting industry,” he said.

“It will encourage existing landlords to sell their property and reinvest the money somewhere else, preferably where there is less red-tape, or no red-tape at all.

“The bottom line is that this registration and inspection proposal is wholly counter-productive to the Island’s desperate need for more rented accommodation in our Island, at lower rents.”Find out more about the consultation, which is open to 28 June.

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