mydeposits Jersey’s contract to administer the islands’ tenancy deposit protection scheme has been extended for another two years.
Jersey’s housing minister Sam Mézec signed a ministerial decision to extend the contract after mydeposits Jersey successfully met 100 per cent of the key performance indicators set by the government.
How does deposit protection work?
mydeposits Jersey has operated as the only authorised deposit protection scheme on the island since 2015. Tenancy deposit protection was made compulsory for Islanders in 2015, meaning that all landlords and letting agents must protect their tenancy deposits with mydeposits Jersey, within 30 working days of receiving it from the tenant.
Monies are held in a third-party bank account for the tenancy duration and repaid to the tenant should there be no issues in the rental property at the end of the tenancy. mydeposits Jersey also operate a free impartial alternative dispute resolution service (ADR) to settle any disagreements over deposits deductions if they cannot be agreed at the end of the tenancy.
In a report accompanying the decision to extend mydeposits Jersey’s contract, it states that the introduction of tenancy deposit protection has had a positive effect on the rental market in Jersey, helping to promote good practice.
Eddie Hooker, CEO of mydeposits, also comments
I am delighted that the Housing Minister has extended our contract for a further two years. This is testament to the hard work my team have out in over the past few years in making the scheme and tenancy deposit protection on the island a success. There is so much more work to be done but I am confident that by working hard with the government, our partner Citizen Advice Bureau, and our members we will continue to help raise standards across the rental sector in Jersey for years to come.
Inclusive deposit protection
Despite the positive impact of the scheme so far the report also states that there are still ‘small amendments’ that can be made to further improve the scheme for landlords, letting agents and tenants. For example, tenancy deposit protection could be backdated to cover tenancies that started before the law came into effect.
The report adds, ‘Firstly, the tenancy deposit scheme currently applies only to tenancies entered into, renewed or varied after 2 November 2015’
‘The arrangements do not apply to tenancies that commenced before this date, so not all tenants benefit from the protection the scheme provides. It may be appropriate to make the tenancy deposit scheme retrospective and apply it to tenancies that commenced between May 2013 (when the Residential Tenancy Law came into force) and November 2015.
‘Concern has also been raised about the protection afforded to people who live in non-self-contained accommodation. This type of tenure is not covered by the Residential Tenancy Law, so it is not included under the tenancy deposit scheme. As such, there is a concern that some people who pay deposits do not receive the same protections as others. In order to alleviate this problem, further consideration could be given to including non-self-contained accommodation within the scope of the tenancy deposit scheme arrangements so that all deposit money is treated the same. However, it is acknowledged that there are legal obstacles to this happening based on the current scope of the Residential Tenancy Law and the types of rented accommodation to which the law applies.’
Statistics show that at the end of September 2018 mydeposits Jersey had protected 9,766 deposits.