Tenants urged to speak up about unsafe living conditions

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Rogue landlords who rent out dirty or unsafe homes have been put under notice by the Jersey Government.

In response to claims about disgusting living conditions made by a tenant who must leave his damp and mould ridden flat because his landlord has been declared bankrupt, the States has made a plea for tenants putting up with bad living conditions to get in touch.

Environmental Health director Stewart Petrie agrees the St Helier home would fail minimum standards expected from a buy to let home.

A bill is passing through the states for a new law proposing landlords should have a licence - and part of the application would be an inspection of the home to make sure the standards were up to scratch.

“If you have concerns, talk to us – don’t live this way. Unless the property poses an imminent danger to health we are not going to do anything that will jeopardise the tenancy. We will work with the tenant before we talk to the landlord,” said Petrie.

If the licensing law is passed, the new law is expected to start from 1 January 2020. It would involve all current Jersey landlords applying for a licence and opening their properties to inspection.

The bill was put forward by Environmental Health following a succession of complaints about unsuitable homes.

The aim is to put together a list of Jersey landlords and the properties they own for the first time and to make sure each home is properly maintained, with regular inspections by Environmental Health officers.

Jersey operates a voluntary Rent Safe scheme. Landlords are accredited if their rented homes meet a list of minimum standards, but the States suspects many landlords with sub-standard properties do not apply to join the register.

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