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JERSEY - Licences required for landlords  


Landlords must have a licence for all homes they rent out in Jersey.

The States voted to approve the plan Environment Minister Deputy Jonathan Renouf proposed, which will require landlords to meet minimum standards.

A licence will be needed for each property a landlord rents out, which costs £60 and is valid for two years.

The Landlords Association said its members are against the change and feel they "are being set up to fail".

Mr Renouf said the licence would put a flexible support system in place to deal with "poor rented standards".

He said:

  • "It is to replace the current system which is just one option in the case of non-compliance with minimum standards. One option currently available is criminal prosecution.
  • "The point is for landlords to be able to be given a condition on the licence, which asks them to take action to rectify the problem.
  • "Licences can be made conditional upon rectifying faults - obviously, some of those faults will be more serious than others. Only in the case of completely uninhabitable properties would a licence be withdrawn - that is very rare."

Patrick Lynch from the charity Caritas said recent studies had shown there were many rented homes in the island which the authorities did not know about - and many were not fit for people to live in.

He said:

  • "Whether that be health, mould, lack of heating or safety and the tenants in those properties aren't able to do anything about it at the moment.
  • "A lot of them are people without five years residency, so they're afraid to speak out, and are living in these difficult conditions."

Al McLenahan, from UK not for profit organisation Justice for Tenants, said the £60 would not put landlords off renting their properties.

He said:

  • "Mortgage rates and things like that, which actually massively do increase costs for a landlord, are going to be big factors, but a £60 licence fee is less than half a percent the year's rent for anything - that in itself won't be a factor."

'Set up to fail'

Guy Morris, from the Landlords Association, said there was already enough control over properties in the island - and it was unfair to tell landlords they could be fined if they needed to know what minimum standards needed to be met.

He said:

  • "A landlord can't really know beforehand what failing in minimum standards is, because there is no published guidance - so landlords we feel are being set up to fail.
  • "The equivalent would be being told you're going to be fined for driving too fast or even worse, having your driving licence taken away, but not being told what or where the speed limits are."


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