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Politicians back landlord licence scheme

Politicians back landlord licence scheme

Wednesday 09 June 2021

Politicians back landlord licence scheme

Wednesday 09 June 2021


Landlords will soon be required to apply for a licence for each of their rental properties, after States Members gave their backing to a previously defeated plan yesterday afternoon.

The landlord licensing scheme proposed by the Environment Minister, Deputy John Young, was defeated last September with 24 votes ‘contre’ and 20 ‘pour’.

Earlier this year, Deputy Rob Ward put forward plans suggesting the Minister should bring back the regulations with a series of amendments, including a renewal period of five years instead of two.

John-Young.jpg

Pictured: The landlord licensing scheme proposed by the Environment Minister, Deputy John Young, was defeated last September.

He also proposed cutting out the original fee structure, instead letting charges be approved by States Members, as well as removing the idea of discounts for landlords who had reached ‘accredited’ status under the Government’s ‘Rent Safe’ scheme.

The new proposition also states that they will "charge only for a new licence and only on application", and that "there will be no charge for existing landlords if they apply by the deadline" or first pre-inspection provided they apply by June 2022.

In his closing speech at the end of the debate, Deputy Ward said the support of the Assembly would give the Minister a “clear message” that his proposals would be successful, after Deputy Young voiced concerns they would fail again after being rejected once.

Deputy Ward also addressed the Minister and other Members' concerns about the manpower involved, noting that a system is already in place as Public Health already inspect properties.

“One of the things that this does, it enables Public Health to really target their inspections,” Deputy Ward said. “I would go as far as to say, I am not a betting man, but I’ll put my best Jersey two pence on the fact that Public Health knows where the problems are and can target, but at the moment it is very difficult to do that and a licensing system enables that.”

He explained a licence was better than a register scheme, which he described as a “watered-down version which will have no teeth” and a “token gesture”, arguing it was more structured and expectant.

“We need to be more expectant of landlords who are not reaching standards for the law that we have passed, otherwise we are enabling landlords to not reach the standards that we have said in this assembly that you must reach and that is a complete contradiction for us and it’s a failure of duty,” he said.

Deputy Ward said the scheme would give a level playing field to landlords with good landlords “flying through the system” and a valid distinction between those who are licensed and have reached the standards and those who have not, which he said was vital in terms of Public Health.

He said he was disappointed the Chief Minister, Senator John Le Fondré, would not support the proposal.

The Deputy suggested the Government might be subsidising poor accommodation “to the tune of millions of pounds” through income support and that poor living standards might be causing health issues.

“If you were to map damp poor accommodation on this island with incidences of asthma, and incidences of breathing complaints, I think they would just correlate way more than for it to be an accident, and I think this licensing scheme can start to address those inadequacies,” he said.

“This is the opportunity for us to have a system in place that is not inflationary, supports good landlords, supports the provision of a developing quality of homes on this island, is absolutely doable very quickly, has a time span,” Deputy Ward concluded.

“The Minister can bring back the regulations as amended by this proposition and we can move forward and look our constituents in the eye and say ‘we support you living in decent accommodation and the Government has set a standard and is actually only going to license who reach that standard, that sir is a huge step forward for the island, it values everybody on the island.”

25 members voted in favour of the proposition with 19 voting against.

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Posted by Jon Jon on
Whats the betting in time a charge will be made to landlords, simply it will be passed on to tenants.Ok have a register of properties but why not a register of tenants.Simply when you need to let out again you can look on the register and see if that person has been a good tenant, failed to pay rent, damaged any property etc.
I was also told by a landlord tell the inspectors that all white good belong to the tenant, otherwise the landlord has to have all appliances certified by an electrician at the landlords own cost.
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