The Housing Minister has requested a one-month delay to a social housing provider's short-notice 9% rent increase after significant backlash from tenants.
Over the weekend, the Jersey Homes Trust - an accredited social-housing provider which manages 839 homes across 24 estates - began contacting residents informing them that the increase in their rent would be effective on 1 April.
Many tenants expressed their shock and dismay at the sudden rise - among them, 51-year-old Richard Hardy, who said he might have to sell his car to cope with what he described as an "astronomical" increase.
Members of Reform Jersey wrote to the Housing and Social Security Ministers seeking "a better way forward" to "ensure JHT tenants are proactively engaged with to support them through any potential rent increase."
Our members are currently supporting Jersey Homes Trust tenants who are facing large rent increases with just 3 weeks notice. This has been handled in an unacceptable way and we urge the government to intervene.— Reform Jersey (@ReformJersey) March 13, 2023
We must introduce rent control to help fix our broken rental market pic.twitter.com/DTOMqUSFZO
They also called for "urgent action to fix our broken rental market", including the introduction of rent control system.
In his written reply to the Reform letter, Deputy David Warr agreed that "a 9% increase is concerning, as well as a notice period of just three weeks" and, as a result, has written to the Chair of the Jersey Homes Trust to request that the rent increase be delayed by one month.
He added: "I would like to see a much longer notice period becoming the norm for all tenants across the rental sector" and that he will be "pursuing this with work to update the Residential Tenancy Law, on which I hope to publish as white paper soon."
He said he also hoped for Reform's "constructive support" on the topic of rent control.
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