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Politicians throw out licensing for rented homes...again

Politicians throw out licensing for rented homes...again

Wednesday 21 July 2021

Politicians throw out licensing for rented homes...again

Wednesday 21 July 2021

States Members have once again thrown out an attempt to introduce a registry of rented homes - despite indicating they would back it just one month ago.

For the second time, Environment Minister Deputy John Young yesterday asked fellow politicians to back his proposal to require landlords to licence any property that was rented out as accommodation.

Despite States Members having indicated last month that they would be willing to back such a scheme, his proposals were rejected again.

Deputy John Young argued that his proposed licensing regime would provide Environmental Health Officers with a complete data set of licensed homes.

Armed with this information, they could then carry out “proactive targeted inspections” of rented properties to make sure that they met the required standards, which have already become law.

If passed, a landlord would not have been allowed to rent out a property unless it was licensed. Each licence, which would have been initially free, would have lasted three years, he said.

Deputy Young's earlier attempt to introduce a licence regime had been rejected by the States Assembly last September. 

The details were rejected this time round by the narrowest of margins – 23 votes to 22.

Those speaking against the new regime said that it would lead to the Government having to recruit more inspectors and its costs – including the “inevitable” introduction of a licence fee – would be passed on to tenants.

Those supporting the introduction of licences included Senator Sam Mézec, who called the rejection “shameful”.

After the debate, the Jersey Tenants’ Forum expressed its “disgust” at the result.

“It will come as no surprise that the members of the States Assembly who are landlords acted once again as a group to reject legislation that would mean that tenants would be safe in their homes,” it said. 

“The Environment Minister pointed out that this was part of the Government's own plan to raise housing standards. But his had no effect on the landlord lobby. 

“This is clearly symptomatic of a failed political class. As more and more professional people find themselves in poorer accommodation because they cannot afford the high rents in Jersey they will not put up with such vested interests. 

“A system of Government that allows members to vote in favour of their own interests and undermine their own plans is no system at all. The people of Jersey deserve better.” 

Children's Commissioner Deborah McMillan said the result would be a "huge disappointment" to children who highlighted housing issues in their responses to the recent 'Life on the Rock' report.

States Members who declared that they were landlords included Senators John Le Fondré, Ian Gorst and Kristina Moore; Deputies Steve Luce, Rowland Huelin and Gregory Guida; and the Constables of St. Ouen and Grouville.

A full list of how States Members voted can be seen HERE.

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Posted by Danny Moisan on
It's an absolute shambles! how can we possibly continue to allow politicians with vested interests have a vote on such an important debate? its a greasy slide to more enforced poverty for the lower earning proportion of society, if our own politicians cant see that! then we are indeed in trouble.
Posted by John Sheen on
Just a bizarre decision in an election year- unless they live in the hope that the tiny proportion of those Islanders who can be bothered to vote are also landlords.
Posted by Glenn Cowie on
No doubt, a lot of current states members will have direct, vested interests in rental property on the island. No wonder there is a reluctance to agree to this on their part. Why, as an island, are we surprised??
Posted by Donal Dolo on
This election is going to change everything
Posted by Davey West on
Legislation is already in place for private landlords to be visited by the States authorities should a tenant lodge a complaint. This is often overlooked in the media.
Posted by Steve Liron on
Did any States Member voting on this matter and living in rented accommodation – if indeed there are any – feel similarly conflicted on the issue of impartiality when choosing pour or contre…..?
Posted by IanSmith97 on
This is another manifestation of the undesirability of having ‘’successful independent businessmen” being the vast majority in the assembly and pulling the strings of the executive. I didn’t think such vested interests could act in such a brazen manner. Apparently I was wrong. A new nadir for our discredited assembly. Appalling.
Posted by John Sheen on
Just a bizarre decision in an election year- unless they live in the hope that the tiny proportion of those Islanders who can be bothered to vote are also landlords.
Posted by Donal Dolo on
Should it not be the people voting on these issues
Posted by DavidBisson52 on
Absolutely appalling and shocking, but sadly not in the bit surprising the politicians voting against are only in government for their own self advancement and don’t care about families struggling for a decent home to live in.
Posted by Keith Marsh on
I demand a recount, with any States Member who is also a landlord not being allowed to vote ~ I wonder what the position would be then.
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