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Politicians vote down bid to broaden rent hike appeal panel

Politicians vote down bid to broaden rent hike appeal panel

Wednesday 21 September 2022

Politicians vote down bid to broaden rent hike appeal panel

Wednesday 21 September 2022


States Members have voted down the idea of adding a representative for tenants, a charity sector worker with an understanding of homelessness, and an Andium official to a tribunal tasked with hearing appeals against rent rises.

The law allowing for a Rent Control Tribunal to be appointed to review whether rent increases are fair dates back to 1946 - however, no such panel has been appointed since 2009.

After the previous Housing Minister made a commitment to reintroduce one in his Fair Rents Plan in May, a recruitment process for the panel was launched.

When Housing Minister Deputy David Warr put forward his preferred slate of four candidates – among them, the Chair of the more than 200-strong Jersey Landlords Association, Guy Morris – Reform Jersey accused him of creating a panel that was "stacked" with landlords.

Aiming to create what he described as further "balance" in the Rent Control Tribunal, Reform's Deputy Geoff Southern then put forward a proposal to tweak the membership.

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Pictured: Reform Jersey's Deputy Geoff Southern put forward the proposal to change the composition of the Rent Control Tribunal.

He argued that the panel should be made up of: "one Chair, one member to represent landlords, one to represent tenants, one to represent Andium Homes as the largest social housing provider, and one person from the charitable sector "with an understanding of homeless/consumer issues."

The proposal was debated this afternoon in the States Assembly.

Speaking on Deputy Southern's behalf due to his absence, Deputy Sam Mézec described the current proposed tribunal as a "car crash" waiting to happen.

Deputy Warr successfully brought an amendment to the proposal to remove the specific reference to appointing a member of Andium from the panel, arguing that there was no such need given that the tribunal dealt with private sector rentals.

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Pictured: New Housing Minister, Deputy David Warr, succeeded in his amendment but the overall proposition failed.

However, just 12 States Members voted in favour of Deputy Southern's overall plan to amend the membership of the Rent Control Tribunal and it was rejected.

READ MORE...

Minister defends Rent Control Tribunal "stacked" with landlords

Reform challenges 'landlord stacked' rent tribunal

Recruitment underway to provide “greater balance” on rent panel

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