A Deputy is pushing to stop Andium Homes tenants facing “sudden” rent rises of up to £400 per month after downsizing or moving into a refurbished property.
Reform Jersey’s Deputy Rob Ward says the Treasury Minister should introduce a scheme to remove the “sudden shock of significant rent rises” and instead introduce them incrementally, and will be asking States Members for their backing in a vote next month.
In a report explaining his proposition, Deputy Ward explained: "We have a recognised cost of living crisis that is impacting those with the lowest incomes the most, with rental stress being the main factor for many. Some tenants of Andium Homes face a significant increase in rents following moves due to refurbishment of homes. Furthermore, some who chose to downsize may face a similar rent or even an increase. It should be noted that some of these increases in rent could be up to £400 per month."
Pictured: Reform Jersey politician Deputy Rob Ward, who represents St. Helier Central.
He continued: This proposition seeks to suspend any such increases for one year in order that tenants may have more time to deal with the financial impact. This would include time for those drawn into an income support claim to be given advice and help in applying for this support to meet the increased rental cost. Following the initial one year rental freeze, I propose that any increase should be introduced incrementally over a reasonable period and that this should be accompanied by a review of the ability to pay."
Deputy Ward, who recently revealed he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer, further argued that, as the main, public-backed social housing provider for Jersey, Andium has a "responsibility beyond just the collection of rents and returns to government."
He estimated that around 27 tenants could be assisted by his proposition, but noted that exact figures were not available.
Express contacted Andium on Wednesday to establish how many tenants have faced sudden rent rises due to refurbishment, and how many tenants have faced rental increases of up to £400. The social housing provider is yet to respond.
Express would like to hear from those affected by rent increases. You can speak in confidence to our team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Rents will rise, as everything else is going up, including interest rates and homeowners mortgage payments. He has a point, but needs to bring greater information if he requires public support.