'Urgent' changes needed to protect renters hit by crisis in Jersey

Deputy Montfort Tadier says there should be a duty of care by the landlord for as long as the tenancy agreement is in place. Credit: ITV Channel TV

A Jersey politician wants people who end up homeless, if there is a fire at the property they rent, to get better protection. Deputy Montfort Tadier wants new laws forcing landlords to provide alternative accommodation while the tenant still has to pay their rent.

Deputy Tadier says it is not "a theoretical problem" and changes are "urgently needed".

Jersey's Residential Tenancy Law states:

If a residential unit that is the subject of a residential tenancy agreement becomes uninhabitable through any event other than a malicious act of the tenant - the tenant is not required to pay any rent or other amount payable under the agreement in respect of any time during which the residential unit is uninhabitable.

Credit: ITV Channel TV

During Tuesday's States meeting Deputy Montfort Tadier asked the island's new Housing and Communities Minister, Deputy Russell Labey, whether there were "sufficient safeguards in place for tenants who find themselves homeless due to a fire or another event not of their making.

Deputy Tadier says there should be a duty of care by the landlord for as long as the tenancy agreement is in place.

He says he has spoken to a resident who says she is "disgusted" about the situation.

Deputy Tadier says another resident expressed similar views saying she felt that they had been "left to fend for themselves" and "that the agents who acted on behalf of the landlord showed no compassion".

Deputy Tadier says he has spoken to other politicians and policy officers about "closing the loophole" and ensuring sufficient protections are in place.