Calls to reintroduce ban on evictions and rent increases in Jersey

Since the ban was lifted at the start of October 2020, the Jersey Landlord's Association says there have been 24 eviction cases brought before the Petty Debs Court. Credit: ITV Channel TV

The Jersey Tenants' Forum wants evictions and rent increases to be banned like they were in the first lockdown.

The emergency legislation was introduced in April 2020 to protect islanders who suddenly found themselves out of work and relying on the government's payroll co-funding scheme. However the rules were then scrapped in September.

The Forum is arguing that recent rises in coronavirus infections and business restrictions have resulted further job losses and insecurity, so renters need to be supported again. It says rent freezes and a ban on evictions by social housing providers should also be in place for private tenants.

We know the economy is going to be in a position where it needs support as it recovers. People's incomes will also be finely balanced. Private tenants need the same protections that the State has already extended to those in Social housing. No evictions and a rent freeze. This will give physical and mental security during this important time.

Jersey Tenants' Association

The island's new Housing Minister, Deputy Russell Labey, says he wants to look more closely at the issues of "affordability and quality of housing in the island." He is due to have a meeting with the Jersey Tenants' Association next week and says he would need a lot of convincing to ask the States Assembly to vote it back into law.

The emergency legislation fell away in September, and - while I understand the concerns of the Association - the advice I have received in the days following my appointment is that there is no need to re-introduce those emergency measures.

Deputy Russell Labey, Jersey's Minister for Housing and Communities

Meanwhile, the UK's government has recently announced that a ban on evictions in England is to be extended until the end of March.

Since the ban was lifted in Jersey at the start of October 2020, the Jersey Landlord's Association says there have been 24 eviction cases brought before the Petty Debs Court, with 15 involving social housing and only six by private landlords. Three were linked to tenants at commercial properties.