Rent a Room scheme lets down both tenants and landlords, says Reform Jersey

Figures from the government show around a quarter of households are under-occupied. Credit: ITV Channel TV

Reform Jersey claims the government's Rent a Room scheme "has not been properly thought out."

The party believes there are safeguarding issues, which do not guarantee the safety of tenants and landlords.

It added that more needs to be done to inform people of their rights if they sign up to the scheme.

Party leader, Deputy Sam Mézec, said: "The fact that the government has seen this as a greater priority than previously proposed actions such as a private sector rent freeze, shows that they are out of touch with the needs of those Islanders who are desperately struggling with the housing crisis."

Under the Rent a Room plan, islanders can now get tax relief on money they receive for renting out a room in their home.

Figures from the government show around one-quarter of households are under-occupied.

It is hoped the scheme will help address the island's accommodation shortages, particularly for short-term tenants, like language students or seasonal workers.

The Housing Minister, David Warr, said: "Whoever it is, they are likely to feel more welcome, and more in touch with Island life, if they’re staying in someone’s home.”

The rooms cannot be rented out to a family member and must be in the homeowner's main residence.