Open-ended tenancies and cap on rent rises among Housing Minister's proposed tenancy reforms

Deputy David Warr has set out proposed reforms, which he says will offer better protection for tenants. Credit: ITV Channel

Jersey's Housing Minister has admitted tenants haven't always been treated fairly as he set out proposed reforms to the island's rental law.

Deputy David Warr has published a government white paper setting out how he wants to overhaul the rental market to offer more rights and better protections for tenants living in rented homes.

He plans to introduce open-ended tenancies, in the hope it will reassure tenants they won't be evicted at short notice.

If approved, landlords will have to give tenants at least two months' notice to put up rents, and it can only be put up once a year.

A new Housing Tribunal service will also be created to mediate in residential disputes.

Deputy Warr said: "Since becoming [Housing Minister] last year, it has become clear to me that whilst Jersey is fortunate to have many good landlords and tenants, there are many instances where the relationship hasn’t been working well and people have been treated unfairly."

He added: "This is why I am proposing a number of changes to the Residential Tenancy Law, to reform the standard of tenancies in Jersey in a manner that will give greater and more comprehensive protection to islanders.

"These changes must help us achieve stability in the market and ensure that when things go wrong, there exists an acceptable and accessible route for people to raise their concerns and for the right action to be taken."

Deputy Warr says work has already begun drawing up the new legislation: "I made a commitment to bring forward proposals that will improve residential tenancy issues in Jersey. Planning is already underway with law drafting instructions in place – and which I will consider updating after I have heard people’s views.

"I want to see comprehensive improvements to the level of protection afforded to both tenants and landlords, and I’m pleased to be able to now share details on how I propose to take this forward."

An eight-week public consultation on the plans has begun, with politicians set to debate them in an in-committee debate on Tuesday 2 May.

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