Minimum standards for rented dwellings: licensing regulations

Scrutiny review - Environment, Housing and Infrastructure Panel

Launch date: 14/10/2019

Review status: Review started

What is the review about?

​The Draft Public Health and Safety (Rented Dwellings) (Jersey) Law 201- (P.66/2017) was lodged in July 2017 and proposed requirements for landlords to meet minimum standards for their rental properties. In the absence of the draft Law there were few powers available to officers to elicit improvements to sub-standard rented accommodation in Jersey. For instance, the Statutory Nuisances (Jersey) Law 1999 allows officers to ensure rented dwellings accommodation is “wind and water tight” and the Loi (1934) sur la Santé Publique has provision for closing houses under certain, very serious circumstances.


The Law was approved unanimously by the States Assembly on 12th December 2017 with 35 votes for and 0 against.

Subsequently, the Department for Growth, Housing and Environment produced a draft of the licensing regulations to accompany the Law and recently held a public consultation over the summer of 2019. The Draft Public Health and Safety (Rented Dwellings) (Licensing) (Jersey) Regulations 201- (P.106/2019) was lodged on 1st October 2019 and is scheduled for debate on 12th November 2019.  However, the Panel has requested that the Minister for the Environment defer the debate until January 2020, in order to allow enough time to fully scrutinse the proposals and produce a report to the Assembly ahead of a debate.

The main proposals are, that if adopted, these regulations will require the inspection of the condition of rented properties, as well as the introduction of a licensing fee (as proposed in the table below). You can view the proposals in full here. 

Table.JPG

Key issues

  • Are the proposed licensing regulations fair and proportionate?
  • Have concerns from stakeholders been addressed in the revised draft, post-consultation?
  • What impact will the regulations have?
  • Is the proposed licensing inspection regime a duplication of the current non-compulsory ‘rent-safe’ scheme?
  • Will the cost of licensing increase the cost of renting?
  • Is the Department sufficiently resourced to undertake the scale of inspections these regulations will bring into force? 

If you would like share your views on the proposals with the Panel, you can do so by clicking on the 'Have your say' link on this page or you can send an email to scrutiny@gov.je

Review progress

​The Panel will be writing to targeted stakeholders over the coming weeks and will be holding public hearings with the Minister for the Environment and the Minister for Children and Housing in late November / early December 2019.

Terms of reference

​1.    To determine whether the draft regulations are fit for purpose, as well as fair and proportionate.

2.    To assess how and to what extent the Department has considered feedback gathered in the consultation and whether any legitimate concerns from stakeholders have been adequately addressed.

3.    To consider the impact the proposed regulations will have on tenants, landlords and letting agents.

4.    To consider how the draft regulations will work in conjunction with the draft legislation, in addition to the current non-compulsory 'rent-safe' scheme.

5.    To determine how and to what extent licensing fees will affect the cost of renting.

6.    To further understand how the inspection regime will work in practice and to assess whether it is workable, proportionate and that there is adequate provision in place to resource it.


Submissions

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