P.33/2021, Draft Public Health and Safety (Rented Dwellings) (Licensing) (Jersey) Regulations 202-, was lodged au Greffe on 16th April 2021 by the Minister for the Environment and is scheduled for debate in the States Assembly on 8th June 2021.
In 2018, the Public Health and Safety (Rented Dwellings) (Jersey) Law 2018 was introduced, setting out the requirements for landlords to meet minimum standards for their rental properties. The Law made provision, under Article 5, for the States, by Regulations, to establish a licensing scheme. Under such Regulations, the Minister for the Environment would have the ability to licence rented dwellings, impose charges in respect of those licences, create offenses of breach of licence, and make supplementary provisions that may be considered necessary.
On 1st October 2019, the Minister for the Environment lodged the Draft Public Health and Safety (Rented Dwellings) (Licensing) (Jersey) Regulations 201- (P.106.2019) and sought to develop a database that would provide details about properties that are being rented out, their suitability, their location, and their occupancy. It was intended that the data be used to ensure that rental properties meet, or are brought up to, modest minimum standards.
Previously, the Environment, Housing and Infrastructure Panel undertook a review to determine whether the draft Regulations - P.106/2019 were fit for purpose, fair and proportionate; whether appropriate consultation had been undertaken; and to ascertain the impact of the draft Regulations on both landlords and tenants. The Panel presented its report and recommendations, S.R.1/2020 on 21st February 2020.
P.106/2019 was not adopted by the States Assembly. P.33/2021 has been lodged ahead of the debate of P.20/2021 – Public Health and Safety (Rented Dwellings): Request for New Regulations which was lodged au Greffe on 10th March by Deputy Ward for debate on 11th May 2021.
P.33/2021, if approved, would implement a suitable licensing scheme:
- with nil charge;
- requiring landlords to licence their properties as dwellings for the purpose of renting; and
- assist with achieving the purpose of the Law to improve the quality of rented dwellings, ensuring they meet the minimum standards for accommodation as required by Law.
The Panel’s previous review into P.106/2019 had highlighted several concerns which brought rise to the Panel’s ten recommendations in S.R.1/2020. In light of the Panel’s review and the links between P.106/2019 and P.33/2021, the Panel sought to cross-reference its recommendations made in S.R.1/2020 with P.33/2021 to identify whether the Draft Regulations had considered its recommendations and had allayed any of the concerns previously highlighted by the Panel. The Panel also wrote to both the Jersey Landlords' Association (JLA) and Jersey Tenants' Forum to request their views on the new Draft Regulations. A response was received by the JLA in May 2021. A response from the Jersey Tenants' Forum was received on 4th June, after the Panel had presented its Comments paper to the States Assembly.