The Jersey Landlords Association said that while it supported the ‘worthy objectives’ of identifying bad landlords and poorly-maintained accommodation, the licensing scheme proposed by Environment Minister John Young was not the best way of achieving this.
Although States Members had backed the principle of licensing at an earlier sitting six weeks previously, Deputy Young’s plans were defeated in the Assembly this week by 23 votes to 22.
In a statement, the JLA referred to a previous rejection of the scheme last year and the association’s disappointment when the minister returned with a tweaked version of the original scheme.
The JLA went on to state: ‘Proponents of the scheme said that good landlords would have nothing to fear from it, but we ask: why bother them at all?
‘And they say that landlords would have no costs to bear, but what about the poor old taxpayer?
‘In short, we think that the licensing scheme is a sledgehammer to crack a nut, and an expensive one at that.’
The JLA said it had a number of proposals, such as a landlord register, better leases, protections for complainants and limited random inspections which it felt would better balance the interests of tenants, landlords and taxpayers, and offered to work with Deputy Young and his officers to achieve this.