Alternative proposals for ‘onerous’ landlord register

PROPOSALS for a landlords register are ‘onerous’ and ‘heavy handed’, a backbencher has said while laying out alternative proposals for the scheme.

Jersey Landlords Association meeting at the town hall. Picture: jJON GUEGAN. (27148870)
Jersey Landlords Association meeting at the town hall. Picture: jJON GUEGAN. (27148870)

A proposition is set to go before the States later this month for a new licensing scheme to ensure that rented properties are safe and comply with legal requirements.

The plans have been criticised by landlords, who say the majority of them are good owners and are being punished because of the bad, who do not keep their properties up to a reasonable standard.

The Jersey Landlords Association invited Environment Minister John Young to a meeting at the Town Hall on Tuesday evening, when alternative proposals were put forward by Deputy Rowland Huelin.

Deputy Huelin, one of more than 170 landlords in attendance, said good landlords want bad landlords out of the industry and they understand the idea behind the proposals, but feel the current plan will negatively impact on the rental market.

He said: ‘We totally understand why this has come forward. There are some poor landlords out there, and we do not want bad landlords. We want them outed, but not at the cost of the good, responsible landlords. These are onerous and inflationary measures. The measures need to be changed but these are heavy handed.

‘I would propose to scrap these proposals because not enough consultation has been done on this. Landlords will have to pay £200 per property if they are not on the Rent Safe scheme. If they are on it it is £50 per property.’

Under the proposals lodged by Deputy Young, landlords would be forced to sign up to a register with an annual fee of £200 that would also see their properties inspected once a year.

Deputy Huelin added: ‘I would propose a moratorium for two years to allow for the landlords not on the scheme to be encouraged to sign up for Rent Safe, and then the Rent Safe scheme will be the register. It is a carrot and stick thing for landlords. This register currently is going to be costly. The cost will inevitably be put onto the tenant. Inspections will be intrusive for tenants and will be belittling for the good landlords.’

The States debate on the proposition is set to take place on 25 February.

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