Minister calls for one-month delay to housing trust’s 9% rent increase

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THE Housing Minister has intervened in a rental dispute by asking for a one-month delay in a 9% rent increase for Jersey Homes Trust tenants.

Residents began receiving letters on Friday informing them of the rise, which is due to come into force on 1 April.

The move prompted Housing Minister David Warr to write to the JHT to request a delay in the increase. Deputy Warr described the 9% rent rise as a ‘chunky amount of money’ that ‘will have an impact’ on tenants.

The trust owns and manages 839 social-rented homes across 24 estates.

Deputy Warr said he hoped to meet members of the JHT to discuss the increase and talk to tenants as well.

He said: ‘Initial talks will be with the JHT. I’m hoping there will be better communications between JHT and their tenants. The JHT should be able to explain their increases. I don’t know the costs on which it [the rise] is calculated. I need to meet the trust to discuss it in more detail.’

Deputy Warr added that the trust relied on rent to maintain and invest in property and said that there were ‘massive inflationary pressures’.

A JHT statement said that its rent increase had been kept below the level of inflation, which is currently 12.7%.

Reform Jersey leader Deputy Sam Mézec has requested a meeting with the JHT.

He wrote a letter addressed to both the Housing and Social Security Minister.

In it he said: ‘We are disappointed that more notice was not provided to tenants of this rent increase and, given how substantial it is, that no work appears to have been done with the Housing Advice Service to communicate with tenants about what rights they have, including what potential entitlement they may have for financial support through Income Support.’

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