‘LONG-OVERDUE’ proposals for a licensing scheme to regulate rental properties have been welcomed by the current and former housing ministers.
Attempts to introduce similar schemes – including a licensing regime which was narrowly rejected by 23 votes to 22 in 2021 – fell short during the previous government’s term.
Environment Minister Jonathan Renouf has lodged draft regulations which, if approved, would make it a requirement for rented dwellings to be licensed under a scheme which would come into force on 1 January 2024. (See full story on page 8 of today’s paper).
Deputy Renouf highlighted ‘a significant problem with unsafe and squalid private rented dwellings in Jersey’, when he first proposed the scheme in November.
Both former Housing Minister Deputy Sam Mézec and the incumbent, Deputy David Warr, have indicated their support for the proposals.
Deputy Warr said: ‘What has changed is that it was all about a landlords’ register last time, whereas this is about laws relating to the property itself, so it’s more targeted.’
He continued: ‘I think that the Council of Ministers is aligned on the need to bring this forward.’
Deputy Warr added that the proposals ‘tie-in’ with his ongoing efforts to overhaul the Island’s residential tenancy legislation.
Meanwhile, Deputy Mézec described the regulations as ‘long overdue’.
‘The framework being promoted here is essentially the same one that Reform Jersey was promoting which also featured in our [housing] action plan,’ he said.
‘We would have lodged this ourselves but we held back because the [Environment] Minister said he would do so, so we are pleased that he has stuck to his word and it will have our wholehearted support.
‘I just hope that this Assembly has learnt from the mistakes of the previous one because we could have already had this in place for at least two years.’
Similar schemes – championed by Deputy Rob Ward and former Environment Minister John Young – have previously been defeated.