New rent control proposals could cause landlords to ‘throw in the towel’, JLA says

St Helier. Picture: ROB CURRIE. (37925607)

LANDLORDS have hit out at the Housing Minister’s “worrying” plans to introduce rent stabilisation measures.

Guy Morris, chair of the Jersey Landlords Association, said that Deputy Sam Mézec’s new residential tenancy law – set to be brought forward later this year – could cause his members to “throw in the towel” and worsen the Island’s already lacking supply in the private rental


Deputy Mézec this week issued an update to the States Assembly about his proposed residential tenancy law, which he said would provide “the bedrock for a thriving rental sector”. Yesterday he elaborated on plans during a Scrutiny hearing.

The law will cover four priority areas, including protections against unfair evictions and unjustifiable rent increases, a new Housing Tribunal to hear appeals from both landlords and tenants, and the introduction of provisions to prevent “inappropriate fees and charges”.

Mr Morris said there was a “lack of detail” in the proposals and it was difficult to respond when the plans had not been fully shared.

He said: “From what we can see, though, there is quite a lot for landlords to be potentially worried about.

“They are not going to be happy about plans for rent stabilisation, also known as rent control. Data shows that rent stabilisation reduces the quality of residential homes, which is good for neither landlords nor tenants.

“The only way to deal with Jersey’s affordable-housing issue is for the government to allow the building of more affordable housing, and there is nothing in Deputy Mézec’s plans about that at all, which we think is a pity.”

Mr Morris referred to recent government statistics which showed that rents were “responding to market pressures”.

The latest house price index showed that advertised private-sector rental prices were 1% lower during the final quarter of 2023 compared to the previous quarter.

He continued: “The real danger is that landlords are going to see an increase in the regulations and throw in the towel, which will further increase a lack of supply in the vital private-rental sector, which is a real issue both for landlords and the whole sector.”

Mr Morris added that he appreciated Deputy Mezec’s decision to consult all stakeholders, saying: “We’re going to be putting our point across to him.”

When announcing his plans, Deputy Mézec said: “The Residential Tenancy Law will provide the bedrock for a thriving rental sector, balancing the needs of landlords and tenants, while making long-overdue progress in alleviating our housing crisis.”

The JEP attempted to make contact with the Jersey Tenants Forum.

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