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EXCLUSIVE: Jersey landlord leader slams rent controls and 'open' tenancies plan

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Jersey has launched a consultation into sweeping reforms including rent controls and open-ended tenancies, prompting fears that they could force more private landlords to quit the sector.

The island's government aims to increase protections for both tenants and landlords under the new residential tenancy law which promises more security of tenure and protection against revenge evictions, increased minimum notice periods for tenancies and a limit on the amount and frequency of rent increases during tenancies.

A new housing tribunal would also be set up to consider a wide range of residential tenancy issues.

Rent controls would require all tenancies to specify terms for rent increases, introduce limits to the amount and frequency of rent increases and specify a minimum notice period of eight weeks.

The States is also considering adopting a more nuanced approach such as averaging annual RPI changes to specifically help during times of high inflation.

Jersey Landlords Association has been fighting creeping regulation for the last few years.

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'The impact of rent controls and open-ended tenancies will be that landlords will be less likely to invest in their properties, which will result in less tenant choice,'� chairman Guy Morris (pictured) tells LandlordZONE.

"We believe that the majority of Jersey landlords have already done their best not to increase rents by anywhere near the Retail Price Index.'�

He says that any while this piece of legislation would be hard to stomach, introducing it with landlord licensing and changes requiring landlords to ensure buildings are more carbon-neutral all at once could tip people over the edge.

'I think that if all these proposals go ahead, there will be more people leaving the sector, particularly accidental landlords,'� adds Morris, 'and that only makes the current supply problem even more challenging, especially as our planning committee has knocked back a series of new housing developments recently and our government is set to introduce a new tax on profits generated by the sale of re-zoned land for development.'�

The eight-week public consultation ends on 9th June.


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