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Landlords urge caution as new housing minister plans reforms

jersey

Jersey’s private landlords have urged the island’s new Housing Minister to find the right balance when he revives stalled protections for landlords and tenants.

Deputy Sam Mézec (main picture), leader of the Reform Jersey party, has set up a crisis emergency taskforce to tackle the island’s pressured property market, which will meet for the first time next week.

In his election speech, Mézec vowed to reduce homelessness and improve housing affordability through improvements to infrastructure. He adds: “We need better protection for landlords and tenants in law – the work had been delayed and I want to get this stuff back on track.”

He adds: “There’s lots of places where we’re waiting to build some decent family homes that haven’t happened quick enough, so we need to get that back on track as well.”

Sweeping reforms

More than 300 landlords, tenants and charities responded to a recent consultation into sweeping reforms including rent controls and open-ended tenancies. Jersey Landlords’ Association says it trusts Mézec won’t ignore these voices in seeking to find a balance that’s right for all stakeholders in Jersey’s housing market.

A spokesman tells LandlordZONE that it is in the dark about the government’s plans although the party’s manifesto includes promises on strict first or second tier rent controls or third tier ‘rent stabilisation’, European-style open-ended tenancies, and empty property taxes.

It explains: “Landlords are also affected by the cost-of-living crisis and have repair, maintenance and mortgage bills to pay. These costs have spiralled over the last few years, by more than RPI in many cases. We look forward to working constructively with the minister in future.”

The cost of housing in the island has risen by 16% in the last 12 months where the average house price is £681,000, compared with £291,000 in the UK.

Picture credit: ITVX.

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