News and Insights
11 February 2022
Whether you are renting or letting out a residential property in Jersey, you need to be aware of the rights you have or need to comply with - should any problems arise.
When it comes to landlord and tenant relationships, the Residential Tenancy (Jersey) Law 2011 heralded a more regulated regime. As a result of its coming into force, in 2018, legal minimum standards for Jersey rental accommodation were set.
When entering into a residential lease, the landlord is mainly concerned about signing the lease, registering the deposit with the MyDeposits Jersey scheme (if applicable) and arranging payment of rent.
Other legal aspects of entering into a lease can sometimes get overlooked.
The Public Health and Safety (Rented Dwellings – Minimum Standards and Prescribed Hazards) (Jersey) Order 2018 (“the Order”) stipulates minimum requirements which ensure rented properties do not pose a risk to the health and/or safety of its tenants.
The Order states that a landlord must:
- Install and maintain a smoke alarm on each storey of a rented property (whether or not that storey has a habitable room).
- Install and maintain, a carbon monoxide alarm in any habitable room of a rented property with a gas, wood, oil, coal or similar heater/burner.
- Have an annual gas safety inspection, if the property has a gas supply (whether it is used or not), and a copy of this inspection must be provided to the tenant and the landlord must retain the inspection report for, generally, at least 2 years.
- Commission a professional electrical safety inspection, if the rented property has an electricity supply (whether it is used or not), before any renewed or new tenancy agreement or within 5 years of the last inspection (whichever is sooner) and again a copy of this inspection must be provided to the tenant and the landlord must retain the inspection report for, generally, at least 5 years.
Regarding the electrical safety inspection, it is important for the landlord to note that where a rental period of a rented property began before 1st January 2019, an electrical safety inspection must be carried out before any new or renewed tenancy agreement, or no later than 31st December 2023 (whichever is sooner).
The Order lists other matters which have the potential to be hazardous to the health and/or safety of a tenant. Under the Public Health and Safety (Rented Dwellings) (Jersey) Law 2018, authorised officers are permitted to enter rented properties to assess hazards and act immediately if a tenant is at a reasonably foreseeable risk of harm. If you are a landlord and your rented property does not meet these minimum requirements you could be liable to a hefty fine and investigation.
With the continued increase of landlords operating on island, the changes to the law have brought assurance, clarity and in some circumstances, protection to tenants.
For advice and guidance on Jersey residential leases or any other aspect of property law please do not hesitate to contact a member of the Viberts’ Property team.