The Residential Tenancy (Jersey) Law2011 applies to all new residential leases of 9 years or less from 1 July 2013 or leases which are changed or renewed.
The law applies to all self-contained units including houses, flats, bedsits, and studio flats. Self-contained accommodation is defined as accommodation that consists of all facilities - bath or shower, washbasin, toilet, kitchen or kitchenette and a place to sleep.
It applies to all leases, whether on a weekly basis, monthly basis, or fixed term basis of less than nine years.
A new lease must:
· Be in writing and signed by both parties
· Contain a description which identifies the self-contained unit
· Include the date when the residential tenancy starts
· Include the date (if any) when the residential tenancy comes to an end
· Include the name, address, or business address of the landlord and / or managing agent
· Include the rent amount and the frequency of payment
· Include the name of the person to whom rent is paid
· Include the amount of any deposit /guarantee to be held and how and when it will be repaid
· Include the rent review date (if any)and the basis of the review e.g. Jersey Cost of Living Index
· Include an inventory of contents owned by the landlord
A new lease must not include:
· An obligation for the tenant to buy any fixture or fittings
· An obligation for the tenant to pay a premium or key money
· Any restriction on the tenant fixing things to or removing things from walls provided the tenant fixes any damage caused as a result
· A provision which allows you (the landlord) to unreasonably withhold or delay consent to any reasonable request by the tenant
From Monday 2 November 2015, all deposits placed to rent a home in Jersey must be protected in the Government’s approved tenancy deposit scheme, My Deposits Jersey.
The deposit is protected for the length of the tenancy and will be paid back to the tenant, less an administrative fee provided the tenant:
· meets the terms of the lease
· doesn’t damage the property
· pays the rent and bills
The Public Health and Safety (Rented Dwellings – Minimum Standards and Prescribed Hazards) (Jersey) Order 2018 came into force on 1 October 2018 to ensure that all rented dwellings are safe and do not contribute to poor mental and physical health.
In addition to the above, landlords are advised to consider other factors such as:
· install a smoke alarm on each floor of accommodation
· install a carbon monoxide alarm in any habitable room that has a gas, wood, oil, coal or similar heating system
· have an annual gas safety inspection and provide tenant with copy of inspection document
· carry out an electrical safety inspection by a recognised electrical engineer every 5 years
· consider any other factors that maybe high risk such as irregular depth of stairs
Tenants 'rights under the Residential Tenancy (Jersey) Law 2011
Under the law, a tenant has the right to:
· get a signed copy of the lease and any new versions of it, as well as a copy of the fully signed lease
· get a receipt for any deposit paid
· enjoy their accommodation without the landlord interfering
· not have to pay full rent if part of the accommodation becomes uninhabitable (as long as you didn't cause the problem)
A condition report is a way for a landlord to record the physical condition and state of repair of a property when a tenant moves in and when they move out.
The landlord must complete a condition report within 7 days of the tenant agreeing to live in the property. If the condition report is not given after 7 days, the report is taken as accepted to the extent that it's completed.
Failure of the landlord to complete a condition report may result in a fine of up to £10,000 levied on the landlord.
A condition report must include:
· the name and address of the landlord or, if there is one, the managing agent
· the name(s) of the tenant(s)
· the address of the property to which the condition report relates
· the date on which the tenant is entitled to take possession of the property
· the date on which the condition report is recorded
· a description of the condition of the walls, ceilings and floors in each room, with relevant photographic evidence
· any fixtures, fittings and furniture included in the tenancy agreement, and the condition thereof
On completion of the condition report, the tenant must:
· review the condition report
· accept what the landlord has written within seven days by signing the report and initialling every page, together with initialling any photographic evidence
· returning a signed copy to the landlord
At the end of the tenancy, the landlord and tenant may agree that the property has been returned in either the same or better condition as it was let. At this point, the landlord should confirm this to the tenant inwriting.
If the property has been returned in any other condition, the landlord should complete a condition report in the same way as at the beginning of the tenancy, showing any discrepancies with supporting photographic evidence
If you don’t agree with the comments on the condition report
The tenant can mark anything they don't agree with by marking their initials next to the comments and returning a copy of the report to the landlord.
The landlord can choose to accept the objections, initial what they agree with and return it to the tenant.
If the landlord or tenant doesn’t agree with a statement in the report, or this disagreement is subject to action through the court or an adjudicator, the tenant must provide evidence against the report or the modifications.
Updating an existing condition report
There may be times when the landlord may wish to update an existing report or complete a new one, perhaps when work has been done to improve the condition of the property. This can be done by recording the changes on a new condition report or by adding comments to the original condition report, however the new or amended condition report must be signed, initialled, and dated by both the landlord and the tenant.
Renewing or varying a tenancy agreement
If you are renewing or varying your tenancy agreement you can elect to complete a new condition report. If however, you do not complete a new condition report, the condition report in place at the beginning of the tenancy agreement will be effective.