Reform Jersey Raises Concerns About Rent Control Tribunal Appointments
Posted on: Wed, Aug 17 2022 by Admin
Reform Jersey has expressed serious concern over the independence of the proposed new Rent Control Tribunal, following the news that the Housing Minister intends to nominate the chairman of the Jersey Landlords Association (JLA) to sit as a member.
The Rent Control Tribunal is set to be re-established, following pressure from Reform Jersey on the previous Housing Minister to take action against inflationary rent increases. The current Housing Minister stated in his election manifesto that he was against all forms of rent control but has nevertheless lodged a proposition to appoint members to this body.
The proposed membership is mostly senior finance industry members and mostly landlords. There is no proposed member to provide a balance from the perspective of tenants.
Party Leader, Deputy Sam Mézec, said - “The proposed membership of the Rent Control Tribunal is inadequate. The Minister has failed to propose a membership which represents a balance of the perspectives in our society. He has instead chosen to stack it full of landlords, including the chairman of an organisation which opposed the creation of a Tribunal which could allow claims to be made against their members. This is clear conflict of interest which will certainly leave tenants across the Island with little faith that this Tribunal will provide them with any justice. I do not say this as a criticism of the individuals, but it is inevitable that this perception will be what defines these appointments.”
“Many tenants in Jersey are currently facing extortionate rent increases and have little to no protections in law. The government must introduce compulsory rent stabilisation measures into tenancy contracts and establish a fit for purpose Rent Tribunal to allow tenants to challenge exploitative practices.”
“The Housing Minister has made a serious error of judgement and is setting the Tribunal up to fail.”
Reform Jersey is therefore calling on the Housing Minister to reconsider this appointment, and instead appoint a member who will help reflect the diversity of our community and provide tenants with confidence that they will have a fair hearing at this Tribunal.