Checklist for Jersey Landlords

Checklist for Jersey Landlords

Renting a property for the first time can seem like an overwhelming prospect. There is a huge range of tasks that must be completed before a tenant can move in, and it is easy to lose track.

While many landlord checklists are pretty comprehensive, you may find they’re more suited for the US or the UK, and being a landlord in Jersey comes with its own set of rules, which is why we decided to make our own.
 
1. Get references
You may require a range of references from prospective tenants. At the very least, most landlords would request employment details. In addition you may wish to take details of their previous landlord.
 
Having received these references, it is important to check them. Many landlords do not follow up references – rendering them virtually pointless.
 
 
2. Draft and sign tenancy lease
Under the law, you must provide your tenants with a signed copy of the lease (as well as at least 24 hours for the tenant to read it, understand it and take advice if necessary). In addition, a new lease must:
 
  • comply with the new legislation
  • describe the self-contained unit to be leased to a tenant
  • include the start date of the residential tenancy
  • include the end date of the tenancy agreement (if known)
  • include the full contact details of the landlord and/or managing agent
  • include the rent amount and frequency of payment as well as the name of the person to whom the rent is paid
  • include the deposit amount, where it is held and how and when it will be reimbursed
  • include the date of the rent review and the basis on which it is to be reviewed
  • include a full inventory of the contents supplied and owned by the landlord
A new lease must not include:
  • any obligation for the tenant to buy any of the fixtures or fittings in the property or to pay a premium or key money
  • any restrictions on the tenant fixing items to walls (or removing items from walls) providing the tenant makes good any damage caused
  • the facility to delay or unreasonably withhold responses to issues that require your consent
 
3. Create and send a condition report
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. They are compulsory with every tenancy agreement.
 
A condition report documents:
 
  • all the fixed parts of a property
  • the condition of walls, ceilings and floors in each room
  • any fixtures, fittings and furniture which belong to the landlord and come as part of the tenancy
 
It’s compulsory for the landlord to complete a condition report within seven days of the tenant agreeing to live in the property. If a condition report isn't given after seven days, the report is taken as accepted to the extent that it's completed. If a condition report isn't completed at a ll, the landlord could be fined up to £2,000.
 
 
4. Take and protect deposit
In compliance with the Residential Tenancy (Deposit scheme) (Jersey) Regulations 2014 all deposits taken from tenants must be placed with the My/Deposit Jersey scheme within 30 days of receipt, and failure to do so can result in a fine of up to £2,000 to be held for the duration of the lease. By law, tenants have the right to have a deposit receipt given to them.
 
 
5. Insurance
It is the landlord’s responsibility generally to insure buildings and their contents at all times during the course of the tenancy. Normal household insurance does not cover properties let to third parties, and you must inform your insurer accordingly or your cover may be void.
 
The property insurance cover will need to be in your name, and tenants will be liable to insure their own possessions under a separate policy.
 
 
6. Label important items
Make sure that tenants are aware of the location of important items like stopcocks and gas meters. You may wish to label these items, or to provide a map. This may seem like a hassle, but it can be important; if a tenant knows where the stopcock is they will be able to turn off the water quickly in the event of an emergency, thus reducing the potential for damage.
 
 
7. Conduct an inventory
You should conduct an inventory at the start and end of a tenancy. Make a list of all items in the property, along with details of any existing damage. You and your tenants may also wish to take photographs to support the inventory.
 
The document should be signed and dated by both parties, and any amendments made should be initialled by the signatories. Both you and the tenants should retain a copy.
 
 
8. Redirect mail
If the property is registered in your name, you may need to arrange for post to be redirected. It is generally not wise to rely on tenants to forward your mail. You can do this online on The Jersey Post website.
 
 
9. Provide contact details
Finally, you should make sure that your tenants know how to contact you in the event of an emergency. Provide them with your contact details, and consider leaving a paper copy in the property.
 
With the new laws coming in all the time which landlords need to comply to, it’s best to get expert advice to make sure you’re following the rules. To chat with our experts, just give us a call, we’re here to help!
 

 

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