Landlords: Are You Following the New Legislation?

Previously in Jersey, letting out a dwelling was a very private matter between Tenant and Landlord. This brings potential tenants a heightened level of risk of things like exploitation (heaven forbid) taking place.

The Public Health and Safety Order
 
December of 2018 saw the introduction of minimum standards for Rental Accommodation in Jersey.
 
Now, as of December 1st 2018, all landlords in Jersey must abide by the following rules.
 
  • All Floors must have a working fire alarm. Regardless of whether or not there is a habitable room on that floor.
  • There must be at least one Carbon Monoxide Alarm in a rented residence if it contains a gas, oil, wood, coal or similar burning heat systems.
  • Rented dwellings must get an annual “Gas Safe” inspection and retain the inspection record for a minimum of 2 years
  • Commission a Professional Electrical Inspector to perform an inspection before any new or renewed leases and retain the record of inspection for at least 5 calendar years.
 
The Order also states what it deems as “Hazardous” to the health and/or safety of the tenant. Additionally, Environmental Health Officers are given the power to enter the property to assess hazards and take immediate action if the Tenant appears to be in potential danger.
 
The Rent Safe System
 
Rent Safe is a completely voluntary system where an Environmental Health Officer will come in and inspect a rented property, giving a rating from 0-5 stars.
This system provides an added layer of security for the tenant, knowing the property has been professionally inspected and passed with a good rating. It also shows your potential tenant that you take pride in the quality of your property and the health, safety and happiness of your tenants.
 
Why it’s important to follow these rules
 
Following these rules are inherent to a successful rental business. If you do not follow the Public Health and Safety Order in the form of the Rent Safe System, there can be some serious consequences.
 
The first possible consequence is governmental regulation enforcement through citations. If you are not compliant with the regulations that are created for the health and safety of your tenants, you risk the opportunity to possibly be shut down and disallowed from renting which will destroy your business.
 
Another consequence is: if you are given a poor rating through the Rent Safe System, it can lead to a poor reputation and may limit your pool of potential renters. Every renter deserves a landlord who considers health and safety the main priority. By securing a five-star rating, your tenants will see that their lives are a priority to you.
 
One last possible consequence of not following this legislation is that you could be risking the health and safety of human beings. Public Safety regulations are designed with the consumer in mind. The segments of this bill, for example, having working fire alarms on all floors, are researched and put in place because they are proven to protect the inhabitants in each residence. If something terrible were to happen, like a fire, and someone did not make it out because there was not a fire alarm on the floor they were on during the fire, that would be a true tragedy that will stick with you for life. Be smart, follow the rules, save lives.