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Coronavirus: States Back Extra Protection For Tenants

Tenants can't be evicted for financial reasons because of coronavirus and rent increases will be suspended in Jersey until the end of September, after the States Assembly accepted emergency coronavirus legislation put forward by the Housing Minister.

The Assembly has also approved regulations to allow people to extend their tenancies through the Covid-19 outbreak if they want to.

Before the debate started, The Jersey Landlords Association called for members to vote against the plans. Chairman Paul Lucas accused the Housing Minister of deciding to use the sledgehammer of legislation to protect tenants rather than trusting landlords to do the right thing.

Senator Sam Mezec responded to that criticism in the remote States sitting.

"I'm sorry to say that I think this attitude is at best naive and at worst, irresponsible. In this time, it is simply not good enough to just rely on goodwill when we're facing a health crisis.

"We're in the biggest public health crisis in a century and we're advising people to stay at home. Being forced to leave home would bring people into unnecessary contact with others, which is part of what spreads the virus."

Tenants are still asked to pay rent if they can and landlords have been told they must continue to provide security of tenure to tenants.

The Housing Minister has the power to amend these orders in relation to tenancies being terminated, increases in rent and failure to pay rent or other sums due to the landlord.

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