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Ministers Asks JHT To Delay Rent Rise

The Housing Minister has asked Jersey Homes Trust to delay a 9% rent rise.

Tenants had been given just three weeks' notice of the increase.

Reform Jersey's Deputy Sam Mézec wrote to ministers with his concerns for JHT tenants who have said will struggle to find the extra money for their rent.

The political party has repeated its calls for rent control.

Deputy David Warr has responded, saying he has written to the social housing provider asking for the increase to be delayed by a month so residents can 'discuss their options' with the Housing Advice Service, Income Support, or the landlord.

"I fully appreciate that a significant increase in some rents, that have held stable for several years, has come as a particular shock to tenants. I am also in agreement that three weeks’ notice is too short for these increases, hence my decision to request a delay."

He says he would like to see longer notice periods become the norm and will be pursuing that in the updated Residential Tenancy Law that he is bringing forward.

Deputy Warr's letter address the level of the JHT rent rise:

"...the Trust has confirmed that all their tenancies remain below the 80% market rate.

It is worth acknowledging that JHT did not increase rents in 2020 and 2021, recognising the economic hardships caused by Covid-19, and applied a relatively small increase of 3.8% across all its tenancies in 2022.

The proposed rent increases for 2023 have undoubtedly been influenced by the current level of high inflation, with implications for running and borrowing costs. JHT has applied variable rent increases across tenancies, with tenants who are already paying close to 80% of market receiving no rent increase, whilst those paying substantively less than 70% being subject to higher rent increases."

The minister say she has been assured by the JHT chairman that any tenant concerned about the rent increase will be listened to and should contact Brunel Management to discuss their circumstances.

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