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Rogue Landlords Could Be Fined Under New Plans

Landlords who fail to keep their property up to a minimum standard could be handed fines, under recommendations by a scrutiny panel.

The panel has given the Environment Minister a list of seven recommendations for his rental dwellings draft law, which is set to be debated in the States next month.

The plans will require landlords to apply for licences, at the cost of £60 for two years, so the government can ensure their properties are safe to live in.

It was agreed to in principle by States Members in July, but was called-in by scrutiny for 'further examination'.

They have suggested that Deputy Jonathan Renouf 'consider the benefits' of bringing in fines for landlords who break the law.

But, they also say a 'grace period' should be allowed so that landlords can become 'familiar' with the new rules.

Nine amendments have also been lodged for debate in November.

The Panel want house-shares to be part of the legislation and for the £60 fee to be waived for social housing trusts including Andium Homes.

Panel chair, Deputy Steve Luce says they can't be certain if the proposed law will have an 'adverse impact' on the island's rental sector.

"There is little question in the panel’s mind that poor conditions in rental properties do exist and that this should be addressed.

"However, the review set out to answer to what extent the proposed licensing regulations would achieve this without having a detrimental impact on the private rented sector.

"We believe the recommendations and amendments we have proposed will help mitigate such a risk."

The proposals will be debated on 7 November.

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