Islanders asked for views on letting agents
Wednesday 1 March 08:46
The Housing Minister has launched a review to find out how satisfied landlords and tenants are with the quality of services provided by Jersey’s letting and property management agents. It will also seek to clarify the types of fees and charges made.
The review will consider:
customer services and communication
the transparency of fee structures
the types and level of fees that can be charged
repairs and maintenance
Housing Minister, Deputy Anne Pryke, said: “Letting agents play an important role in the private rented sector, supporting landlords to manage their property and helping tenants to access suitable homes. We want to support professional lettings agents who provide good standard and well-managed homes, whilst dealing effectively with those who don’t. This will give both landlords and tenants greater certainty when renting and assist responsible letting agents to compete on a level playing field.”
The findings of the review will help to inform policy development in the lettings market, including the fees that landlords and tenants can be charged when using a letting agent. The Minister said: “We know people are concerned about fees because these add to the costs of housing. Whilst letting agents should be able to charge for legitimate business costs, I am concerned that some fees may not be reasonable, such as double charging both landlords and tenants for the same services. We have recently seen a move to ban letting agent fees in England for tenants, so it is right that we consider whether this would be appropriate for Jersey.”
The review builds on a programme of work to improve the quality and security of renting privately in Jersey. The Minister said: “We want to ensure that the private rented sector provides an attractive housing option for people to live and invest in. Over the past 5 years, we have taken steps to improve the sector by introducing clear rights and responsibilities for landlords and tenants, and will soon bring forward a law to ensure that all rented homes meet minimum standards of repair.
“I would urge members of the public who have experience of using a letting agent – and letting agents themselves who provide vital expertise – to respond to the review so that we can make sure that the sector is responding effectively to the island’s housing needs.”
More information about the review can be found at www.gov.je/consult .
The consultation runs until 28 April 2017.