There is a recognised link between our housing conditions and our physical and mental health. How we live, and the different aspects of our housing, can affect our health.
However, the relationship between housing conditions and health is complicated - poor housing conditions often exist along with other forms of deprivation, such as:
- poor education
- social isolation
This makes it difficult to assess and change the overall health impact of housing conditions.
Housing-related factors that can affect your health
Housing-related factors that can affect your health include:
- agents that affect the quality of the indoor environment, such as indoor pollutants (eg asbestos, carbon monoxide, radon, lead, moulds and volatile organic chemicals)
- cold and damp
- housing design and layout (which can also affect accessibility and usability of housing)
- hazardous internal structures or fixtures
- the environment - over-crowding, sleep deprivation, neighbourhood quality, lack of availability of / access to health and other services, and neighbourhood safety
- housing allocation, lack of housing (including homelessness and temporary accommodation), housing investment and urban planning
The home is important because it:
a) is central to life and meets the fundamental human need for shelter
b) also meets the human desires for:
- personal identity
It is very important that certain housing standards are met. The States of Jersey aims to follow the Decent Homes Standard from the UK for social housing.
Decent Homes Standard (UK)
Complaints about housing conditions
If you make a complaint about housing conditions (in the private sector or States' housing), Environmental Health will send an environmental health officer or technician to inspect the premises. We will then talk to your landlord (if you want us to) about getting repairs or improvements carried out.
If we think that the premises may be harmful to the health of the people living there, we can serve an abatement notice on the owner. This notice will require that certain works are carried out. The owner can appeal to the Royal Court within 21 days. If the owner doesn't appeal and does not carry out the requirements of the notice, then an offence has been committed and this will be referred to the Royal Court. The court can issue a fine, or repairs / works can be carried out on the premises with the owner directed to pay the costs.
You can find links below to the current legislation dealing with disrepair to housing on the Jersey Legal Information Board website (JLIB). There is also a Code of Practice for Staff and Lodging House Accommodation which can be downloaded. This is appendixed into the Lodging Houses Law but currently has no legal requirement of compliance.
The Statutory Nuisances (Jersey) Law 1999 deals with repairs that are prejudicial to health only and not improvements to the accommodation as a whole.
Lodging Houses (Registration) (Jersey) Law 1962 on JLIB website
Lodging Houses (General Provisions) (Jersey) Order 1962 on JLIB website
Statutory Nuisances (Jersey) Law 1999 on JLIB website
Lodging house administration (home and community section)
Environmental Health is sponsoring a new law which should improve housing standards in Jersey, ie the Public Health and Safety (Rented Dwellings) Law 201- which will cover topics such as:
- amenity standards
- fire precautions
- filthy and verminous premises and persons responsible
Housing Health and Safety Rating System and Jersey's housing law
This is a report on the incorporation of the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) into the housing law of the States of Jersey.
Incorporation of Housing Health and Safety Rating System into Housing Law of States of Jersey (government and administration section)