26 June 2012
The Housing Minister has welcomed the positive response to the recent consultation on proposals to improve the management of residential tenancy agreements.
Deputy Andrew Green said “The response to this consultation shows the need to make compliance with the upcoming Residential Tenancy Law as fair, simple and transparent as possible. The input we have received will help us to improve the way residential tenancy agreements are managed for the benefit of both landlords and tenants.”
The proposals put forward by the Minister as a result include:
- a Standard Condition Report must be completed at the beginning of the tenancy detailing the condition of the property
- a Standard Form of Residential Tenancy Agreement will be introduced that may be used landlords and tenants to help them comply with the new Law
- Standard Forms of Notice will be introduced that may be used when either a landlord or a tenant wishes to terminate a tenancy, or when a landlord wishes to inform a tenant of a breach of a tenancy agreement
Commenting on the introduction of a compulsory Standard Condition Report, Deputy Green said “It is already common practice for landlords and letting agencies to prepare inventories when a tenant takes possession of a property. A Condition Report is similar, but it also accurately reflects the condition of a property when a person enters into a tenancy. This will be a great help for landlords and tenants when resolving disputes over the return of rental deposits at the end of the tenancy.
"The introduction of a Standard Form of Tenancy Agreement will also help landlords and tenants comply with the Residential Tenancy Law. We have listened to the views of respondents and there is strong support for making available a tenancy agreement that can be used to help comply with the Law.”
The Minister wants all tenancy agreements to be clear about who is responsible for repairs, maintenance, utilities, parish rates, and insurance, and that assignment or sub-letting of properties requires the permission of the landlord.
Deputy Green said “These matters are often addressed in agreements already. However, I believe that they are important enough to make it obligatory to refer to them in all tenancy agreements, so landlords and tenants are clear about who is responsible for what.”
Based on the responses to the consultation, the Minister intends to consider in more detail a proposal to prevent landlords charging above cost prices for the re-sale of utilities.
Deputy Green said “Although the problem is not widespread, I am aware of some tenants unexpectedly being charged excessive re-sale prices for gas, electricity and water by their landlords. I want to look into this in greater detail to see if we can prevent this practice.”
Residential Tenancies: White Paper - summary of responses (size 105kb)