05 November 2018
The Minister for Children and Housing, Senator Sam Mézec, has agreed a two-year extension to the contract with a company that administers the States tenancy deposit scheme. Under the extension, mydeposits Jersey will continue to administer the scheme on behalf of the States until 2020.
Landlords and letting agents in Jersey have been legally required to protect their tenants’ deposits by placing them in the scheme since November 2015. The extension means that mydeposits Jersey will continue to provide the scheme until November 2020, when the provision will go out to competitive tender process.
The scheme aims to give tenants greater confidence that the deposit they have paid is being held securely and will be repaid smoothly at the end of an agreement.
Mydeposits Jersey also provides a free and independent dispute resolution service to assist when landlords and tenants are unable to agree over the return of a deposit, which helps disputes to be resolved quickly, effectively and fairly.
Senator Mézec said he was immensely pleased to extend the agreement. He said: “The island’s tenancy deposit scheme provides an effective means through which deposits can be managed and any disputes between landlords and tenants resolved. This reflects our commitment in the Common Strategic Policy to protect and enhance tenants’ rights.”
Eddie Hooker, Chief Executive Officer of mydeposits Jersey, said: “We are delighted to have an extension, as this will allow us to continue investing into the scheme that we consider provides a valuable service to tenants in the island. We look forward to making further improvements to the scheme to make sure that all tenants benefit from deposit protection”.
Since the scheme began, more than 9,875 deposits had been protected in the scheme at a value of £12.2 million, and 96 disputes had also been heard through the dispute resolution service.
Senator Mézec is also working closely with mydeposits Jersey to enhance the service provided by the scheme and to ensure that all tenants in Jersey are offered protection. He added: “The introduction of a tenancy deposit scheme has had a positive effect on Jersey’s rental sector, providing a greater incentive for landlords and tenants to adopt good practice in the handling of deposit money.
“After three years of operating, it is now important to make sure that all landlords who take a deposit comply with the scheme, and to make any necessary legislative changes to ensure that all tenants are afforded the same protections when they pay a deposit.”
The scheme is part of ongoing work to improve standards in Jersey’s rental sector. Other work includes the recent launch of the Rent Safe landlord accreditation scheme and the Public Health and Safety (Rented Dwellings) (Jersey) Law 2018.