Mydeposits scheme (FOI)
Mydeposits scheme (FOI)Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by Government of Jersey and published on 01 July 2020.
Prepared internally, no external costs.
My Freedom of Information request relates to the mydeposits scheme in Jersey, and how it is monitored:
How is the mydeposits scheme monitored; ie how do you know if a landlord / letting agent is renting a property without entering his / her tenants into the scheme?
Is there an estimate for how many landlords / letting agents in Jersey are renting properties without using the required mydeposits scheme?
How many landlords / letting agents have been fined or otherwise punished for not entering into the scheme since it began in November 2015? Please provide a breakdown by year and details of the types of punishments handed out.
What is the complaints procedure if someone is unhappy with their situation with regards to the mydeposits scheme; ie if their landlord has not entered that person into the scheme?
How many complaints or queries has the Government received relating to the mydeposits scheme since it started in November 2015? Please provide a breakdown by year.
Are there any plans to improve or change the mydeposits scheme going forward?
A new Landlord Register could be introduced in Jersey soon; how will this be monitored to make sure all landlords are on it, and not just those who register themselves as landlords?
Environmental Health has been delegated responsibility by the Minister for Children and Housing for matters relating to the Residential Tenancy (Deposit Scheme) (Jersey) Regulation 2014, including investigating cases where a tenant’s deposit may not have been protected in the tenancy deposit scheme by a landlord or letting agent.
A tenant who believes their deposit has not been protected in the tenancy deposit scheme must contact Environmental Health. An Environmental Health Officer will investigate and make sure that the landlord complies with the requirements of the tenancy deposit scheme. In several instances, as part of other investigations of property conditions and potential breaches of tenancy legislation, Environmental Health Officers have found cases were tenants’ deposits have not been protected in the scheme.
In most cases, Environmental Health Officers will work with landlords and tenants to achieve a satisfactory conclusion to ensure that deposits are protected in the scheme.
The level of non-compliance with the requirements of the tenancy deposit scheme are not known. Some landlords may also choose not to take a deposit, or took a deposit before the requirement to protect tenancy deposits came into force in November 2015, in which case these deposits do not need to be protected in the scheme.
No landlords have been convicted for not placing a tenant’s deposit in the tenancy deposit scheme. Less than five cases have been referred to a Parish Hall Enquiry and have resulted in written warnings being issued to the landlords who did not protect deposit money.
Mydeposits Jersey provides a complaint procedure for customers if they are not satisfied by the service provided. This is available on the mydeposits Jersey website:
Mydeposits Jersey: Complaints
Where a tenant believes their deposit has not been protected in the tenancy deposit scheme, they must contact Environmental Health.
Environmental Health does not hold information on the number of complaints or queries about the mydeposits Jersey tenancy deposit scheme.
The present five-year contract with mydeposits Jersey comes to end on 31 October 2020. A procurement exercise is taking place to appoint a scheme administrator, which includes the current scheme administrator, mydeposits Jersey. The Minister for Children and Housing will make an announcement in due course.
The information requested is exempt under Article 35 (Formulation and Development of Policies) of the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011.
Environmental Health will have responsibility for monitoring the proposed license scheme should it become law. Environmental Health would use a number of different methods to identify landlords who do not sign-up to the scheme. However, work on these methods is currently under development and, therefore, cannot be disclosed.
Article 35 Formulation and development of policies
Information is qualified exempt information if it relates to the formulation or development of any proposed policy by a public authority.
Article 35 is a qualified exemption, which means that a public interest test is required to be undertaken by the Scheduled Public Authority (SPA). The SPA has reviewed the balancing arguments in relation to public interest favouring release versus public interest favouring withholding.
In respect of the request for information about monitoring of take-up of the license scheme amongst landlords, Environmental Health is working on arrangements to ensure compliance with the license scheme. However, the details of these arrangements have not yet been completed or approved. It would therefore be premature to release this information.