Inspections of rental dwellings (FOI)
Inspections of rental dwellings (FOI)Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by Government of Jersey and published on 13 November 2020.
Prepared internally, no external costs.
On 2 November 2020, Deputy Robert Ward asked the Environment Minister a two-part question in the States (Ref. WQ. 408/2020) as follows:
In relation to the Public Health and Safety (Rented Dwellings) (Jersey) Law 2018, will the Minister advise –
(a) how many inspections have been carried out since the Law came into force; and
(b) how many rented dwellings have failed to meet the minimum standards as set out in the Law?
A relevant extract from the Minister's reply to Deputy Ward stated as follows:
(a) there have been complaints relating to approximately 316 properties with specific reference to minimum standards. Other properties have been inspected under other legislation where failure to meet minimum standards was observed. In total over 550 properties have been inspected, representing over 3000 dwellings.
(b) over 2900 of these dwellings failed to meet the minimum standards as set out in the Law to a greater or lesser extent.
This was subsequently reported in the Jersey Evening Post (6 November 2020) under the heading 'More than 2,900 rental homes fail inspections'.
The purpose of this Freedom of Information request is therefore to gain the following additional information concerning these statistics:
Have "over 3,000" rented dwellings actually been personally inspected by IHE officers in the past two years since the law came into force, as stated by the Minister?
If 316 complaints resulted in approximately 3,000 inspections, this implies that where a complaint is made by a tenant relating to a lack of minimum standards or health hazards in their own specific dwelling within a property in multiple occupation, the IHE automatically inspects all other rented dwellings in that property, regardless of whether tenants of the neighbouring dwellings have made similar complaints or not.
Is this implication correct?
Paragraph (3) of Article 6 ('Powers of investigation') of the Public Health and Safety (Rented Dwellings) (Jersey) Law 2018 allows IHE officers to enter a rented dwelling with less than 24 hours' notice in three particular circumstances that are set out in that paragraph.
How many times have IHE officers entered rented dwellings with less than 24 hours' notice, pursuant to Article 6(3) since the Law came into force?
Paragraph (4) of Article 6 ('Powers of investigation') of the Public Health and Safety (Rented Dwellings) (Jersey) Law 2018 allows the Bailiff or a Jurat to issue a warrant to enter a dwelling by force, if necessary.
How many warrants to enter dwellings have been issued, pursuant to Article 6(4) since the Law came into force?
Yes, 550 properties, representing over 3000 dwellings have been inspected in the last two years.
The implication is not correct as direct reference is made in the Ministers response to WQ. 408/2020 that some of these properties have been inspected under other legislation and not just the Public Health and Safety (Rented Dwellings) (Jersey) Law 2018. Therefore, these inspections do not all relate to complaints made by tenants in relation to a lack of minimum standards or health hazards.
IHE officers have not entered any rental dwellings with less than 24 hours notice unless authorised by the occupier or controller of the dwelling.
No warrants have been issued to IHE officers to authorise them to enter any dwellings.
Public Health and Safety (Rented Dwellings) (Jersey) Law 2018