Improvement notices (FOI)
Improvement notices (FOI)Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by Government of Jersey and published on 12 May 2021.
Prepared internally, no external costs.
I refer to a Freedom of Information response published at the following link:
Rented dwellings (FOI)
Following the response that 75 improvement notices were issued in 2020, is it possible to state in relation to those notices –
Was there a predominant defect which caused the issue of the notice, and if so, what was that defect? I am trying to understand what defects caused the notices to be issued. If it is possible to specify the different defects, that would be very helpful.
How many notices have been complied with to the satisfaction of the Department?
How many notices related to properties which were tenanted and how many related to lodging houses?
How many notices resulted from investigations instigated by a complaint made by the occupier?
How many notices resulted from investigations which were not instigated by an occupier's complaint?
There were various defects which resulted in the issue of Improvement Notices, some referencing multiple issues, however, no one defect is considered to be predominant.
We are unable to provide a full list of defect details for each case as to do so may prejudice any potential legal proceedings. This information is therefore exempt under Article 42 (Law Enforcement) of the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011.
We have, however, listed the Hazard Categories / Matters and Circumstances that are included in the various notices, as defined in the Public Health and Safety (Rented Dwellings – Minimum Standards and Prescribed Hazards) (Jersey) Order 2018 which can be viewed at the following link:
Public Health and Safety (Rented Dwellings – Minimum Standards and Prescribed Hazards) (Jersey) Order 2018
Defects categories on the Improvement Notices
Number of defects per category
Type of defect
Defect category reference
|58||Damp and mould growth||1|
|1||Crowding and space||11|
|2||Entry by intruders||12|
|1||Domestic hygiene, pests and refuse ||15|
|2||Personal hygiene, sanitation and drainage||17|
|7||Falls associated with bathing etc.||19|
|6||Falling on level surfaces etc.||20|
|6||Falling on stairs etc. ||21|
|1||Collision and entrapment ||26|
|7||Structural collapse etc.||29|
|170||Total defects contained on Notices ||-|
The Environmental Health (EH) section of Infrastructure, Housing and Environment (IHE) considers that landlords have complied with their Improvement Notice when all the issues raised have been addressed.
This can include landlords agreeing a timetable for remedial works, which will allow dwellings to remain occupied while securing necessary improvements and to accommodate weather dependant works.
As the original compliance dates set within the various Notices have coincided with the introduction of Covid-19 restrictions, the availability of contractors has been limited and there have been issues surrounding the access to properties to be able to undertake the necessary works. As such EH officers are currently liaising with landlords and contractors to create work schedules, which prioritise any higher risk defects, to ensure that all items contained within Notices can be completed within revised and achievable timeframes.
C to E
The majority of notices issued in 2020 relate to lodging houses. We are unable to provide a breakdown of how many complaints came from tenants as to do so may prejudice any potential legal proceedings.
We rely on tenants informing us of contraventions of legislation and it is therefore vital and very much in the public interest that complainants feel able to report genuine concerns without fear of discovery and repercussion from those that they have reported. We are therefore applying Article 42 (Law Enforcement) of the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011 and no further information will be released in relation to categories of people who have complained.
Article 42- Law enforcement
Information is qualified exempt information if its disclosure would, or would be likely to, prejudice –
(a) the prevention, detection or investigation of crime, whether in Jersey or elsewhere;
(b) the apprehension or prosecution of offenders, whether in respect of offences committed in Jersey or elsewhere;
(c) the administration of justice, whether in Jersey or elsewhere;
(d) the assessment or collection of a tax or duty or of an imposition of a similar nature;
(e) the operation of immigration controls, whether in Jersey or elsewhere;
(f) the maintenance of security and good order in prisons or in other institutions where persons are lawfully detained;
(g) the proper supervision or regulation of financial services; or
(h) the exercise, by the Jersey Financial Services Commission, of any function imposed on it by any enactment.
Public Interest Test
This is a qualified exemption and as such we have conducted a public interest test as required to assess whether, in all the circumstances, the public interest in supplying the information is outweighed by the public interest in not doing so.
It is recognised that there is a public interest in providing transparency about Government’s Enforcement functions, however, having considered the public interest, we have concluded that the public interest in disclosing this information is outweighed by the public interest in withholding it, in order to allow complainants to feel able to report genuine concerns that affect health, safety and wellbeing, without fear of repercussion.