The law and how it applies to leases
The Residential Tenancy Law applies to all leases which are changed or renewed and to all new leases.
The law only applies to self-contained accommodation (including bedsits and studio flats).
Self-contained accommodation must contain all of the following:
- a bath or shower
- a washbasin
- a kitchen or kitchenette etc
- a place to sleep
- a toilet
The law applies to all accommodation which is let on a:
- week to week basis
- month to month basis
- fixed term of less than nine years
Tenants' rights under the Residential Tenancy Law
Under the law, a tenant has the right to:
- get a signed copy of the lease and any new versions of it, as well as a copy of the fully signed lease
- get a receipt for any deposit paid
- enjoy their accommodation without the landlord interfering
- not have to pay full rent if part of the accommodation becomes uninhabitable (as long as you didn't cause the problem)
Giving notice to end a lease
If you want to end a periodic tenancy, you must give the correct notice. For example,
- a tenant must give at least one month's written notice when ending a periodic tenancy
- a landlord must give at least three months' written notice when ending a periodic tenancy
- you can't give notice to end a fixed-term tenancy early unless the lease includes a break clause
Landlords' responsibilities under the Residential Tenancy Law
If you don't give your tenant a signed copy of the lease or a receipt for their deposit, you are committing an offence and you could be fined.
You do not need to replace any existing leases, but you must make sure that any new or renewed leases comply with the law.
Preparing a new lease
All new leases must comply with the law from 1 July 2013 and a tenancy agreement must be agreed.
Many landlords use a copy of the standard tenancy agreement (lease) in the dwelling-houses regulations.
|Be in writing and signed by both parties|
An obligation for the tenant to buy any fixture or fittings
|Contain a description which identifies the self-contained unit||An obligation for the tenant to pay a premium or key money|
|Include the date when the residential tenancy starts||Any restriction on the tenant fixing things to or removing things from walls provided the tenant fixes any damage caused as a result|
|Include the date (if any) when the residential tenancy comes to an end||A provision which allows you (the landlord) to unreasonably withhold or delay consent to any reasonable request by the tenant|
|Include the name, address or business address of the landlord and / or managing agent|||
|Include the rent amount and the frequency of payment|||
|Include the name of the person to whom rent is paid|||
|Include the amount of any deposit / guarantee to be held and how and when it will be repaid|||
|Include the rent review date (if any) and the basis of the review eg Jersey Cost of Living Index|||
|Include an inventory of contents owned by the landlord|||
Giving notice to end a lease
As a landlord, you must give at least three months' written notice to terminate a lease. Your tenant must give you one month’s notice. Neither party needs to give formal notice if the other party is in breach of the terms of the tenancy agreement, or if you both agree to end the tenancy.
These notice periods do not apply to fixed term tenancies of less than five years.
Tenants can be evicted through the Petty Debts Court. The court must be satisfied that the tenant has broken the terms of their tenancy, and that they have failed to act after being given notice of their breach and an opportunity to correct it.
The court can also make an eviction order if it is satisfied that the tenant has failed to leave their accommodation when a lease has ended.