What is a lodging house?
Lodging houses or lodging accommodation are privately owned properties offering accommodation for occupation.
People can live in lodging houses as both lodgers and tenants. Lodgers do not have the same legal status as tenants, particularly in relation to protection from eviction. To become a tenant, you must have a registration card.
Registration cards (for work and housing)
Lodging houses regulations
- specify the maximum number of lodgers a property may take without being required to register
- require lodging houses offering accommodation for more than the specified number to register, and re-register annually
- specify minimum standards to be met in order to qualify for registration or re-registration
- approve people nominated as lodging house keepers in order to ensure that lodging houses are managed satisfactorily
Standards for lodging rooms
Under the law, the maximum number of people permitted to occupy a flat under the terms of the Registration Certificate must be clearly displayed in each individual flat.
This will be determined by the overall floor space and number of rooms.
Toilet and washing facilities
For every five people there must be:
- 1 separate bath or shower
- 1 separate toilet
Lodgers must be provided with adequate cooking facilities for their personal use:
- a cooker and / or microwave oven
- 2-ring hob
- an adequate area for food preparation
- a proper food store of adequate size
The space in a sink unit below the sink is not considered acceptable for food storage, ventilated or otherwise. There must also be a sink with both hot and cold water supplied.
There must also be a good standard of decor, both internally and externally, and furnishings, before registering or re-registering accommodation.
Lodging house charges
Owners are permitted to set their accommodation prices as they deem suitable. However, the maximum lodging fee for a flat must be displayed in a prominent place in each registered unit of accommodation at the property and, following registration or re-registration, it cannot be increased until the next registration period. There is not, however, anything to prevent the owner from reducing the lodging fee for the period in question.
Lodging house registers
House keepers are required to maintain a register of all lodgers residing in the property at any one time.
Details to be recorded must be entered on the day of entry and departure and include the following:
- full names
- flat number occupied
- date and place of birth
- date of arrival
- last previous address
- date of departure and intended destination
The law specifies a number of offences which can result in prosecution in the courts and fines.
Offences stipulated under the law include the following:
- running a lodging house for more than the stipulated number without being registered with the Minister (maximum penalty for this offence is an unlimited fine)
- appointing a keeper who has not been approved by the Minister (maximum fine of £1,000)
- having more lodgers in a flat than the number specified under the Registration Certificate (maximum fine of £1,000 plus £100 per day for a continuing offence)*
- failing to keep a register as required (maximum fine of £1,000)
*Where the offence committed is that a flat is occupied by a number of persons in excess of that for which it is registered, it is not only the owner who is liable to prosecution. The lodger(s) of the flat in question, and those not listed in the register but found occupying the flat are also liable to prosecution and a maximum fine of £1,000.
The States have produced an agreement and code of practice for landlords and lodgers. This agreement and code of practice has become a condition of registration, and all lodgers are expected to sign one.
Lodging Houses (Registration) (Jersey) Law 1962 on Jersey Law website
Lodging Houses (General Provisions) (Jersey) Order 1962 on Jersey Law website