The Jersey Government has today signed contracts with tenancy deposit protection (TDP) scheme mydeposits Jersey to protect tenants' deposits from being unfairly withheld at the end of the tenancy.
The new scheme which begins on the 2nd November 2015, will mean that landlords and agents in Jersey will now have to protect their tenants' deposits with mydeposits within 30 working days of receiving it or risk financial penalties of up to £2000.
It's expected that the introduction of the legislation will help to reduce the number of deposit issues that occur in Jersey, as figures from the Jersey Citizens Advice Bureau suggest that almost 10% of all housing issues relate to rental deposit disputes.*
The scheme will also offer an Alternative Dispute Resolution service; an impartial, evidence based service which can be used by tenants if they feel that their deposit is being unfairly withheld. Adjudicators will consider the evidence and make a binding decision on how much of the deposit should be allocated to the tenant and the landlord.
Deputy Anne Pryke, Jersey's Minister for Housing, has fully backed tenancy deposit protection and mydeposits Jersey hailing it as an historic day for tenants, landlords and letting agents.
Deputy Pryke said:
I am pleased to have appointed mydeposits to operate a tenancy deposit scheme in Jersey. Mydeposits has considerable experience of operating the same schemes in the UK, and I am confident this will help landlords and tenants locally to better protect deposit money, creating a more transparent and fairer way to manage deposits.
Eddie Hooker, CEO of mydeposits Jersey commented that the introduction of the legislation and mydeposits will play a key role in improving tenant and landlord relationships in Jersey.
"Our vast experience from operating successful schemes in England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland since 2007 means that we are confident of delivering a service that will help raise standards in the private rented sector for landlords, letting agents and tenants."
"The law is in place to protect tenants, so it's vital that they understand how it will affect them. We urge tenants, landlords and agents in Jersey to visit our website www.mydepositsjersey.je for more information."
The scheme goes live on the 2nd November 2015 and the mydeposits website is now live and packed with useful resources including how the scheme works and further detail on the Alternative Dispute Resolution service.
Landlord and letting agents in Jersey can also sign up to the mydeposits e-newsletter via the website www.mydepositsjersey.je to keep up to date with new guides and resources and be alerted when the scheme is live.
The scheme will also be hosting a number of workshops throughout October for landlords, letting agents and tenants to find out how the scheme works and ask any questions that they may have pre and post launch.
*Jersey Citizens Advice Bureau 2014
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NOTES TO EDITORS:
About my|deposits Jersey:
my|deposits Jersey is the trading name of Tenancy Deposit Solutions Limited, a company jointly owned by the National Landlords Association and HFIS plc T/A Hamilton Fraser Insurance (the Scheme Administrator) to deliver a custodial backed tenancy deposit protection scheme under contract from the States of Jersey
my|deposits Jersey aims to support landlords and agents to comply with the legislation and provide everyone with the confidence that deposit money is held securely for the duration of the tenancy.
Landlords and letting agents wishing to use this scheme are required to register with the Scheme Administrator. They can find out more and register by visiting www.mydepositsjersey.je
Registered members of the Scheme are able to protect and unprotect deposits at the beginning and end of tenancies
In the event of a dispute at the end of the tenancy agreement, both parties are offered access to alternative dispute resolution (ADR). This procedure will be evidence-based, relying on documentation and records.