Spike In Non-Resident Landlords 'Illustrates Broken System'

A former Housing Minister says the huge jump in the number of non-resident landlords since 2012 illustrates that Jersey's housing system is broken.

Ten years ago, there were 400. In 2019, there were 740.

"By this point, it's probably almost double what it was in 2012.

It has shown that over the last few years, it has become a bigger and bigger problem where people who are investing in Jersey's rental market, more and more of them aren't even based in Jersey and that has happened at a time where people in Jersey have been struggling more and more to be able to afford a home to live in." - Senator Sam Mézec.

A Ministerial decision was signed just before Christmas to stop the sale of new share-transfer properties to off-island investors.

The accompanying report states that the ability of a non-locally qualified person to buy share transfer property has been identified as a contributory factor to the current high prices and rapid inflation within the housing market.

Senator Mézec says that should have happened ages ago.

"The problem has been allowed to get worse and worse in that time, which I think is symbolic of the lack of interest and lack of acceptance there is in government that Jersey is facing a housing crisis."

The number of on-island Jersey landlords has also increased from 4,070 in 2012 to 6,000 in 2019.

Senator Mézec says this proves claims that introducing minimum standards would squeeze out landlords is 'complete nonsense.'

"In the last few years, even though we have introduced legal minimum standards, the number of investors in rental properties has still gone up, so it means that we can carry on with our journey with trying to improve the rental market and brush off this really ill-thought-out criticism that you'll just put off investors from being involved if you try and improve standards."

There have been several failed attempts at passing a landlord licencing scheme through the States Assembly during this political term.

Some States members have claimed it will make housing affordability worse because many landlords would leave the rental market.

Senator Mézec says some States members' views are informed by prejudice, rather than reality.

"I hope, at least though, that this information can help inform the wider public debate on the housing crisis over the next few months.

Ultimately, the public will get their say on this matter in June when they pick which government they want to take over."

Three political parties have unveiled their housing policies, if elected to government.

Reform Jersey: https://www.channel103.com/news/jersey/reform-jersey-sets-out-housing-plans-ahead-of-election/

Jersey Alliance Party: https://www.channel103.com/news/jersey/alliance-partys-vision-for-housing-unveiled/

Progress Party: https://www.channel103.com/news/jersey/progress-party-set-out-post-election-housing-plans/

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