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Proposed introduction of a General Housing Law

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Monday 02 March 2020

New legislation will be introduced, if the States agrees, to allow for the regulation of housing in the island to improve standards and conditions, particularly in rented properties.

The Committee for the Environment & Infrastructure has published a policy letter which asks the States to approve a single legislative framework that will provide proportionate provisions to regulate conditions across all housing on-island and provide greater protection to tenants without significant detriment to responsible landlords and property owners.

The proposals follow a review and analyse of the legislative framework and processes governing housing quality standards and how legislation can support the provision of good quality housing. This review, the instigation of which was agreed by the States in 2018, concluded that there are currently insufficient and unsuitable provisions within legislation to regulate standards across the island's housing stock.

A set of proposals were subsequently presented for consultation, working with key stakeholders including States' Committees, enforcement officers, housing providers, landlords and estate agents, representatives of the construction industry, charities and services who may be affected by the proposals. A total of 37 responses were received and the proposals were revised, taking into consideration the comments received.

It is hoped the Committee's proposals will be debated by the States in April 2020.

Deputy Barry Brehaut, President of the Committee for the Environment & Infrastructure, said:

'New primary legislation is necessary as some of the existing legislation relevant to housing standards is outdated, most of it is not directed at the specific purpose of regulating housing standards and responsibility for it is spread across multiple States Committees. The initial focus will be on improving the standard of the island's housing stock, with an emphasis on rented properties, through a number of initiatives designed to provide a robust approach for assessing housing conditions and enforcing improvements. It is intended that the increase in standards will contribute towards providing a sustainable supply of good quality properties to the island.'

The policy letter is available to read at https://gov.gg/StatesMeetings.

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