The law and how it applies to leases
Residential Tenancy (Jersey) Law 2011 applies to all new leases and leases that are changed or renewed.
The law only applies to self-contained accommodation, including bedsits and studio flats.
Self-contained accommodation must have a:
- kitchen or kitchenette
bath or shower
- place to sleep
The law applies to all accommodation let on a:
- week to week basis
- month to month basis
- fixed term of less than 9 years
Your rights as a tenant
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)
Model Residential Tenancy Agreement template
Your responsibilities as a landlord
As the landlord you must give your tenant a signed copy of the lease or a receipt of their deposit. If you do not give these to your tenant you're committing an offence under the law 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.
A new lease must be in writing, signed by both parties and include:
- a description which identifies the self-contained unit
- the start date of the residential tenancy
- the end date of the residential tenancy, if any
- the name, address or business address of the landlord or managing agent
- the rent amount and frequency of payment
- the name of the person rent is paid to
- the deposit or guarantee amount and how and when it'll be repaid
- the rent review date and the basis of the review, if any. For example, Jersey's Retail prices index (inflation)
- an inventory of contents owned by the landlord
A new lease must not include:
- an obligation for the tenant to buy any fixture or fittings
- an obligation for the tenant to pay a premium or key money
- any restriction on the tenant fixing things to or removing things from walls provided the tenant fixes any damage caused as a result
- a provision which allows the landlord to unreasonably withhold or delay consent to any reasonable request by the tenant
Your tenant can be evicted through the Petty Debts Court. The court must be satisfied that your tenant has broken the terms of the tenancy, and that has 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 your tenant has failed to leave their accommodation when a lease has ended.
Giving notice to end a lease
As a tenant, you must give at least 1 month's notice to end the lease.
As a landlord, you must give at least 3 months' written notice to end the lease.
These notice periods do not apply to fixed-term tenancies of less than 5 years, unless the lease includes a break clause.
The tenant or landlord do not need 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.
A condition report is a way for a landlord to record the physical condition and state of repair of a property when a tenant moves in and out.
Your landlord must complete a condition report within 7 days of you agreeing to live in the property.
If your landlord does not give you a condition report after 7 days, the report is taken as accepted to the extent that it's completed.
If your landlord does not complete a condition report at all, they could be fined up to £10,000.
Condition reports for landlords and tenants