Deposit Protection Scheme launches in Jersey
The Jersey Government has signed contracts with tenancy deposit protection (TDP) scheme, my|deposits Jersey, to protect tenants’ deposits from being unfairly withheld at the end of the tenancy.
The new scheme which began on the 2nd November 2015, will mean that landlords and agents in Jersey will now have to protect their tenants’ deposits with my|deposits within 30 working days of receipt or risk financial penalties of up to £2000. Your tenant’s deposit must be placed in the tenancy deposit scheme if you sign a new tenancy agreement with your tenant on or after 2nd November, or you renew or vary an existing agreement. Your tenant’s deposit can also be voluntarily placed in the scheme even if you have a tenancy that is not yet due for renewal.
It’s expected that the introduction of the legislation will help 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. (Read the full story on mydeposits.co.uk)
Unlike the UK the tenancy deposit protection scheme in Jersey will only operate a custodial scheme and they will also charge an admin fee of £20 plus GST (£21) to protect the deposit, but this is taken out of the tenant’s deposit when the deposit is protected.
RentPro can assist with the management of deposits to ensure that you have them lodged with the scheme you are using within a timely manner. Within our Reports > Alerts section we have a report that will list all Deposits being held and how long before the deadline for lodging them. This report will reflect the 30 days as required by law.
Once you have lodged the deposit you can also record details of this on RentPro, which will assist with returning the deposit upon the end of the tenancy.
Advice for reducing the risk of disputes upon the return of a deposit
MyDeposits has also issued useful information for landlords, letting agents and tenants to help them reduce the risk of disputes. It is recommended that the landlord or letting agent carry out both a check in and check out, that is agreed with the tenant, have a high quality tenancy agreement, keep a record of any receipts or invoices for charges incurred during the tenancy, an accurate record of rent payments as well as a record of any correspondence. (MyDeposits Jersey Scheme Information Leaflet)
Check in and check out inspections can be saved to RentPro along with the creation and storage of tenancy agreements, the tracking of any repair work as well as any correspondence thus allowing you to store all the information you may need as evidence in the case of a dispute in one place for future reference.
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