JE is first Five-Star 'Rent Safe' landlord
First in the frame: Minister for the Environment Steve Luce presents Jersey Electricity Company Secretary Peter Routier with the Rent Safe Scheme award, flanked by Property and Facilities Manager Damion Harrison and Caroline Maffia, Assistant Director of Environmental Health
Jersey Electricity has become the Island’s first Rent Safe landlord to be awarded Five Stars for all its domestic rental properties under the new States of Jersey, Environmental Health Department’s Rent Safe Scheme. Among JE’s Group businesses is a property portfolio that includes 29 private houses and flats in St Helier, St John and St Ouen as well as the B&Q store and Medical Centre situated on the utility’s Powerhouse site at Queen’s Road.
Each one of the 29 domestic dwellings has its own Five-Star certificate of excellence following a week-long inspection of every property by Environmental Health officials. Many of the homes were originally built in the 1970s by the Company to accommodate engineers from the UK to run and maintain La Collette Power Station and Island network. The portfolio is now rented out in the open market. The properties are run by JE’s Company Secretary Peter Routier and maintained by Property and Facilities Manager Damion Harrison.
Rent Safe is a voluntary scheme designed to improve standards in the private rental sector. While all landlords can register their properties, only those that meet an accredited rating of three, four or five stars are listed on the Rent Safe register. To attain five stars the scheme states: ‘The property exceeds the minimum Rent Safe standard and has achieved accreditation through compliance with legal standards. Energy efficiency measures are also in place.’
Mr Routier said: ‘As the providers of over a third of the Island’s energy requirements we encourage energy efficiency among our customers. We appreciate that it is sometimes difficult for tenants to ensure their homes are equipped with energy efficiency measures so it is only right and proper that we as landlords excel in this area.’
The Environment Department says a badly insulated two-bedroom flat can cost up to £600 a month to heat. By using an accredited landlord, potential tenants know before they even view a property that the landlord: takes their tenant’s welfare seriously, takes action to resolve issues quickly and works to make sure their properties continue to meet recognised housing standards.
As well as energy efficiency measures, on inspection, JE’s properties had to demonstrate a high standard of maintenance and safety, including electrical integrity, smoke detection devices and security devices such as window locks, and secure door entry systems. The States also inspect tenancy contracts and the way landlords deal with rent arrears and deposits.
In presenting the Rent Safe Landlord and Five Star Certificates to Mr Routier and Mr Harrison, Minister for the Environment, Steve Luce, said: ‘Good, safe housing has a direct impact on our physical health and mental wellbeing. Jersey Electricity recognise this and have demonstrated how their housing stock also provides affordable heating and other energy efficiency measures for their tenants, which means lower bills. We welcome them to the Rent Safe scheme as the first landlord to achieve five stars for each of their properties.’