Letter to all landlords via GPRLA from Policy and Resources Committee

Private rentals

First, thank you for your time on Wednesday of this week. This is a challenging time for all of us in our community, and my officers and I very much appreciated your time and your open and constructive approach.

You and your members have an important role in our economy and in our community. Having spoken with many of the Association’s members over the past 48 hours, I know that they – like you – recognise that role.

In the one to one calls that I have had, one landlord advised me that he has, with immediate effect, halved all of his rents; and another advised that all of his commercial tenants had confirmed, that at this stage, they were able to meet their commitments. With the many others I’ve spoken to, the message was somewhere in between the two responses mentioned. Every landlord I have spoken to has assured me that, in dialogue with their banks, appropriate measures are being implemented where necessary and where possible.

I was assured that the majority of landlords will do the right thing – that is, ensure there is flexibility for private and commercial tenants during this difficult financial period. In turn, I recognise that those landlords will rely on similar flexibility from the Island’s banks, and in my regular conversations with the banks I will reiterate that point. We are, as we discussed, all in this together.

Where landlords do not or will not do the right thing, the States will be in a position where it will act: should it prove necessary, we will not hesitate in seeking to introduce the necessary legislation to protect against forced evictions or other irresponsible behaviours. My preference, though, is that our discussions this week will enable us to avoid that.

My officers and I will continue to engage actively with the privately rented sector and commercial property market. On that basis, I would be grateful if you could share this letter with your members.

Yours sincerely,
Deputy Lyndon Trott
Vice-President, Policy & Resources Committee
Deputy Chief Minister