Jersey has launched a consultation over plans to outlaw landlords who refuse to rent to tenants with children.

Social security minister deputy Judy Martin hopes to amend the Discrimination Law 2013 to protect families looking for homes on the island, which currently doesn’t protect people on the basis of age in relation to renting or buying property. Unlike the rest of the UK, a prospective or existing tenant can be discriminated against by a landlord based on whether they have a child or children under 18 living with them.

Says Martin: “I want to hear from everybody who may have been affected in the last few years. We do have a shortage of homes, so obviously if you then put conditions on those homes it will be worse for families and we don’t want anybody, hard-working Jersey families to not be able to get good, decent accommodation.”

Jersey Landlords Association (JLA) tells LandlordZONE that it’s in the process of putting together a response. The issue previously gained backbench support from members of the States Assembly when the law change was suggested three years ago, banning landlords from refusing to let to families unless they had proof the property was unsuitable. At the time, the JLA said the move was simply more legislation for a problem that barely existed, as only a very small minority of property owners didn’t let to tenants with children.

The new proposal would exclude some types of property such as accommodation reserved for people of a certain age, those in residential care homes, or registered providers of holiday accommodation. Landlords would also be able to take account of health and safety issues when considering new tenants.

The consultation is open until 30th April.

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