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Boundaries - "Relief" ( 11.8.54.L1 )
Clameur de Haro ( 4.6.0.L10 )
Control of Housing and Work Law Housing Status ( 11.5.0. )
Establishing ownership of property ( 11.8.52.L7 )
Eviction Proceedings ( 11.12.12 )
House Purchase - removal of goods ( 11.1.30.L4 )
Housing Regulations and Property ( 11.6.0 )
Housing Status - Methods of proving residence ( 11.5.0.L5 )
Joint ownership of property ( 11.1.54. )
Joint purchase / leasing ..... Married and unmarried ( 11.5.0.L12 )
Land measurements in Jersey ( 11.1.50.L5 )
Life enjoyment of property - "Usufruct" (11.5.20)
Lodgers and the Law ( 11.1.8.L4 )
Parish Rates and Appeals Procedure ( 11.8.40. )
Personal possessions left behind by a tenant or lodger ( 11.8.2 )
Purchase of Freehold Property (11.1.30.L2)
Purchase of property - Flying freehold ( 11.1.30.L7 )
Purchase of property - Share Transfer ( 11.1.30.L6 )
Registration of Tourism Properties / Keeping Records ( 11.8.0 )
Residential Statuses (11.5.0.L6)
Residential Tenancy Law / Agreements / Regulations and Orders / Condition Reports ( 11.1.14. )
Restrictive Covenants ( 11.8.54 )
Stamp duty on property purchase/transfer and death ( 11.1.50 )
Status of occupiers - ( 11.5.0.L7 )
Statutory Nuisances (Jersey) Law 1999 ( 11.8.52.L2 )
Three month exemption rule (11.1.15)
To obtain a copy of house deeds ( 11.1.50.L2 )
Transfer or Jersey realty into joint names ( 11.1.30.L5 )
PDF

LOCAL INFORMATION

11.12.12
Eviction proceedings

Extent: Jersey
Updated 24 July 2017

 

Words you may need to know

 

Affordable housing – accommodation provided by housing providers at below open market rents to households who need support accessing housing see 11.8.1.L8

Eviction - to put somebody out of a property usually with a Court Order

Lease - a legal contract to allow someone to stay in a property usually in return for payment

Vacate - leave

Prejudice - disadvantage or harm

Deferment - to put off

Negotiation - reaching of agreement through discussion

Infirmity - illness, sickness

Take possession of -  keep, take hold of

Allocated - given out or earmarked for

Malicious actions - a desire to cause harm or pain to another

 

 

Note:  Legal advice should be obtained if you are affected by an eviction either as a landlord or a tenant.

 

 

When can there be an eviction

At the end of a fixed term lease

When a lease ends, the leaseholder has no right to stay in the property. If they do not leave, the landlord may seek eviction.

At the end of a tenancy

When the landlord has given the tenant the correct period of notice but they have failed to leave the property, the landlord may seek eviction.

When terms or conditions of a lease or tenancy have been broken

If the tenant fails to pay rent due, or often pays late, or breaks any other terms or conditions, e.g. failing to keep the property in good order, having pets which are not allowed, then the landlord may seek an eviction.

When a property has been bought or inherited with a 'sitting tenant'

 

The tenant’s rights may be affected by the way the landlord has been described in the lease.   Some leases use the words ‘including their heirs’ after the landlord and if so then the person who has inherited the property becomes the landlord.   Otherwise a new lease may need to be signed by the new landlord and the tenant.   The law protects the tenant as set out below.

A landlord may choose to evict a sitting tenant after a suitable period of notice has been given. If there is a current lease in force, notice must be given as stated in the terms of the lease.

Note:

These are two laws that regulate the relationship between landlords and tenants.

-          Residential Tenancy (Jersey) Law 2011 (the ‘RTL’)

-          Loi (1946) concernant l’expulsion des locataires réfractaires (‘the 1946 Law’)

The RTL was introduced to make the way agreements between landlords and tenants work more modern and to make the processes and the law easier to understand. The law came into force on 1st May 2013.

 

Since 1st May 2013

- every new lease and

- lease that existed before July 2013 and is subsequently modified (changed or varied)  or

   renewed and

- which offers accommodation that fits in the definition in the RTL

 

has to comply with the RTL.

The rules about an eviction which takes place under the RTL are different to the rules affecting a lease under the 1946 Law.

See:  Article 13 of the RTL for details of the rules about how an eviction order takes place if the lease is one under the RTL:

www.jerseylaw.je/laws/revised/Pages/18.720.aspx

 11.8.1.L1 Leases

Eviction under the 1946 Law

The 1946 law is much shorter than the RTL and does not have the same detail or protections for landlords and tenants.

Below is a summary of the processes and considerations that affect an eviction under the 1946 Law.

See also:  ‘Practical Advice’ for Landlords and Tenants at the end of the page.

Giving notice under the 1946 Law

The landlord should give the tenant notice in writing for the period stated in the terms of the tenancy agreement, or if there no mention of a period, for a time that is the same as the rental payment period. So, if the rent is paid monthly, a months' notice, if the rent is paid quarterly, a quarters notice.

If the tenant leaves before the end of the notice period the landlord can claim rent for the whole of the period unless they have agreed to the tenant leaving early.

A landlord can give longer and might want to do so as getting other accommodation may not be easy for the tenant.

The notice period runs from the 'effective date', as stated in the terms, or from the next rental payment date.

In the case of a fixed term lease, the landlord may write to the tenant to remind them of the termination date they are expected to vacate the property on.

The tenant does not move out - 'Notice to quit'

If the tenant does not leave the property at the end of the notice period and the landlord needs the property empty quickly or believes the tenant has no intention of leaving, they should seek legal advice. A lawyer will notify the tenant of intended legal action, and arrange for a 'notice to quit' to be served by the Viscount.

There is no set time for a 'Notice to quit', the period is usually decided by the landlord's lawyer, but the law states that any tenant has one month in which to bring a challenge if they feel the 'Notice to Quit' has been incorrectly served.

When the tenant receives the 'Notice to quit', they will have a fixed time which is given in the Notice to Quit in which to act before an 'Expulsion Order' is served.

If a tenant gets a Notice to Quit they should:

-                      Decide whether or not they are able to leave straight away.

-                      If unable to leave, or wishing to challenge the order, a tenant should take legal advice.
            Legal aid may be available.

A tenant’s lawyer will:

·         Confirm an expected date for re-housing with the Affordable Housing Gateway, if appropriate

·         Try to agree a delay with the landlord

·         Attend the Royal or Petty Debts Court hearing if negotiation fails

Court hearing for a Possession Order

The 'Notice to quit' provides the tenant with a stated period in which to notify the landlord's lawyer that the tenant wishes to challenge the notice. If a tenant does not bring a challenge, after the notice to quit has expired, the landlord's lawyer will apply for an Expulsion Order to be carried out by the Viscount.

The hearing for a Possession Order will be held either in the Royal Court, if the property is occupied under a contract lease, or in the Petty Debts Court for tenancies of less than 9 years and where the annual rent is not more than £15,000.

Hearings at the Petty Debts Court are held at the Magistrate's Court, Union Street, after the hearing of judgements on a Wednesday morning. It is advisable for both parties to be legally represented at the hearing.

What does the Court take into account

The circumstances of both the landlord and the tenant will be considered by the Court in deciding whether to grant a 'stay of eviction' to allow the tenant to stay longer.

There are no set down circumstances to be taken into account by the Court, but the law of 1946 states that ‘the Court may put off judgement, or carrying out the judgement, if the eviction of a tenant would cause him a greater prejudice than that of which would be caused to the owner if the tenant stayed in the property and that the tenant deserves a delay’.

The following may be taken into account

For the landlord:

·         Landlord's need for property to house family members

·         Landlord's need for property to occupy themselves

·         Condition of property, if allowed to deteriorate by tenant

·         Non or late payment of rent

·         Tenant breaking the terms of the tenancy

·         Need to refurbish the property

For the tenant:

·         Regular rent payment, good conduct as tenant

·         Long duration of tenancy

·         Family circumstances, ie ages of children, infirmity

·         Difficulty in finding suitable accommodation

·         Promise of re-housing by the Affordable Housing Gateway Team after a certain period of time

The Court will hear evidence from witnesses and representatives and then the Court will give its judgement in terms of a Possession Order to the landlord, either immediate, or with a deferment for a set period, known as the 'stay of eviction'.

During the period of the 'stay' the tenant must make arrangements to leave the property or face 'expulsion' by the Viscount's Officers when it ends.

Appeal

There is no appeal procedure after the Court's judgement, which has to be accepted by both sides.

Expulsion Order

When the landlord has been granted a Possession Order, an Expulsion Order will be issued by the Court Greffier to be carried out by the Viscount's Officers.

The Possession Order may have been granted with immediate effect after the Court hearing or with a deferment for a set period.

If the tenant did not challenge the landlord after receiving the 'Notice to Quit', the landlord can request an Expulsion Order to be served by the Viscount on the expiry of the 'Notice to Quit'.

The Viscount has the right to take possession of the tenants' furniture to be held for fifteen days and then sold to offset the costs of the proceedings and any rent owed.

Costs

The Court decides how the costs of the proceedings and legal costs will be allocated, but usually both sides bear their own costs unless there is clear evidence of malicious actions by one party. In this event the Court may award all or part of the costs to the 'other' party.

 

PRACTICAL ADVICE FOR LANDLORDS AND TENANTS IF AN EVICTION IS A POSSIBILITY : 

If a tenant does not move out at the end of the notice period

  • If a tenant does not leave the property at the end of the notice period a landlord should try to discover the reason why. The tenant may be having genuine problems finding other accommodation, and a little more time may help the situation. The tenant should explain their difficulties to the landlord and try and agree to stay a bit longer.

 

  • If a landlord needs the property empty quickly or believes the tenant has no intention of leaving, they should seek legal advice to arrange a ‘notice to quit’. When the tenant receives the 'Notice to quit', they have a stated time in which to act before an 'Expulsion Order ' is served.

 

  • If a tenant receives a ‘Notice to Quit’ they should:

-          Decide whether or not they are able to leave straight away.

-          If unable to leave, or wishing to challenge the order, they should take legal advice - legal aid may be available if required.

-          Tenants must make every attempt to keep paying the rent to their landlord (or their lawyer or agent). They should make a note of any refusals to accept the rent by the landlord.

-          If the landlord refuses to accept the rent it should be paid to the tenant’s lawyer. The fact that the landlord might refuse to accept the rent does not mean that the tenant can stop paying. 

-          Tenants must continue to search for new accommodation and inform the Affordable Housing Gateway Team of the eviction. (If they qualify and want to be re - housed)

-          Tenants should keep evidence of visits to estate agents and copies of adverts they have answered to show they have tried to find new accommodation.

Note: Whilst under 'Notice to quit' the landlord cannot ask a tenant to pay money in lieu of notice if they leave the property earlier than the stated eviction notice.

If a landlord continues to accept rent once they have sent a written notice the Court may say that the landlord has given up (‘waived’) the right to have the lease cancelled. This is because by continuing to accept rent from the tenant the landlord has continued to accept the lease.

If the tenant stops breaking the conditions of the lease after they have received a written warning the landlord may not be able to have the lease cancelled.