Lodgers and the Law ( 11.1.8.L4 )
Lodgers and the law
Updated: November 2020
Words you may need to know
Status - category
Lodger – someone who pays for accommodation but has no tenancy rights (see below)
Occupy/ occupier – here, to live somewhere; person living somewhere
Entitled or Licenced - categories under the Control of Housing and Work (Jersey) Law 2012. See 11.5.0
Exclusive right - sole right; only one person has the right to make a decision
Service – when someone does something for you eg washing; hairdressing; looking after pets
Prior consent - permission given in advance
Security of tenure - right to stay
Lease – a legal document signed by the person offering the accommodation and the person taking it. A lease gives the people signing it legal rights.
Children – ie from birth to school leaving age which in Jersey is 16
This page is a brief summary of what it means to be a lodger and what a Lodging House is. For detailed information please contact:
PO Box 55, Philip Le Feuvre House, La Motte Street, St Helier JE4 8PE
Opening hours: Monday to Friday 8.30am - 5pm
The importance of ‘Residential Status’
Anyone who arrives to live and/or work in Jersey needs to be registered under the Control of Housing and Work (Jersey) Law 2012 (‘the CHWL’). When you register you are given a registration card which shows your ‘residential status’. The residential status that you are given will control where you can work and live.
You also need a registration card if you move from where you live to a different address or if you change job.
For full details see:
What is the meaning of lodger
A lodger is someone who lives in accommodation where they pay for their accommodation but do not have
- any ‘rights of tenure’ i.e. they can be asked to leave immediately
- a ‘self-contained unit’ to live in i.e. they share some part of the accommodation with others e.g. a kitchen or bathroom.
Many lodgers are ‘Registered’ people because if a person has Registered status it means that they cannot buy or lease property in their own name (the exception is a self –contained unit in a Registered Property, usually a Lodging House- see below).
However, some people who have the right to lease or buy property choose to live somewhere as a lodger.
Note: If accommodation is included as a part of someone’s job, a reference to the accommodation should be included in their contract of employment.
Lodgers living in a private house
Finding somewhere to live in Jersey can be difficult and many people who live in a house that they own or lease will allow someone to share their accommodation if they pay them some money or ‘lodging fees’.
If under the CHWL you have Entitled or Licenced status and you may occupy an Entitled property (i.e. you are ‘the occupier’) you may take up to a maximum of five lodgers (including children) to live in the property with you.
You do not need to register the property under either the Lodging Houses (Registration) (Jersey) Law 1962 or the Tourism (Jersey) Law, 1948 if there are only up to 5 lodgers.
The residential status of the lodgers does not matter. What is important is that the occupier is living in the property as well because they have the correct residential status to live there.
What you must do if you take in a lodger
Everyone who takes lodgers (an owner or a tenant: ‘the occupier’) must not provide any security of tenure or lease agreement.
For best practice, in case of any immigration checks, anyone taking in lodgers in a private house should also keep a register of the lodgers staying in the property which shows the name and previous or home address of each lodger. Personal guests do not have to be included in the Register.
What if the entitled or licenced occupier leaves the premises
When an entitled or licenced occupier leaves a property, their lodgers cannot stay. This does not apply if the occupier goes on holiday for less than 3 months.
For any longer periods away the occupier would need to get the permission of the Population Office before they went away so that the lodger(s) could stay in the accommodation.
Note: If a tenant is the occupier of a property, not the owner, the following rules apply about how the tenant can choose lodgers:
- The lease from the Landlord does not prevent having lodgers.
- The lease may require the tenant to ask the landlord for permission to take lodgers
- If a property is occupied by a tenant who is an ‘entitled’ or ‘licenced’ person, the owner of the property cannot insist that the tenant takes lodgers
- If the tenant decides to take lodgers, they must have the exclusive right to choose them. The owner cannot make the tenant take lodgers the owner has chosen.
- If the tenant decides to take lodgers, they must have the sole right to fix the amount of the lodging fees and the right to receive and keep lodging fees.
- If the tenant decides to take lodgers, they must have the exclusive right to decide what part of the property the lodgers stay in.
A lodging house is where premises are used for the business of providing lodging accommodation. A lodging house is not a hotel.
Note: A Lodging House keeper must obey the same rules as an occupier in a private house would with regards to their lodgers. However, because a Lodging House is a business there are different rules about standards and registration that apply.
A Lodging House registered under the Lodging House Law can be inspected by the Government of Jersey. The Police have a right of entry to inspect the register. In addition the Lodging House must be inspected each year by the Fire Service and issued with a certificate confirming it meets the fire safety standards.
Laws that apply:
The laws include rules on:
- registration of the Lodging House
- Registration Certificates and their display
- Inspection of the premises
- Keeping a Lodgers Register
- Fees and expenses
- Standards of accommodation to be provided
What information is required on the Register in a Lodging House
The person in charge of a registered lodging house registered under the Lodging Houses law with planning consent must keep a Register. The Register must contain the following information about each of the lodgers in the Lodging House:
- full name
- number of accommodation occupied in the building
- place and date of birth
- address prior to arrival
- date of arrival
- date of departure and destination (when the lodger leaves)
Many owners of registered lodging houses provide their lodgers with a lodging agreement approved by the Lodging House Association and the Housing Minister. However, security of tenure does not have to be provided unless the accommodation is a self-contained unit.
If the accommodation is self-contained the lodger is a tenant and has various rights, including security of tenure, under the Residential Tenancy (Jersey) Law 2011 (‘the RTL’). Registered people can be tenants in this situation.
Some lodging houses provide both lodgings which are not self-contained units and some which are. This means that some of the people living there have the protection of the RTL and some do not.
For more information see :
General rules for lodgers in a private accommodation or a lodging house:
Re-imbursement of fees paid
If a lodger is asked to leave their accommodation, whether in private accommodation or a lodging house, any lodging fees paid in advance should be returned to the lodger. See also 11.8.10
At what age does a child count as being a lodger
A child up to the age of 16, including a new born baby, is counted as a lodger in a private house or a Lodging house.
Circumventing the provisions of the Control of Housing and Work (Jersey) Law 2012
It is a criminal offence for anyone to try and make arrangements to avoid the rules in the Control of Housing and Work (Jersey) Law 2012 . Anyone who tries will be liable to prosecution.