I am pleased to report another busy and successful year as far as your council is concerned. With the many trials and tribulations which were put in front of your council being solved. The previous year has again been a difficult trading year for many in the industry with rents staying static and even reducing in some instances. For those older members wishing to leave the industry selling their property has been a challenge in obtaining the full resale value. We continue to face stiff competition from the Guernsey Housing Association, continue to have benefits cut by the tax department and of course will have to pay increased utility bills and charges, particularly as TRP is to rise by 10% a year for the next 10 years..
On the up side our membership continues to remain steady at 176 members this is down 5 on the same time last year but we do fluctuate plus or minus ten throughout the year. We represent nearly 1,100 units of property which put in cash terms, is over 500 million pounds worth of property. The work that we as an organisation do behind the scenes is not always appreciated We are slowly but steadily becoming recognised as a respected and valued part of the property scene and have regular input with the Fire department, Health department and of course Housing. More is achieved by doing this quietly.
Earlier in the year Graham Guille and Gloria Dudley-Owen ran an awareness campaign to highlight some of what they considered to be failings within the proposed new population regime. We as a council also agreed with some of the points being made and we did actually work quite closely together in putting our case across to the powers that be. As you’ll be aware the details of the new regime have been released this week. Although the council has not had time to discuss them my own personal feeling is that generally they are fair but there are a few anomalies we will be highlighting to the steering group. The main area of change is to do with Open Market, Grade A houses being used for multiple occupancy. Under the new proposals a person who has lived in such a property for 4 years will be granted “grandfather rights” and can stay in that property indefinitely, but no other. We believe this may be a charter for unscrupulous landlords, either to raise rents or refuse to do repairs because the tenants have nowhere else to go
We continue to receive requests for help with disputes between landlords and tenants approximately 2 per month with some requiring face to face mediation to take place and sometimes when we are lucky a phone call is all it takes to sort it out. We are increasingly receiving such requests via third parties such as CAB and Housing thus again illustrating the increasing trust we are gaining within the industry.
Our subcommittee as you can see from the next item on our agenda have reviewed our constitution. This is an ideal opportunity to publicly thank John and Jo for all hard work in revising this document. I would also like to say a big thank you to our new Membership secretary Michele Trott who is following in the footsteps of Jo and cracking the whip at the rest of us when it is needed! Mich has also been working with Adrian on the new website and is a valuable sounding board and web tester for Adrian’s offerings. Please remember it is YOURS, the members’ website which is extremely flexible- we can do pretty much anything with it – so we would like to hear your thoughts and input on future developments – so don’t be shy in sending in your comments via the Contact Us page on the website!
So it leaves me only to thank everyone who has contributed to the success of the organisation this year and thank Brian Gardiner and Julian Boulton who are retiring from the committee this year for the hard work they have put in over the past few years.