JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Executive Director of the Rent Assessment Unit, Shenese Headlam, is encouraging tenants to provide landlords with adequate notice before terminating a rental arrangement.
  • “What some tenants fail to realise is that even though they are leaving the premises in a good condition, the landlord should get adequate notice about their departure from the property in order for them to be eligible for their security deposit refund,” she told JIS News.
  • Mrs. Headlam underscored this against the background of the number of cases that she said have been referred to the Rent Assessment Board regarding landlords’ refusal to refund tenants’ security deposits.

Executive Director of the Rent Assessment Unit, Shenese Headlam, is encouraging tenants to provide landlords with adequate notice before terminating a rental arrangement.

“What some tenants fail to realise is that even though they are leaving the premises in a good condition, the landlord should get adequate notice about their departure from the property in order for them to be eligible for their security deposit refund,” she told JIS News.

Mrs. Headlam underscored this against the background of the number of cases that she said have been referred to the Rent Assessment Board regarding landlords’ refusal to refund tenants’ security deposits.

“We have had tenants call and complain about not leaving any debt, leaving the property in good order and giving a week’s notice, yet still being denied their security deposits,” she informed.

The Executive Director pointed out that landlords may choose to withhold deposits where tenants fail to provide the requisite minimum one month’s notice prior to vacating rented premises.

“Tenants are often not cognisant of this fact {requisite one month’s notice). So I would like to encourage them to do their due diligence and give adequate notice. However, if a tenant feels that their landlord is unfairly denying them the security deposit refund, then the matter should be reported to the Rent Assessment Unit,” she said.

Meanwhile, Mrs. Headlam advised that the Unit has been visiting tertiary institutions and educating persons on the process of renting property in Jamaica, which is governed by the Rent Restriction Act.

“We have a programme where we go to colleges and universities and speak to first-time home renters about the rights and responsibilities of both tenants and landlords. We want to spread public awareness on the process so that more persons will be cognisant of their roles and responsibilities while renting property,” she outlined.