We call upon the National Assembly for Wales to urge the Welsh Government to give the people of Wales a ‘Letting Agents Ombudsman’ by including it within their Housing Bill.
An ombudsman will give people guidance, issued by the Welsh Government, of what their rights are as a tenant. It will tell them how to complain directly through the agents’ complaints procedure and when all avenues are have been exhausted, they can ask the Ombudsman to step in and take action.
We very much welcome the regulation of letting agents and landlords set out in the Bill - this has been urgently needed for years. Students and young professionals are being robbed time and time again with invented letting agent fees and even invented letting agents and these need to be held to account now. There is not enough being done to help tenants against landlords - regulation will help, but there will always be bad landlords and letting agents that slip through the cracks and their tenants need someone on their side.
We need a Letting Agents Ombudsman. Letting agents and landlords are exempt from many of the regulations that estate agents have to follow. And many young people renting are straight from home or university and are vulnerable to their methods. They end up paying fees because they had no idea they had an option not to.
England has the ‘Housing Ombudsman Service’ that has worked effectively and provides a defence and a right to complaint for tenants all over the country. Wales needs one too.
Petition raised by: Let Down in Cardiff
Date Petition first considered by Committee: 21 January 2014
Number of signatures: TBC
Reason considered: Assembly Business;
Type: For information
First published: 13/01/2014