We wrote to the Petitions Committee about our upcoming report, so our campaign will probably get mentioned in the next Committee session. We’ll update you on their response! Fingers crossed that William Powell, Bethan Jenkins, Russell George and Joyce Watson are sympathetic to our cause.

To the Petitions’ Committee Clerk, 

Many thanks for your help so far in progressing our petition. I just wanted to update the Committee on what the campaign group has been up to and how we plan to lobby the Welsh Government and the Housing Minister about reform of the private rented sector. 

Last time my petition was considered:  

The Committee considered correspondence from the Minister for Housing and Regeneration along with further comments from the petitioner and agreed to:

1.   Group the petition with P-04-480 Address Private Sector Student Housing Standards, as requested by the petitioner; and

2.   Defer consideration of this petition, given the Minister’s commitment to introduce a compulsory registration and licensing scheme for private rented sector landlords and letting and management agents as part of the Housing Bill.

Meanwhile, we’ve been building up the campaign and have a new website, Twitter and Facebook page to gather renters’ stories. The Committee and the AMs can find them here: 

https://letdownincardiff.wordpress.com

https://twitter.com/letdowncardiff

https://www.facebook.com/letdowninwales

We’re also putting together a report which we will publish very soon. It will be available on the website, but we were considering having a report launch at the Assembly, if an AM would be interested in sponsoring us. Other organisations have aided us in putting together this report, such as Shelter and Citizens UK, so it should be of interest to a wide variety of people. 

Our report will show the standards of the private rented sector from the point of view of tenants, rather than landlords. Whilst we appreciate that many landlords and letting agents do excellent work, we’re calling for further regulation to ensure best practice and high standards for renters in Wales. We do not mind if this is through a Housing Tribunal (like Scotland); a Housing Ombudsman (like England) or a new Welsh mechanism altogether, like a Committee or “Renters’ Champion” or a Tenant’s Commissioner. 

All we want is better rental standards for people who cannot afford to buy a home. 

Many thanks for your consideration, I look forward to the Committee’s response. 

Liz Silversmith, Chair of Let Down in Cardiff