Sign it HERE! [this is the associated petition to carry on signing, as the Assembly one had to be closed to kickstart the Committee process]
Why are we petitioning?
The Petitions Committee is one of the most amazing things about the Welsh Assembly. Any group or individual can start a petition and collect signatures once the Petition is granted as admissible. Once we have enough signatures (simply ten will do but we want hundreds!) we’ll present the petition to the Committee formally on the steps of the Senedd. This is our opportunity to gather press attention and, most importantly, the attention of Assembly Members to support us.
What happens next?
“The petition goes to the Committee who can take a number of actions to progress it, including:
- Inviting petitioners or any other organisation to present oral evidence
- Seeking further information from the Assembly’s Research Service or Legal Service
- Conducting a short inquiry into the issue
- Asking another Committee to consider the issue”
And it can go anywhere from there. The more support we have from AMs the better.
Petitions like this have increased train services, created independent assessments and, most famously, instated the 5p carrier bag charge. If we keep fighting for it, we can get a Letting Agents Ombudsman.
The current wording of the petition
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.
Additional Information: 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.