P-05-734 Ban Letting Agent Fees to Tenants

This petition was submitted by Shelter Cymru, which collected 328 online signatures.

Text of the Petition

We, the undersigned, call on the National Assembly to urge the Welsh Government to end the unfair practice of charging letting agent fees to tenants.

Earlier this year Shelter Cymru campaign supporters mystery-shopped letting agents across Wales and found that more than half (55%) are not advertising fees on their websites as required by law. The study found that a tenant could pay between £39.99 and £480 for the same service depending which agent their landlord had chosen to go with.

The reality is that there is no such thing as consumer choice in tenants’ fees, and a real risk that tenants and landlords are being double-charged for the same service. We believe that Wales should follow Scotland’s example and ban fees to tenants. The private rented sector in Scotland is still going strong and three-quarters of Scottish agents say the ban has had no impact, or a positive impact, on their business.

Welsh letting agents are enjoying a business boom thanks to Rent Smart Wales which is encouraging smaller landlords to sign up with agents. However, extortionate letting fees are pushing tenants into debt and making it harder for local authorities to prevent homelessness. Please act now to give a fair deal to Wales’ growing numbers.

Assembly constituency and Region.

·         Swansea West

·         South Wales West