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Generation Rent calls for big landlord regulation push in Wales

ben twomey welsh rro ombudsman

Generation Rent has urged the Welsh government to introduce an ombudsman for the PRS along with more grounds for rent repayment orders (RROs) in order to improve tenants’ lives.

Giving evidence to the Local Government and Housing Committee inquiry into the private rented sector in Wales, chief executive Ben Twomey (main picture) cited the experience of one renter in Carmarthen whose home had suffered from mould, a faulty shower, lack of heating and hot water, and a blocked guttering, which the landlord had either left for weeks before fixing or refused to help.

He told MSs that the Welsh government could help this tenant very quickly by introducing an ombudsman; without one specifically for private renters, she and other tenants like her were currently falling through the cracks when they had similar issues.

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“There’s not an ombudsman to help them resolve disputes that they may have with the landlord or to force repairs to be made - they have to go through the local authority which is a different system and one that regularly doesn’t work,” said Twomey.

“There’s not really the incentive for her to address these things, apart from of course trying to get the bare minimum out of her landlord to have a home that’s fit to live in. There’s not an incentive for what happens afterwards apart from receiving that bare minimum.”

Twomey said rent repayment orders were very important and much more expensive in other countries within the UK.

In Wales you can currently only get an RRO if your landlord hasn’t licensed your property as an HMO, and then only if you live in a licensed area.

“All of these issues, I would suggest, should be grounds for a tenant to pursue an RRO because otherwise they’ve clearly been paying rent while in a home that is simply not good enough,” he added.

Watch the Sennedd's evidence sessions in full.


Rent repayment orders
Housing ombudsman
Wales rental market