Frome woman's petition calls for letting agent licence
A Frome woman has launched a petition to demand legal protection for tenants.
Since launching the petition and highlighting her concerns Marney Bohan, has won support across the town and country-wide.
Ms Bohan wants the government to introduce legislation to ensure that lettings agents are compulsorily licensed to protect both landlords and tenants. At present, letting agents are not bound to any licensing scheme.
Ms Bohan said there is no complaints procedure and no appropriate ombudsman that tenants can go to if they are dissatisfied with the service they receive.
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She decided to take action after her experiences when she moved house.
Ms Bohan and her husband believed they had found their dream home when they were shown around a cottage.
The couple looked around the house on a February evening and moved in two months later.
Ms Bohan, a residential support worker, said they were horrified to discover that the light from both their bedroom and dining room windows were blocked out because of a brick wall only feet away.
Curtains had blocked out the bleak view when they were initially shown around the property and it was not pointed out to them.
She also claims that credit checks the agents demanded cost twice what they were originally quoted.
Having made complaints to the letting agency Ms Bohan discovered she had no redress and decided something should be done about it.
She said: "I have no complaint with my landlord, who has been great, but I was not happy with the way the letting agency failed to point out the proximity of the walls and the way that my complaints were dealt with subsequently."
She contacted Frome MP David Heath calling for a change in the legislation and signed up to Twitter and Facebook to launch the petition and to warn other people.
More than four million homes in the UK are provided by the private rented sector.
Ms Bohan said: "Affordable housing is not always available and more and more people are turning to the private sector because of the economic climate.
"I was really surprised at the response I have had and it is obvious that there are a lot of people who have not been happy with the way they have been treated."
She is continuing to gather information and is keen to hear from anyone who has had a bad experience. She can be contacted via twitter @MarneyAuroraB or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To sign the petition visit epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/ 28848.