Shelter template letters

Use Shelter's template letters when you need to write to your landlord or local council about tenancy deposits, repairs, homelessness or housing benefit.

Shelter's template letters are downloaded as Word documents. Save them to your computer, add your own information and make any necessary changes before printing them out.

Get advice if you need help to write your letter. Talk to an adviser at a Shelter advice centre or other welfare advice centre.

Use Shelter's directory to find help in your local area.

Asking your landlord to protect your tenancy deposit (while you're still a tenant)

Letter asking your landlord if your tenancy deposit is protected

Your landlord must tell you in writing which scheme has been used to protect your deposit.If you have not heard from your landlord within 30 days from paying your deposit, write asking if your deposit has been protected.

Read more about tenancy deposit schemes.

Letter asking your landlord if your tenancy deposit is protected

Letter asking your landlord to protect your tenancy deposit.

If it has been 30 days or more since you paid you tenancy deposit, write to your landlord asking for your deposit to be protected.

Letter asking your landlord to make sure your tenancy deposit is protected

Letter before action - Failure to protect a tenancy deposit with a deposit protection scheme

If your deposit has not been protected and you're still in the same tenancy, write to you landlord about possible court action.

Read more about protecting your tenancy deposit.

Letter before action - Failure to protect a tenancy deposit with a deposit protection scheme

Getting your deposit back (for protected tenancy deposits) after your tenancy has ended

Letter asking for a tenancy deposit to be refunded

Write to your landlord asking for the return of your deposit if it wasn't returned to you at the end of your tenancy.

Read more about getting back your deposit.

Letter asking for a tenancy deposit to be refunded

Letter before action - failure to return deposit

If your deposit is not returned within 10 days of your tenancy ending, write to your landlord about possible court action.

Read more about court action for tenancy deposit refund claims.

Letter before action - failure to return deposit

Court action to claim compensation

Getting your deposit back (for unprotected tenancy deposits)

First letter asking for return of deposit

Write to your landlord to ask for the return of your deposit after you have left your tenancy.

Read more about getting back a deposit that didn't have to be protected.

First letter asking for return of deposit

Second letter asking for return of the balance of your deposit

Write to your landlord to ask for the return of the balance your deposit after you have left your tenancy.

Read more about deductions from tenancy deposits.

Second letter asking for return rest of deposit

Letter disputing deductions

If you write to your landlord to dispute the amount of deductions made from your deposit, give your landlord a deadline for a reply - such as within two weeks. In your letter warn that you will take your landlord to court if your deposit is not returned within the deadline date.

Read more about getting back a deposit that didn't have to be protected and about what deductions your landlord can make from your tenancy deposit.

Letter disputing deductions

Letter before action

Finally, if your landlord or letting agent still refuses to return the money, send a letter before action with a completed copy of the relevant court form (form N1 - download this from the Court Service).

Read more about court action for return of lodgers deposits.

Letter before action

Applying as homeless

Making an application

You can ask your local council's housing department for help if you've nowhere to stay or are likely to lose your home in the next 28 days.

Read more about help from the council.

Letter applying to the council as homeless

Requesting a review

You can use ask for a review if you disagree with a decision the council has made about your homelessness application.

Read more about challenging homelessness decisions.

Letter asking the council to review its decsion

Repairs in private rented homes

Asking a landlord about gas safety checks

If you live in a rented home that came with gas appliances, your landlord must arrange for gas safety checks.

Read more about asking your landlord about gas safety checks.

Gas safety checks

Reporting repairs to a private landlord

If any repairs are needed to the home you rent, tell your landlord or letting agent as soon as possible.

Read more about asking your landlord to do repairs.

Letter reporting repairs

Reminding a landlord about repairs

If your landlord does nothing about the problems you have reported, send a reminder letter, asking your landlord to contact you within 48 hours, or you will have to take further action.

Reminder letter about repairs

Warning your landlord that you're contacting the council

If there is still no response, write to your landlord to tell them you will be reporting the matter to the council's environmental health department. (Council tenants do not have this option. Read more about repairs in social housing.)

Letter to send to landlord before contacting the council

Contacting the council about repairs

Contact your local council's environmental health department about disrepair and hazards in your rented home.

Read more about asking the council for help with repairs.

Asking the council for help with repairs

Doing repairs yourself if a private landlord won't do them

You do not have the right to withhold your rent. If you want to pay for repairs yourself and then take the cost out of your rent, you must follow a specific procedure and must send all four of the following letters in order.

Read more about doing repairs if your landlord won't.

Repairs in council and housing association homes

Asking for repairs

Your council or housing association landlord should have a system for reporting and dealing with repairs. Send a request by email, fill in an online form or use our sample letter to report repairs.

Read more about reporting repairs and allowing access.

letter about repairs in council or housing association home

Claiming housing benefit

Requesting backdated housing benefit

If you have delayed making a claim for housing benefit, it may be possible for your claim to be backdated.

Read more about backdating housing benefit.

Housing benefit backdate request letter

A change in circumstances

Inform the housing or council tax benefit department straightaway if your circumstances change, as this may affect the amount of benefit you receive.

Read more about changes in your circumstances.

Change of circumstances letter

Asking for reasons for a housing benefit decision (overpayment)

Ask the housing benefit department to explain a decision it has made about overpayment of housing benefit.

Read more about housing benefit overpayments.

housing benefit overpayments letter

Requesting housing benefit for two homes

In some circumstances housing benefit can be paid for two homes, for example when you have had to leave your home because of fear of violence, or because you are waiting for adaptations.

Read more about housing benefit for two homes.

Letter claiming housing benefit for two homes


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