Sample letters

Shelter's sample letters are downloaded as Word (RTF) documents. This means you can save them to your computer, add your own information and make any necessary changes before printing them out.

Fill in all the 'blanks' (for example names and addresses), which are indicated in red. Some of the letters may require you to describe your own situation in detail. If you need help with this, 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.

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

Bedroom tax refunds

Request for refund of bedroom tax

You may be entitled to a bedroom tax refund if you lived in the same home and claimed housing benefit continuously from before 1 January 1996.

Read more about bedroom tax refunds.

Letter applying for a bedroom tax refund

Bedroom tax refunds if your housing benefit was interrupted because you had to move

You may be able to request a bedroom tax refund if you had to temporarily move home because of fire, flood, explosion or a natural disaster.

Read more about bedroom tax refunds.

Letter applying for a bedroom tax refund due to moving home temporarily

Bedroom tax refunds if your housing benefit was interrupted because your partner died

You may be entitled to a refund if you took over a housing benefit claim from someone who died.

Read more about bedroom tax refunds.

Letter applying for a bedroom tax refund after death of partner

Request for refund of bedroom tax if you split up from your partner

You may be entitled to a bedroom tax refund if you split up from your partner or if they have been sent to prison.

Read more about bedroom tax refunds.

Letter applying for a bedroom tax refund after separation

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

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

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

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 asking for reasons for making deductions from your deposit

Write to your landlord asking for reasons for making deductions from your deposit.

Read more about tenancy deposit deductions.

Letter asking for reasons for making deductions from your deposit

Letter before action - failure to protect a tenancy deposit in a deposit protection scheme.

If your deposit is not returned within 10 days of your tenancy ending, and you think your landlord has failed to properly protect it, write to your landlord about possible court action.

Read more about court action for tenancy deposit refund claims.

Letter before action - failure to protect a tenancy deposit in a deposit protection scheme

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 or reminder letter about return of a deposit.

Send a reminder letter to your landlord if you don't receive a reply within two weeks.

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

Second or reminder letter about return of a deposit

Letter requesting reasons for deductions

If your landlord doesn't give you a full breakdown of the deductions from your deposit or if you don't agree with some or all of the costs, write and ask for more details or to dispute the costs.

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

Letter requesting reasons for deductions

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.

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


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