Complaints about private landlords

If you are having problems with a private landlord, there are a number of ways to resolve a complaint.

Complain to your landlord

Use your landlord's complaints procedure, if they have one. Ask about it at your landlord's office or get information from their website.

Complain to your landlord by letter if they do not appear to have an official complaints procedure.

Find out what to say when you make a complaint.

The landlord may investigate, ask questions, ask you to send copies of documents and inspect your home. The landlord should write to you to tell you the result.

Get advice if the landlord refuses to deal with your complaint or you are not satisfied with the result. Use Shelter's directory to find an advice agency in your local area.

Complain to or about a letting agent

If a letting agent manages your home on behalf of your landlord, you may need to complain to the letting agent.

You can also make a complaint to a letting agent redress scheme.

Complaint to a council's tenancy relations officer

Most councils have a Tenancy Relations Officer (TRO). The TRO can help if your landlord is breaking the law. 

The TRO may get involved if your landlord:

The TRO can contact your landlord and explain the law to them. They can prosecute the landlord if the landlord ignores their advice.

If convicted, your landlord will have a criminal record, may be fined or even sent to prison. Your landlord may also have to pay you compensation.

Complain to the environmental health department

Contact your council's environmental health department if there is a health and safety hazard in your home that your landlord should fix.

This could include:

  • dangerous electrical wiring or gas pipes or appliances
  • dangerous structural disrepair
  • rising damp or leaky roofs
  • noisy machinery
  • asbestos

Environmental health can inspect your home and make a decision. They might speak to the landlord informally to request that work is done or issue a formal order for the landlord to carry out work.

Find out more about complaining to environmental health.

Take further action

You may be able to use alternative dispute resolution (ADR) to settle your dispute with your landlord without taking legal action or going to court. 

From the helpline: The rules landlords must follow to increase rent


Last updated:

  • Print this page
  • Email this page