Complaints about private landlords

You have certain rights as a tenant. For example:

You may want to complain if your landlord is not carrying out their legal responsibilities, or if you receive a bad service or poor treatment.

Complain to or about a letting agent

You can complain to a letting agent if they manage your home on your landlord's behalf.

If the letting agent doesn't respond or you are not happy with the outcome, you can make a complaint to a letting agent redress scheme.

How to complain

Put things in writing. Use an email or a letter to set out:

  • what your complaint is

  • how the problem can be put right

Some landlords have a complaints procedure. Use it if they have one.

Worried about eviction if you complain?

Some private landlords do take steps to evict tenants who complain.

This won't always happen. Reasonable landlords will respond to a complaint and try to put things right.

Eviction is a legal process that can take several months.

Complain to the council about your landlord

Most councils have a private rented housing team.

This team is usually the first point of contact if you want to complain about serious problems with your landlord.

This team also deals with licensing of private houses in multiple occupation (HMO)s.

Repairs and safety risks

The council's environmental health department should come and inspect if there appears to be a serious problem that could put your health at risk.

For example:

  • damp and mould

  • dangerous electrical wiring

  • dangerous structural problems

  • asbestos

Use our template letter to ask for an inspection if the council doesn't arrange one.

Harassment or threats of illegal eviction

Some councils have a tenancy relations officer or team who can step in if your landlord:

The council must try to stop a threatened illegal eviction if it would leave you homeless.

They can also:

  • explain the law to your landlord

  • mediate around other tenancy issues

  • take steps to enforce HMO licensing rules

The council may prosecute your landlord if they continue to break the law.


Last updated: 10 December 2021

If you need to talk to someone, we'll do our best to help

Get help