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Complain about your private landlord

You have rights as a tenant. For example, rights to:

You can complain if your landlord does not carry out their responsibilities, treats you badly or gives you bad service.

How the council could help

Most councils have a private rented housing team.

Contact them if you want to complain about serious problems with your landlord.

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

Repairs and safety risks

The council's environmental health team should come and check your home if there might be a serious problem that could put your health at risk.

For example:

  • damp and mould

  • structural problems

  • dangerous electrical wiring

Harassment or threats of illegal eviction

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

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

The council can:

  • explain the law to your landlord

  • speak to your landlord for you about problems

  • take steps to make sure your landlord follows HMO licensing rules

The council could prosecute your landlord if they keep breaking the law.

How to complain directly to your landlord

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

  • what your complaint is

  • what you want your landlord to do

  • when you want your landlord to respond

Some landlords have a complaints procedure. This is usually a document which says how to make a complaint, where to send it and what steps your landlord will take to look at it.

You can copy our template into a message or email to help you start your complaint letter.

Letter template: Complain to a private landlord

[Use the subject: Complaint about my tenancy]

Dear [landlord's name],

I am writing about my tenancy at [your address].

I need to make a complaint about [give a brief description of the problem].

I need you to [say what you want the landlord to do to solve the problem].

Please contact me by [date] to update me.

You can also send the letter as an email attachment or by post:

Word letter template: complain to your landlord (24kb)

OpenDocument letter template: complain to your landlord (10kb)

Check our letter templates page for more templates to make complaints.

Complain about a letting agent

You can complain to a letting agent if they manage your home for your landlord.

If the letting agent does not get back to you or you are not happy with what they say, you can make a complaint to a letting agent redress scheme.

Worried about eviction if you complain?

Some private landlords take steps to evict tenants who complain.

This does not always happen. Reasonable landlords respond to a complaint and try to put things right.

Eviction is a legal process that can take several months.

Last updated: 5 April 2024

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