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

Some landlords have a complaints procedure. Use it 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 have a 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
  • 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 a housing adviser

Complain to or about a letting agent

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

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

Complaint to a council's tenancy relations officer

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

A TRO may get involved if your landlord:

A 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.

Ask your local council for information about their TRO.

Find your local council.

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 can contact 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.

Find out more from Adviceguide about alternative dispute resolution (ADR).

Last updated 08 Feb 2017 | © Shelter

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