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.

How the council could help

Most councils have a private rented housing team.

Contact this team 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 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

  • 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

  • mediate around other tenancy issues

  • take steps to enforce HMO licensing rules

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

How to complain direct to your landlord

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.

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.

Worried about eviction if you complain?

Some private landlords 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.

Last updated: 16 May 2022

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

Get help