I Have a Complaint About my Landlord. Who Should I Complain To?

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Renters' Rights > I Have a Complaint About my Landlord. Who Should I Complain To?
Ben Yarrow
14 February 2024
3 September 2019


Finding the right place to rent can be tough, so before you move into your new place, make sure that you’ve read your tenants rights and responsibilities.
The same goes for your landlord, as there are strictly defined landlord rights and responsibilities for them as well.
It's within your best interests to read both yours’ and your landlord’s responsibilities.

In the case that, while you’re renting from your landlord, you face some issues or problems, there are certain things that you can do. In this article, we will guide you through all the steps that are available to you, so that you can file your complaint to your landlord.


1. Open comms with your landlord

Your first step should naturally be the easiest one – contact your landlord and inform them of your complaint. If you hesitate doing that face-to-face, you can alternatively call them, or send them an email. All of the landlords contact information should be written down on the rent book that your landlord should have provided you with when you moved in. 

Keep in mind, that before calling, it would be good for you to think and write down all of your complaints. This way, you’ll be able to refer to your notes while talking to your landlord. 

Most landlords will cooperate and help you with your complaints. Nevertheless, there are those cases that they won’t be willing to take any action. In this case, we’ve put together a few helpful steps that can help you handle the complaint process.

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2. Write a formal complaint to your landlord

The next step is basically another way of communicating with your landlord but in a more formal, written form. In this formal complaint make sure that you make clear to your landlord, what your issues are.

While writing your formal complaint, keep in mind these useful guidelines:

  • State clearly that this letter is a formal complaint. If you are sending an email, write it in the subject line. If you are sending a letter, make sure to write it in the header.
  • Be clear when you describe your problem. Don’t get into too much detail, but take extra care to inform your landlord of what you expect them to do to help you. Include things like:
    • The time when the issue first occurred
    • Photographs of the damages or disrepairs to underline the problem
    • Receipts for things or services that you needed to pay until the issue is fixed 
  • State a certain period of time when you would like to have your response. It’s obvious that even if your landlord is willing to help you, they might not be able to do that right away. Give them enough time to figure out all the details and possible solutions.

Before sending off your letter or email, make some copies of it – it might come in handy in the future.

If, after sending this formal letter of complaint, your landlord still remains unresponsive, then it is time for you to seek external help.

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3. Get in Contact with Your Local Council

Your Local Council should have a Tenancy Relations Officer, Private Rental Team or Landlord Liaison Officer. This person or team at the council will help you if the landlord:

  • Doesn’t repair potential harmful problems of the house
  • Threatens to illegally evict you
  • Harasses you, for example by visiting you outside the agreed days and times / not giving enough notice to enter the property

In these cases, they’ll be able to attempt to make contact the landlord and inform them of their legal obligations.
If the landlord ignores this advice, they may be able to prosecute them.
This way, your landlord will obtain criminal record and they might be forced to pay you compensation.

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4. Complain to the Health Department

If your complaint concerns a health or safety issue you can also file your complaint to the Environmental Health Department of your Local Council. Contact the Environmental Health Department if you face any of the following problems:

  • Faulty or leaky gas appliances
  • Dangerous electrical wiring
  • Leaky roof
  • Damp or mould growth
  • Problem with heating or hot water
  • Lack of water supply
  • Various infestations like that of rats
  • Lack of fire safety

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5. Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)

Before deciding to take legal action against your landlord, make sure if they belong to an Alternative Dispute Resolution scheme. ADR includes negation, mediation, and arbitration. 

In the negotiation phase, you (the tenant and the landlord) try to find a solution yourselves

In the mediation phase, you will sit with your landlord along with a neutral third party and each one of you will lay their arguments. The third-party will then advise you and inform you of your rights and responsibilities

In the arbitration phase, you and your landlord will sit in an informal court. The arbitrator, adjudicator, or ombudsman will look at the evidence that both of you provide him and he will make a decision on your complaint 

If the ADR doesn’t work for you, there only one option left: take legal actions. However, this is a time-consuming and expensive process, so make sure that you are willing to spend both time and money.


6. Tenancy Deposit Protection (TDP)

If your complaint about your landlord concerns your deposit, then you should seek the advice of your Tenancy Deposit Protection scheme. These are specialised companies, licensed by the government, that oversee the process of deposit returns.   

You can find your TDP scheme in one of the three companies:

In case your landlord hasn’t chosen one of those schemes, in a court case the landlord will have to pay up to three times the deposit amount.


Whether your complaint is a small or a big one, there are solutions and processes for you to follow. Remember that before taking serious actions, you can always get in touch with your landlord, in order to find the best and easiest solution. 

However, what you can do right away, in order to help all the future tenants, is to write a review of your landlord. By sharing your experience, future tenants will be able to identify the good landlords from the bad.