Following up when you haven’t had a reply

In our template letters, we’ve suggested including a date by which you expect a response from your landlord. This means you don’t have to wonder when it is time to follow up: as soon as that date has passed, it is time to chase a response.

A ‘second letter of complaint‘ has a meaning in law. It proves you have made every reasonable attempt to let your landlord know about a problem, and, if you do not receive a satisfactory reply, you are within your rights to take legal action.

Of course, you may not wish to take legal action, but the follow-up letter is still useful. You can notify your landlord that since you haven’t heard anything, you will be escalating the complaint, perhaps to your local MP/councillors or to the Environmental Health department of your local council.

Or you might be letting them know that if a repair isn’t made, you will be arranging for its repair yourself, and taking costs out of your rent. Make sure you read the information in this link before you take this action, as it is not always advisable, depending on your situation.

A letter you can copy

What to do:

  • Copy and paste the text below into an email or document.
  • Replace any text [in brackets] with your own information.
  • Include details {in curly brackets} if they are relevant, or remove them if they are not.
  • Send the email to your landlord, or print out the document and send it by post.
  • If you are sending by post, keep a copy for yourself and a record of the date that the message was sent.

[Your address]
[Today’s date]

[Name of your contact or landlord]
[Your landlord’s address]

[Your rent/tenant ID number]
{REF: any reference number you were given when previously raising this subject}

Dear [your landlord’s name],

I am writing to follow up on my [email/letter] of [date you wrote the first email or letter], concerning [topic].

As [number of days/weeks] [have/has] passed and I have not received a reply, I am now writing to inform you that
{if I do not receive your reply by [date, another two weeks ahead], I will be escalating the matter to [my local MP/councillors/the Fire Service/the Environmental Health department of the council].}
{if the repairs are not commenced within two weeks from today, I will be arranging for them to be made myself, and deducting the costs from my rent, as is my legal right.}
{if pest control measures are not commenced within two weeks from today, I will be arranging it myself, and deducting the costs from my rent, as is my legal right.}

I look forward to receiving your response to this message.

Yours sincerely,
[sign your name]
[print your name]

If you don’t get an answer within two weeks

  • Take the action you described (escalating the issue or arranging the repairs).

If you get an unsatisfactory answer, or your landlord considers the matter closed when you don’t, consider making a complaint through the Housing Ombudsman.