Two doors with a staircase between them. Photo by Nick Chalkiadakis

Making a formal complaint

If you’ve made a request to your landlord for a repair, but the problem has not been fixed, then it may be time to make a formal complaint.

Your landlord will probably have a process for dealing with complaints.

Check your tenancy agreement for information about your landlord’s complaints procedure.

If your landlord is a local council, or a housing association then their complaints procedure can likely be found on their website.

How to complain

You should make complaints in writing if possible. Always keep copies of any letters, emails or photographic evidence that you send to your landlord, as well as any responses that you receive back from them, and make sure you record the dates that they were sent.

Keeping a good record of your communications will help later on if you decide to take legal action.

After your complaint, if the problem is still not fixed, you can escalate the issue further by:

  • Writing again to your landlord to let them know you are not satisfied and that you would like to escalate your complaint to the next stage.
  • Asking your landlord for an internal review of your complaint.

    Some larger landlords, like local authorities may have a ‘Customer Resolution’ team who will look at your complaint and the way it has been dealt with, and then make a judgement about whether it was handled with properly or not.

    If they decide it was not dealt with properly, they can ask your landlord to take further steps to fix the problem.

What if I’ve gone through the complaints process and the problem still isn’t fixed?

  • You could write to your local councillor or MP to inform them of the problem and ask for their assistance in resolving the matter.
  • You could write to the Housing Ombudsman. They may be able to assist with resolution between you and your landlord. They may also carry out their own investigation.

See our page on the Housing Ombudsman for more advice.

Related guides

Image by Haringey Liberal Democrats. A march on housing rights. Image by Haringey Liberal Democrats. A march on housing rights.

Tools you can use

Campaigning toolkit

Some housing issues and problems cannot be resolved quickly or easily, and may require an organised and ongoing effort to bring about lasting change. Following this plan will save you time and effort.
A woman throwing paper planes A woman throwing paper planes

Tools you can use

Contacting your landlord

Tips and letter templates to help you communicate with your landlord when there’s something wrong, or you want to find out more.
A letter box. Image by Dele Oke A letter box. Image by Dele Oke

Tools you can use

Contacting your local councillor or MP

Your elected representatives, like MPs and Councillors, can help you with your housing issues. Here’s information on how to get in touch.

Reference

Directory of Residents’ Action Groups

Discover residents’ action groups, and what they have achieved. Add your own action group to our directory.
A towerblock that is not being kept in good repair A towerblock that is not being kept in good repair

Reference

What does disrepair mean?

‘Disrepair’ is the opposite of keeping a property in good condition. It means the landlord is allowing problems to develop, and not doing anything about it.  By law, your landlord must make sure that your residence is in a good state of repair. This includes: keeping the structure (walls, roof, floors etc) safe and sound.  […]

Reference

What is the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018?

What does ‘fitness for human habitation’ mean? It’s the name of a law that protects tenants from having to live in properties that are unsafe or unhealthy.

Image credit