Problems with renting - how to complain
What to do if there is a problem with your rented property.
If there is a problem with your rented accommodation, let your landlord know about it in writing. They can't fix it if they don't know about it. You can contact our Environmental Health team if you need help writing a letter, or you can use the template letter that has been produced by the charity Shelter.
Keep a copy of your letter, email or text, and any response you get from your landlord. Your landlord must give you 24 hours' notice to come in to carry out repairs (unless it is an emergency) and you must then allow access for inspection and repairs.
If your landlord does not give you a satisfactory response within two weeks, contact Environmental Health. The council inspects rented housing using the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS). This assesses 29 different hazards, including damp, cold, fire and other dangerous or unhygienic conditions. We will take action if we find any serious risks to your health or safety, and may also take action on lesser risks. This is usually in the form of a letter or notice to your landlord to do the work required, but in exceptional circumstances we may take emergency action ourselves, or prohibit the use of part or all of the property.
Your landlord is normally notified before we carry out an inspection. If you are concerned that your landlord may evict you if you complain, please contact Environmental Health for advice.
Taking your landlord to court
If your tenancy began after 20 March 2019, the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act allows you to take your landlord to court if your accommodation is not fit to live in, and you did not cause the damage yourself. The court can make the landlord carry out repairs or put right health and safety problems. The court can also make the landlord pay compensation to the tenant. The council cannot take this action for you, but we may be able to provide you with evidence to support your case, for example an HHSRS report.
Citizens Advice can advise you on your legal position and what action you can take if you wish to do this.