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Who You Can Complain to About Landlords

By: Thomas Muller - Updated: 6 Nov 2018 | comments*Discuss
 
Landlord Complaint Complaints Procedure

Under the terms of the tenancy agreement, landlords are legally bound to provide a good standard of accommodation. If they fail to honour this in any way then the tenant has every right to complain.

Upholding Landlord Standards

As a tenant you have every right to expect that certain standards are upheld by your rented accommodation and the landlord. These should be outlined in your tenancy agreement.

In summary, the landlord must ensure that your home is safe and in good repair. If you have kept to your side of the tenancy agreement then you are entitled to all your deposit back at the end of your lease. If the landlord withholds this then they must prove why they are doing so. If they harass you then they could be breaking the law. And finally they must follow the correct procedure if they ask you to leave the property.

If they fail to meet the standards outlined in the contract then you have both a right and a duty to complain.

First Discuss With Your Landlord

If your landlord is failing to uphold their terms then you should first discuss the matter with them directly, either in person or over the phone. They should be given the opportunity to sort out the problem before any official complaint procedures are followed. They may even not be aware there is a problem and prove willing and able to rectify the situation promptly.

You should give your landlord a reasonable time to put things right. How long it is reasonable will depend on the nature of the problem. If your drains are blocked then you would expect immediate action, but the handle has fallen off the kitchen door then it is fair to wait a couple of weeks at most.

If the landlord needs to access the property to carry out any repairs then you must give them reasonable access to the property, and in return they should give you 24 hours notice of their visit, and call at a sensible time.

Complaint Procedures

If this approach fails to achieve a satisfactory resolution – perhaps you feel they are ignoring you or not taking your problem seriously – you can take your problem to the next level by enquiring as to whether the landlord operates an official complaints procedure.

As mandatory members of the Independent Housing Ombudsman Scheme, all social landlords are required have a procedure in place for dealing with complaints. Copies should be able from their offices.

Private landlords are not obliged to operate such a procedure, although the larger ones typically do, as well as those that have chosen to be part of the Independent Housing Ombudsman Scheme or a landlord accreditation scheme.

If your rented accommodation is council owned then you should instead follow its own complaints procedure.

Ombudsman Support

If the final result of the respective complaints procedure proves unsatisfactory then you are entitled to raise the issue with the appropriate ombudsman scheme, which will investigate the complaint and offer its own assessment.

If your landlord is a member of the Independent Housing Ombudsman the complaint should be taken up with them. If your property is council owned and they have failed provide a satisfactory resolution then they are answerable to the Local Government Ombudsman.

Complaint Letter

If the landlord is not answerable to a complaints procedure you should instead send them a formal letter of complaint.

The letter should be addressed to the appropriate member of staff at the correct address, and be clearly identifiable as a complaint. The text should clearly define the problem and what you want the landlord to do to put things right.

Contact the Council

If such efforts prove futile and your landlord is still failing to honour the tenancy agreement then you should contact your local authority. Housing officers should offer advice on what to do, aid you if your situation has become difficult as a result of the dispute and also help you in pursuing the matter further. They have the power to take action - under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, the local council is able to prosecute landlords.

Seeking Advice

Aside from your local authority’s Housing department, Tenancy Relations Office or Environmental Health Department, you could also seek advice from a Law Centre, Citizens Advice Bureau, Housing Advice Centre or a solicitor.

Such advisors will prove invaluable if your complaint is not resolved and no other option is left open other than to go to court in order to enforce your rights.

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i have rented the place at Duvha Park in Wit bank stand no 2395 Ext 15 under Direct sell in Witbank the and i have paid a deposit of R4700 and i have send 30 days noticed on the 30/09/2018 i move out then they have said i am going to get that deposit because the house is dirty then we made an agreement they have said i have to paint the house only to find that when entered the house they didn't paint but i have decided to buy a paint and painted the whole house on the 20 of October 2018 expecting to get my deposit of 47000 backi didn't get it until today. please assist
Bafana - 6-Nov-18 @ 6:38 AM
I have been living in rented place for a month on the 23rd of this month and have had no hot water or shower, as its run from hot tap, since i moved in. I have asked and asked them to sort it out but they dont seem to be doing anything. Do i still have to pay rent if i havent had any hot water. Sandra
Sange - 17-Oct-18 @ 11:51 AM
@Ben - if the landlord has broken the terms of the agreement, then yes.
Nic - 13-Sep-18 @ 10:48 AM
My partner and I have signed a tenancy agreement less than a month ago. When we viewed the house, the landlord was still doing maintenance work on the house and said it would be completed when we move in. The work still needs doing on the house, he has been to the house once in the last 2 weeks and done roughly an hours work. He did not give us any notice that he was coming, we have sent him text messages and tried to call and he is ignoring us. We don't really want to move in as there is no working shower (he is liable for this, there is a bath). Before signing a tenancy agreement he did say that he would fit a new bathroom and kitchen within 12 months but I don't trust this will happen any more. Can we refuse to move in and request all of our money back?
Ben - 12-Sep-18 @ 1:33 PM
jules - Your Question:
I have been through the complaints procedure with my housing association due to being moved to a property in complete disrepair. I got to the head of the housing assocation who gave me two weeks to respond. I couldnt respond within two weeks and said I would respond when the works had been completed. My complaint was then shut down by the housing association. I contacted the ombudsman. The housing association never gave me time to respond now the ombudsman is mediating that I should go back to the maintenance officer who didnt deal with my complaint at stage one. I am unable to deal with the housing association myself. I had a flood, water pouring through every ceiling, mould everywhere and carbon monoxide poisoning. I have had to take out a loan and do all the internal repairs myself. How can I deal with a housing assocation when they have lied about works they have done in the property on my repairs log and deny there is rising damp and tell me the roof needs replacing but refuse to pay roofing contractors to do this. The maintenance officer at stage one of my complaint was a very nasty piece of work who bullied and tried to intimidate me and allowed unacceptable work to be done on the property. Surely the housing assocation have failed to acknowledge my complaint. Why am I being sent back to address this again? I have already told them that the maintenance officer is very ruthless and completely denied and manipulated everything in his emails. I also have severe dyslexia and really struggle to write without access to an advocate. I have already written very detailed complaints to the housing association, but I am being asked to do this all again! The obudsman keeps passing me onto different people who keep telling me that it is not the end of my complaint despite the fact I have been referred back to the maintenance officer who didnt answer my complaint at stage one. I feel there is a complete imbalance of power and need help.

Our Response:
Unfortunately, we cannot answer individual cases especially one as complex as yours and if it has already gone through the ombudsman. The Shelter link here may help. However, you would really need to get some individual professional advice to help you with this.
ComplaintExpert - 2-Aug-18 @ 10:53 AM
I have been through the complaints procedure with my housing association due to being moved to a property in complete disrepair. I got to the head of the housing assocation who gave me two weeks to respond. I couldnt respond within two weeks and said i would respond when the works had been completed. My complaint was then shut down by the housing association. I contacted the ombudsman. The housing association never gave me time to respond now the ombudsman is mediating that I should go back to the maintenance officer who didnt deal with my complaint at stage one. I am unable to deal with the housing association myself. I had a flood, water pouring through every ceiling, mould everywhere and carbon monoxide poisoning. I have had to take out a loan and do all the internal repairsmyself. How can i deal with a housing assocation when they have lied about works they have done in the property on my repairs log and deny there is rising damp and tell me the roof needs replacing but refuse to pay roofing contractors to do this. The maintenance officer at stage one of my complaint was a very nasty piece of work who bullied and tried to intimidate me and allowed unacceptable work to be done on the property. Surely the housing assocation have failed to acknowledge my complaint. Why am i being sent back to address this again? I have already told them that the maintenance officer is very ruthless and completely denied and manipulated everything in his emails. I also have severe dyslexia and really struggle to write without access to an advocate. I have already written very detailed complaints to the housing association, but i am being asked to do this all again! The obudsman keeps passing me onto different people who keep telling me that it is not the end of my complaint despite the fact i have been referred back to the maintenance officer who didnt answer my complaint at stage one. I feel there is a complete imbalance of power and need help.
jules - 1-Aug-18 @ 9:46 AM
Keneian - Your Question:
I HAVE BEEN TRYING SINCE 2011 AND BEFORE.BUT WHEN I DO PHONE THEY PUT DOWN AS EXPLAIN IN COMMENTS PLEASE HELP MEREGAURDS

Our Response:
The Shelter link here tells you more on how you can make an official complaint. As evidence, I would make sure you keep a diary of all correspondence and the failures of your landlords to act.
ComplaintExpert - 9-Jul-18 @ 1:55 PM
I HAVE BEEN TRYING SINCE 2011 AND BEFORE.BUT WHEN I DO PHONE THEY PUT DOWN AS EXPLAIN IN COMMENTS PLEASE HELP MEREGAURDS
Keneian - 7-Jul-18 @ 3:18 PM
My problem s because my landlord no speak english n went I have compleins she need the call the daughter (11) years n the girl no understand nothing n the mother think I want the fight n everything s you no like you need to move
Gorda - 9-Jun-18 @ 3:48 AM
Ash - Your Question:
Hi I have a big concern.i have given accomodation by my x solicitor on agreed verbal agreement but when I changed my solictor he turned from all his words and now he wants me to vacate hia house. I am asylum seeker n my case is in process.I dnt k ow what to do.he gave me notice which is tht I owe him money which is wrong because he took all cash from me and kept with him and told me tht he will adjust in my rent plz help

Our Response:
Unfortunately, you would have to seek alternative professional legal advice regarding this matter. If you gave your landlord cash, it would be more difficult to prove you have a case, unless you can prove you gave your landlord the money.
ComplaintExpert - 7-Jun-18 @ 11:19 AM
Hi i have a big concern .i have given accomodation by my x solicitor on agreed verbal agreement but when i changed my solictor he turned from all his words and now he wants me to vacate hia house. I am asylum seeker n my case is in process. I dnt k ow what to do.he gave me notice which is tht i owe him money which is wrong because he took all cash from me and kept with him and told me tht he will adjust in my rent plz help
Ash - 6-Jun-18 @ 9:31 AM
Murphy- Your Question:
My son and daughter have a landlord that does nothing in the house that they rent it's a right mess

Our Response:
If the information in the article doesn't answer your question, please see the link here, which may help further.
ComplaintExpert - 5-Jun-18 @ 10:29 AM
My son and daughter have a landlord that does nothing in the house that they rent it's a right mess
Murphy - 4-Jun-18 @ 1:02 PM
Do - Your Question:
Hi I live next door to a landlord house. The people in it don't speak English. I have said to there landlord about them throwing cotton buds butt's. Burning clothes on there flat roof which is all blowing into myour yard. I have spoke to the landlord. Nothing was done. Now with the good weather the smell is bad coming from there bathroom which is my yard wall. The smell of urine stinks so bad I can't sit out my back or open any windows out back. I'm having to spray zoflore all round my yard every day 5/6 a day. I have told them about it and they don't speak English. The landlord doesn't care. I don't no what to do who to conplaine to. ??????

Our Response:
You can see more via the gov.uk link here , which should answer your question further.
ComplaintExpert - 31-May-18 @ 2:28 PM
Hi Ilive next door to a landlord house . The people in it don't speak English.I have said to there landlord about them throwing cotton buds butt's. Burning clothes on there flat roof whichis all blowing into myour yard . I have spoke to the landlord . Nothing was done . Now with the good weather the smell is bad coming from there bathroom which is my yard wall . The smell of urine stinks so bad I can't sit out my back or open any windows out back . I'm having to spray zoflore all round my yard every day 5/6 a day.I have told them about it and they don't speak English . The landlord doesn't care . I don't no what to do who to conplaine to . ??????
Do - 29-May-18 @ 2:14 PM
Pawan - Your Question:
I want to complain against to illegal property ,landlord useing for business that properties and that properties rooms not have a Windows and that properties not have a flat or house that have a office before very bad she not care to anyone ,she want only money ,when I say to her give me my deposit back £400 she say to me no ,pls tell to how can I complaine about her ,seriously very bad property.

Our Response:
You can see the ways to have your deposit returned via the link here. If the property is not fit to rent, you can see more via the link here.
ComplaintExpert - 10-May-18 @ 9:51 AM
I want to complain against to illegal property ,landlord useingfor businessthat properties and that properties rooms not have a Windows and that properties not have a flat or house that have a office before very bad she not care to anyone ,she want only money ,when I say to her give me my deposit back £400 she say to me no ,pls tell to how can I complaine about her ,seriously very bad property.
Pawan - 9-May-18 @ 3:29 PM
Looking for advice please - Our tenancy is up on the 25th May and we can’t move into our new home until the 4th June. The problem we have is the landlord isn’t answering any calls at all and it seems like he’s trying to avoid us? This has happened on a number of occasions he frankly hasn’t helped with any repair work and doesn’t want to be contacted or do any of his duties. We are really starting to worry we need our tenancy to be extended or I don’t know what we will do.. a holding deposit has been paid for the new place and they can’t get us in any earlier because the house is being completely refurbished. What are my rights... can I refuse to leave until the 4th of June? I can’t send him a letter because the estate agents can’t provide us with the details. Any help would be truly grateful. Many thanks
SNHH - 4-May-18 @ 3:52 PM
@Jules - just complain to the letting agent again. You'll have to unfortunately go through the same process. But, if it's a rubbish job - they should get the maintenance people back in.
SanB - 16-Feb-18 @ 3:10 PM
I got broke into just before Xmas. So the window got smashed and the frame was broken up also. It took 2 months for the letting agent to get round to putting a new window in. They have not put in new frame and beads just screwed the old beads and some plastic bits round the window to kind of secure it. Also there is a bit of draft coming in. I just need to know what I can do about this as it is such a cowboy job.
Jules - 16-Feb-18 @ 2:31 PM
I have question about my landlord, Weinstein the day we first move in the house he told us that instead of giving us the 1 year contract he will just give us 6 months and he will renew the contract after 6 months, we just moved in the property last November, last month December we set a direct debit for our monthly advance payment for the house as he requested, we set it up Friday on our day off, it took days for the bank to set it up or transfer the money to certain account, so he went to the house and collected the advance monthly rent money in cash, and this month we message him January 2 if the advance monthly payment went through he did not reply, he replied at night time of January 3, so we said ok that’s fine we just transferred money to his account without asking why he did not inform us during the day so we could go to the bank, and last Friday January 12 he ask us if we are home so he can come and talk to us, he went in the house and ask us why there’s always a problem in paying the rent, we told him our side but he did not listen instead he said to us that we need to pay the 3 month advance payment until April for him to let us stay still in the house or not he will force us to move and he won’t renew our contract , our question is, is it fear what he did to us, are the landlords allowed to collect advance 3 months payment and threaten us to force eviction if we will not do that, are we not have any right to demand justice for this situation? Pleas give us advice in this matter.
Li - 17-Jan-18 @ 12:51 PM
I have question about my landlord, Weinstein the day we first move in the house he told us that instead of giving us the 1 year contract he will just give us 6 months and he will renew the contract after 6 months, we just moved in the property last November, last month December we set a direct debit for our monthly advance payment for the house as he requested, we set it up Friday on our day off, it took days for the bank to set it up or transfer the money to certain account, so he went to the house and collected the advance monthly rent money in cash, and this month we message him January 2 if the advance monthly payment went through he did not reply, he replied at night time of January 3, so we said ok that’s fine we just transferred money to his account without asking why he did not inform us during the day so we could go to the bank, and last Friday January 12 he ask us if we are home so he can come and talk to us, he went in the house and ask us why there’s always a problem in paying the rent, we told him our side but he did not listen instead he said to us that we need to pay the 3 month advance payment until April for him to let us stay still in the house or not he will force us to move and he won’t renew our contract , our question is, is it fear what he did to us, are the landlords allowed to collect advance 3 months payment and threaten us to force eviction if we will not do that, are we not have any right to demand justice for this situation? Pleas give us advice in this matter.
Li - 16-Jan-18 @ 10:59 PM
I have question about my landlord, Weinstein the day we first move in the house he told us that instead of giving us the 1 year contract he will just give us 6 months and he will renew the contract after 6 months, we just moved in the property last November, last month December we set a direct debit for our monthly advance payment for the house as he requested, we set it up Friday on our day off, it took days for the bank to set it up or transfer the money to certain account, so he went to the house and collected the advance monthly rent money in cash, and this month we message him January 2 if the advance monthly payment went through he did not reply, he replied at night time of January 3, so we said ok that’s fine we just transferred money to his account without asking why he did not inform us during the day so we could go to the bank, and last Friday January 12 he ask us if we are home so he can come and talk to us, he went in the house and ask us why there’s always a problem in paying the rent, we told him our side but he did not listen instead he said to us that we need to pay the 3 month advance payment until April for him to let us stay still in the house or not he will force us to move and he won’t renew our contract , our question is, is it fear what he did to us, are the landlords allowed to collect advance 3 months payment and threaten us to force eviction if we will not do that, are we not have any right to demand justice for this situation? Pleas give us advice in this matter.
Li - 16-Jan-18 @ 10:59 PM
I have question about my landlord, Weinstein the day we first move in the house he told us that instead of giving us the 1 year contract he will just give us 6 months and he will renew the contract after 6 months, we just moved in the property last November, last month December we set a direct debit for our monthly advance payment for the house as he requested, we set it up Friday on our day off, it took days for the bank to set it up or transfer the money to certain account, so he went to the house and collected the advance monthly rent money in cash, and this month we message him January 2 if the advance monthly payment went through he did not reply, he replied at night time of January 3, so we said ok that’s fine we just transferred money to his account without asking why he did not inform us during the day so we could go to the bank, and last Friday January 12 he ask us if we are home so he can come and talk to us, he went in the house and ask us why there’s always a problem in paying the rent, we told him our side but he did not listen instead he said to us that we need to pay the 3 month advance payment until April for him to let us stay still in the house or not he will force us to move and he won’t renew our contract , our question is, is it fear what he did to us, are the landlords allowed to collect advance 3 months payment and threaten us to force eviction if we will not do that, are we not have any right to demand justice for this situation? Pleas give us advice in this matter.
Li - 16-Jan-18 @ 9:19 PM
I have question about my landlord, Weinstein the day we first move in the house he told us that instead of giving us the 1 year contract he will just give us 6 months and he will renew the contract after 6 months, we just moved in the property last November, last month December we set a direct debit for our monthly advance payment for the house as he requested, we set it up Friday on our day off, it took days for the bank to set it up or transfer the money to certain account, so he went to the house and collected the advance monthly rent money in cash, and this month we message him January 2 if the advance monthly payment went through he did not reply, he replied at night time of January 3, so we said ok that’s fine we just transferred money to his account without asking why he did not inform us during the day so we could go to the bank, and last Friday January 12 he ask us if we are home so he can come and talk to us, he went in the house and ask us why there’s always a problem in paying the rent, we told him our side but he did not listen instead he said to us that we need to pay the 3 month advance payment until April for him to let us stay still in the house or not he will force us to move and he won’t renew our contract , our question is, is it fear what he did to us, are the landlords allowed to collect advance 3 months payment and threaten us to force eviction if we will not do that, are we not have any right to demand justice for this situation? Pleas give us advice in this matter.
Li - 16-Jan-18 @ 2:48 PM
I have question about my landlord, Weinstein the day we first move in the house he told us that instead of giving us the 1 year contract he will just give us 6 months and he will renew the contract after 6 months, we just moved in the property last November, last month December we set a direct debit for our monthly advance payment for the house as he requested, we set it up Friday on our day off, it took days for the bank to set it up or transfer the money to certain account, so he went to the house and collected the advance monthly rent money in cash, and this month we message him January 2 if the advance monthly payment went through he did not reply, he replied at night time of January 3, so we said ok that’s fine we just transferred money to his account without asking why he did not inform us during the day so we could go to the bank, and last Friday January 12 he ask us if we are home so he can come and talk to us, he went in the house and ask us why there’s always a problem in paying the rent, we told him our side but he did not listen instead he said to us that we need to pay the 3 month advance payment until April for him to let us stay still in the house or not he will force us to move and he won’t renew our contract , our question is, is it fear what he did to us, are the landlords allowed to collect advance 3 months payment and threaten us to force eviction if we will not do that, are we not have any right to demand justice for this situation? Pleas give us advice in this matter.
Li - 16-Jan-18 @ 2:47 PM
Looking for advice i live in a council ground floor flat and my house and the house above me was badly flooded today by a private landlord in the 3 rd floor causing lots of damage to both properties.. on speaking to my housing they have said they will repair building ceiling and floors but nothing else as i need to claim the landlords liability insurance in regards to repairs needing done.. spoke to landlord whonhas basically said it was an accident and he is not liable for any losses. Also his property has actually been lying empty since October with only workmen going in occasionally.. Where do i stand with this as for me to go through my own house insurance i have an excess of £350 due to it being an escape of water.. I am at my wits end with this and any asvice would be really appreciated.
Suz - 11-Jan-18 @ 1:27 AM
Is there a governing body for private landlords who rent out workspace, shops and workshops? Many artists work in poor conditions (eg lack of heating)and when they complain to landlords nothing is done. Is their anyone who can support them force their landlords to fix thibgs that go wrong.
Hayleyhare - 18-Nov-17 @ 4:46 PM
145N - Your Question:
We have just moved in about a week ago and have found a few problems, we have a wobbly floor board upstairs in the bathroom and feels a bit unstable, the room that we are planning for our baby has mould underneath the wallpaper, also cracks in the wall underneath the wallpaper where a plug socket is and a hole in the floor under the radiator, a hole on the ceiling and floor where pipes are which are also loose. Our front door has no letterbox flaps on either side which brings in cold draught also there is a gap at the bottom of the door which shrinks when cold and if get hot, the door gets stuck. Our baby is premature and in hostpital still and concerned if she comes home it will make her ill as she is most vulnerable. We are most concerned about the mould and draught and the hole in the floor where the nursery will be. We have phoned the estate and a maintenance man did come round after we kept calling him for about a few days and when he came he didn't seem interested to what we shown him and haven't heard back since. What can we do ?

Our Response:
You can see more via the gov.uk link here which should explain all you need to know.
ComplaintExpert - 11-Sep-17 @ 3:58 PM
We have just moved in about a week ago and have found a few problems, we have a wobbly floor board upstairs in the bathroom and feels a bit unstable, the room that we are planning for our baby has mould underneath the wallpaper, also cracks in the wall underneath the wallpaper where a plug socket is and a hole in the floor under the radiator, a hole on the ceiling and floor where pipes are which are also loose. Our front door has no letterbox flaps on either side which brings in cold draught also there is a gap at the bottom of the door which shrinks when cold and if get hot, the door gets stuck. Our baby is premature and in hostpital still and concerned if she comes home it will make her ill as she is most vulnerable. We are most concerned about the mould and draught and the hole in the floor where the nursery will be. We have phoned the estate and a maintenance man did come round after we kept calling him for about a few days and when he came he didn't seem interested to what we shown him and haven't heard back since. What can we do ?
145N - 9-Sep-17 @ 4:58 PM
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