Making a complaint about rented accommodation

Making a disrepair complaint

COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

To help alleviate the spread of the disease, the Housing Enforcement and Property Licensing Teams will only be carrying out essential visits where it is considered completely necessary and only after completing a suitable risk assessment.

Where a complaint regarding poor conditions is received, the case officer will contact the tenant(s) and ask them to provide photographic or video evidence to enable the Council to assess the risk.

The Council is still responsible for investigating poor housing conditions and will do its utmost to ensure that Landlords fulfil their legal obligations but this must be balanced against the risk of infection or spread of the virus.

Tenants must complete our pre-inspection coronavirus screening questionnaire as part of the risk assessment process, in addition to the service request form further down this page.

Where an inspection is unavoidable then social distancing will be applied.

If there are disrepair issues in your house, you landlord has a legal responsibility to make repairs in a timely manner. They should not charge you for any costs associated with these repairs unless the disrepair was caused by you, your household, or your visitors.

Most landlords will make repairs when they’re made aware of an issue. Don’t be afraid to report an issue to your landlord, as this could lead to the situation becoming worse.

If your landlord does not make repairs in response to your complaint, you should contact them in writing, setting out the issues in your house and the action you want your landlord to take. You are legally entitled to know your landlord’s postal address, so this information should be provided in your tenancy agreement. Writing to your landlord will protect you from a retaliatory (revenge) eviction if you have to involve the Council. You can use our sample letter to help you.

Dos and Don'ts

  • Do: notify your landlord as soon as you aware of a problem
  • Do: give your landlord enough time to make repairs – for example, if your boiler is broken, they may need to order specialised parts to repair it
  • Do: grant access to your landlord and any tradespeople they employ in order to make repairs
  • Do: Complain to your landlord in writing if they do not make the necessary repairs
  • Don’t: Withhold your rent. This will not make your landlord do repairs, and may jeopardise your tenancy
  • Don’t: wait until after you’ve moved out to complain to us – this makes it extremely difficult for us to take action

Private tenants

If you have written to your landlord and they will still not make repairs, we can help you. Please complete this online housing service request form or fill in this paper housing service request form and post or e-mail it to us. We will need to contact you to inspect the house, and write to your landlord, so please make sure you provide all of the information we ask for, including contact details for both yourself and your landlord.  Please also ensure that you complete the coronavirus screening questionnaire as we will not be able to inspect your home until we have received this.  

Social tenants

If you are a RSL (social housing) tenant – for example if your landlord is Citizen (formerly Whitefriars), Orbit or Midland Heart – before we can help you, you will need to make a formal complaint to your landlord. If this does not help, you should contact the Housing Ombudsman. The Ombudsman is able to resolve the vast majority of disputes but, if you still need our help after this, you can contact us as described above. Please make sure you have proof of your ombudsman complaint available.

Customer Services

Open 9am–5pm Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays)

Tel: 08085 834333


If you do need to call us,
please try to avoid our busiest times
of lunchtime and early afternoon.

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