It’s commonplace among tenants to avoid complaining when things aren’t up to standard. Many tenants don’t want to rock the boat and risk upsetting the landlord or agency.
However, even though the property you’re living in is not your own, you should have every expectation that any issues that arise during your tenancy will be swiftly dealt with.
Despite this, many people are unaware of how they should go about raising a query. To try and help, we’ve put together our advice on how to make a complaint against a landlord or agency.
Put your complaint in writing
If your landlord or letting agent have broken any rules or failed to uphold their responsibilities, ensure you make your complaint as soon as possible.
When making a complaint, the first step is to raise the issue with the landlord or letting agent in writing. An email is perfectly adequate!
Try not to escalate the problem unnecessarily. Maintaining a positive relationship with the landlord or agent is always a good idea! Politely highlight the issue and request a timescale for when it will be resolved.
Follow the complaints procedure
If you don’t receive a timely or appropriate response to your email, formal escalation is the unfortunate next step. Most landlords will have a complaints policy in place, and all letting agencies must have a complaints procedure you can follow. This can usually be found on their website.
Clearly lay out your grievances with exact times and dates to support your claims. Again, do so politely and try not to be too accusatory.
You should expect a written response informing you of the outcome of your complaint.
If you’re dealing with a letting agent and are unhappy with the outcome, you can take your complaint further, by using the Letting Agency Redress Scheme. All lettings agencies must be a member of one of the government-backed schemes, which are:
The redress schemes are in place to deal with any issues you may have. These may include:
- Poor service
- Hidden fees
- Issues with regards to tenancy deposits and the reimbursement of funds
If you have an issue with the letting agent that is not being dealt with, try and contact the landlord directly.
By law you should have been provided with an address for the landlord and it can sometimes be beneficial to contact them, as they may be unaware that their agent is underperforming.
You can usually find the landlord’s name and address on your tenancy agreement. If not, then you are entitled to request this in writing from the letting agent, and they must respond.
The final stages
If all of the above fail to rectify the situation, your final recourse is the small claims court for any issues regarding money.
If the issue with your landlord regards harassment, report them to the tenancy relations officer in your local authority. If the issue is severe, it may even be regarded as a criminal offence.
If your landlord is a member of a landlord representative organisation, you could complain to them. There are two they could be with:
Renting can be tough! At Move iQ, we understand the world of property. Check out more of our site for regular updates and handy hints to help you navigate the world of renting.