Getting help with problems in private rented housing

As a tenant you have rights that are protected by law. Sometimes it’s difficult to solve problems with your landlord about your home. You can ask the council for help if your landlord won't do certain repairs. They can also investigate if your landlord doesn't repay your tenancy deposit.

Reporting a problem to the council

You can contact the local council's environmental health department if your landlord:

  • wants to evict you without a court order
  • fails to do necessary repairs you reported to them

When the council can investigate a landlord

The council can investigate and prosecute a landlord who doesn't give their tenant:

  • a rent book
  • a statement of tenancy terms

The council also has authority to investigate and prosecute a landlord who doesn't:

  • protect a tenant's deposit
  • register as a landlord
  • license their property as a house in multiple occupation (HMO) when they rent it to multiple tenants

To find your local council, go to:

Protection for tenants

The law protects people living in residential property:

  • by making harassment and illegal eviction a criminal offence
  • by enabling someone who is harassed or illegally evicted to claim damages through the civil court

Where there is physical assault or violence, the tenant should contact the police. To find more advice for private tenants, go to:

More useful links

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