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How to complain about a housing association

If a housing association has done something wrong, you have the right to make a complaint. If you're unhappy with their response, you can complain to the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman.

When to complain

You can make a complaint about issues such as:

  • unfair treatment or discrimination when dealing with a housing association

  • problems with your home if you rent from the housing association, such as repairs not being done

  • problems caused by housing association tenants

You do not have to be a housing association tenant to complain.

Step 1: contact the housing association informally

You can try talking to someone at the housing association. Explain what the problem is and how it's affecting you.

Keep a record of who you spoke to and when. Get them to write down any agreements you come to.

Step 2: send a formal complaint

Email or write the the housing association. Find your housing association's contact details on the Scottish Housing Regulator.

Keep copies of any letters or emails you send.

Use our letter templates if:

For other issues, write a letter that includes:

  • what you're complaining about

  • when the problem started

  • what you've done to try and solve the problem

  • any evidence you've got, including letters or emails you've sent previously

  • what you want the housing association to do

  • your contact details

The housing association must respond within 5 working days.

Step 3: ask for a final response

If the problem is not resolved, ask the housing association to look at your complaint again and send a final response. This is sometimes called a stage 2 complaint.

They must do this within 20 working days.

Step 4: if you're unhappy with the final response

You can complain to the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman.

The ombudsman is a free independent service that resolves disputes and complaints. You must complain to them within a year of the problem starting.

If you need more help to solve the problem, get advice from Shelter Scotland or your local Citizens Advice Bureau. An adviser could help you work out your next steps.

Last updated: 5 April 2023

Housing laws differ between Scotland and England.

This content applies to Scotland only.

Get advice if you're in England