How to complain about a housing association

If you're dealing with a housing association you have the right to make a complaint if something is wrong. There's a process you can follow and you can get help to complain if you need to. You do not have to be a tenant to complain.

When to complain

You can make a complaint about issues you come across, including:

  • bad or unsatisfactory service

  • unfair treatment

  • repairs not being dealt with properly

  • housing waitlist decisions you're unhappy with

  • problems caused by the housing association's tenants

We have extra guidance if you're complaining about:

Step 1: make an informal complaint

Try talking to someone at the housing association to resolve the issue. Ask them to write down any agreement you come to.

Step 2: send a formal complaint

Find your housing associations contact details on the Scottish Housing Regulator.

Email or write to your housing association to complain about your issue. Keep copies of any letters or emails you send and receive.

The housing association must respond within 5 working days.

Make sure to include:

  • what you're complaining about

  • when the problem started

  • what steps you have taken so far to sort it out

  • any evidence you've kept of the issue

  • what you would like the housing association to do

  • Your return address

Send your letter by recorded delivery and keep the receipt or use a read receipt on an email.

Step 3: ask for a final response

Ask them to look at your complaint again and send a final response.

They must do this within 20 working days.

Step 4: complain to the ombudsman

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.

Getting advice

Contact Shelter Scotland or contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau. An adviser could help you work out your next steps.

Last updated: 30 March 2022

Housing laws differ between Scotland and England.

This content applies to Scotland only.

Get advice if you're in England