How to complain about your letting agency
All letting agents must follow the rules in the letting agent code of practice. You have the right to complain if you think your letting agent is breaking any of the rules, including:
not doing repairs
charging illegal fees
evicting you without following the proper steps
Check the letting agent code of practice on gov.scot before making a complaint.
If complaining does not resolve your issue, you can apply to the First-tier Tribunal for Scotland (Housing and Property Chamber).
Who can make a complaint about a letting agent
You can make a complaint and apply to the tribunal if:
you're currently the tenant
your tenancy has ended and you’ve moved out
you were a prospective tenant but did not move in
Step 1: contact them informally
Before formally complaining, contact your letting agent if you can. Explain what the problem is and tell them what effect it’s having on you.
Your issue could be fixed if you ask them to put the problem right.
Get any agreements in writing so there are no misunderstandings.
Step 2: write to your letting agent
If your issue is not fixed by contacting your letting agent, write a letter or email stating:
the paragraph numbers of the rules that have been broken – find these in the code of practice
the reasons you think your letting agent has broken them
how you want it to be fixed and by when
that they should acknowledge that they’ve received your letter
that you’ll apply to the tribunal if the problem is not fixed
To help you complain, download the template Code of Conduct complaint letter on the tribunal website.
Keep a copy of your complaint. Add a read receipt to your email or send your letter recorded delivery and keep the receipt.
You’ll need this proof if you decide to take your complaint to the tribunal.
Your letting agent's complaints procedure should tell you how long they have to respond to you. If they do not have a complaints procedure, this is breaking the code of practice rules.
Step 3: if it's still not resolved
If complaining does not resolve your issue, the tribunal can order your letting agent to put things right.
Only apply to the tribunal if you have already tried complaining to your letting agent. If you have not, your application will not be accepted.
Applying to the tribunal
It's free to apply to the tribunal.
In section 6a, write the relevant paragraph numbers from the letting agent code of practice. These must match the numbers in your complaint.
In section 6d, say what you want the letting agency to do to put things right. This could include:
apologising to you
retraining their staff so it does not happen again
paying you compensation for your costs or inconvenience
Your application should include:
proof that your letting agent received your complaint, such as a response to your email, or recorded delivery confirmation for a letter
copies of your complaint to your letting agent and any responses
any other evidence you have to support your application
Download the inclusive provision questionnaire to tell the tribunal about your access needs. For example, if you need an induction loop or an interpreter.
You can send your form and evidence by email or post.
Post: Glasgow Tribunals Centre, 20 York Street, Glasgow, G2 8GT
Evidence you can use
You must show the tribunal evidence of how your letting agent broke the code of practice.
Give the tribunal a timeline of what led to your complaint from when the problem started. Tell them what you’ve done to try and resolve it.
You can use copies of texts or emails you’ve sent or received about the problem as evidence.
To get compensation, show how you've calculated what you think you're owed. Give copies of receipts or bank statements if the problem has cost you money.
Checking previous tribunal decisions
The tribunal publishes all its decisions online. To help you work out what evidence to give or how much compensation to ask for, check letting agent decisions on the tribunal’s website.
If you apply, your decision will be published online. Ask the tribunal not to include your details if you do not want them to be published.
Getting legal advice or representation
The tribunal is less formal than a court, and in most cases you do not need a solicitor.
Consider getting legal advice if you want to claim a large amount of money, or if your case is complicated. A solicitor could help you work out how much to ask for.
If you hire a solicitor they'll charge for their work, and it can be expensive. Consider how much compensation you could get. It could be less than the legal fees you’d pay a solicitor.
You may be able to get free legal advice or legal aid to help with costs.
What happens after you apply
The tribunal will look at your application and decide whether to accept your case.
Check our guidance on what happens after you apply to the tribunal.
If you're worried about being evicted
It’s illegal for your letting agent to evict you for complaining about them.
If you’re worried that you'll be evicted for acting on your rights, get advice from Shelter Scotland.
Last updated: 14 June 2023