How to complain about the council
If the council 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 or take court action.
When to complain
You can make a complaint about issues such as:
unfair treatment or discrimination when dealing with the council
problems with your home if you rent from the council, such as repairs not being done
problems with the council's services in your local area, such as bin collections
problems caused by council tenants
You do not have to be a council tenant to complain.
Step 1: contact the council informally
You can try talking to someone at the council. 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 to the council. Find your council's website on mygov.scot.
Keep copies of any letters or emails you send.
Use our letter templates to complain about:
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 council to do
your contact details
The council must respond to you within 5 working days.
Step 3: ask for a final response
If the problem is not resolved, ask the council to look at your complaint again and send a final response. This is sometimes called a stage 2 complaint.
Your complaint will be looked at by a different member of staff. They must do this within 20 working days.
Step 4: if you're unhappy with the final response
The ombudsman is a free independent service that resolves disputes and complaints. You must complain to them within a year of the problem starting.
Taking legal action
If the council broke the law, you could take them to court. This is called a judicial review. There's a 3 month deadline for court action and you'll need a solicitor.
Find a solicitor on the Law Society of Scotland.
You could get legal help for free or at a lower cost.
Last updated: 5 April 2023