Taking your landlord to the tribunal

If you have a dispute with your private landlord or letting agent, you can apply to the First-tier Tribunal (Housing and Property Chamber).

Getting a tribunal decision

The tribunal will usually make a decision within 21 days of the case discussion or hearing.

You'll get the decision in writing.

If you win your case

The tribunal's decision will say what your landlord or letting agent must do. It may include a deadline.

If your decision comes with an enforcement order

This means the tribunal can report your landlord or letting agent to the police or the council if they do not comply.

Your landlord or letting agent may need to give evidence or appear at the tribunal again to prove they’ve complied with an enforcement order.

If the tribunal decides you should get compensation

The tribunal will usually set a deadline for your landlord or letting agent to pay.

If they do not pay within the deadline, you may need to hire sheriff officers. They can make your landlord or letting agent pay what they owe.

Sheriff officers cost money to hire. Get quotes from different sheriff officers before you decide.

To find a sheriff officer search on the Society of Messengers-at-Arms and Sheriff Officers website.

If you lose your case

You have the right to ask for a review or an appeal.

Asking for a review

A review means the tribunal will look at the decision again. The tribunal can:

  • change the decision

  • stick to the original decision

  • refuse your request for review, if they think there's no good reason to review the case

You must submit your request for a review within 14 days of the date on the decision letter. Say why a review is needed.

You must also send a copy of the request for review to your landlord or letting agent.

Usually you do not need a solicitor to ask for a review.

Asking for an appeal

Appealing means the Upper Tribunal for Scotland will look at the decision.

If they agree with you, the Upper Tribunal can change the decision or make the tribunal hear the case again.

You can only appeal on a point of law. This means the tribunal:

  • used the wrong law when making a decision

  • applied the law to your case incorrectly

  • said in the decision there was a finding in fact, but there was no evidence for this

  • took the wrong approach - they asked the wrong questions, took into account irrelevant information or reached an unreasonable decision

Appealing on a point of law is complicated. You’ll need legal advice from a solicitor.

Find a solicitor on the Law Society of Scotland website

How to appeal

You must ask the tribunal for permission to appeal within 30 days of the date on the decision letter.

If you get permission to appeal, you have 30 days to submit your appeal to the Upper Tribunal.

If you do not get permission, you can ask the Upper Tribunal directly for permission to appeal. You can find application forms on the Upper Tribunal website.

Check the tribunal's website for more guidance on reviews and appeals.

Reapplying to the tribunal

If your requests for a review or appeal are refused, your case will be closed. To get the tribunal to look at it again, you'll need to reapply.

The tribunal will refuse any new application if it's the same as a previous application. There must either be:

  • a change of circumstances

  • new evidence that was not available when you originally applied

Last updated: 13 June 2023

Housing laws differ between Scotland and England.

This content applies to Scotland only.

Get advice if you're in England