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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).

When you can use the tribunal

You can apply to the tribunal if you have a dispute with your private landlord or letting agent. This includes when they've broken the rules about:

  • repairs

  • deposits

  • tenancy agreements

  • eviction

The tribunal is less formal than a court. It’s independent and will make a decision based on the evidence and circumstances of both sides.

It’s free to go to the tribunal, and you do not need a solicitor.

What the tribunal can do

The tribunal will look at the evidence and decide if your landlord or letting agent has broken the law.

If they have, the tribunal can order them to fix the problem. For example, they could be ordered to:

  • fix repair problems by a specific deadline

  • protect your tenancy deposit in a deposit scheme

  • pay you compensation if the problem has cost you money or caused inconvenience

For issues with repairs and tenancy agreements, you can only apply if you’re still in the tenancy. For other issues, you can usually also apply after the tenancy has ended.

Before applying to the tribunal

Depending on your dispute, you may have to show that you’ve taken steps to resolve the problem informally.

Write to your landlord or letting agent

Explain what you want them to do and by when. Keep evidence of any letters or emails you send and their responses.

Telling your landlord that you’re applying to the tribunal could prompt them to resolve the problem more quickly.

Follow our guidance if:

You do not have to write to your landlord before applying if:

Gather evidence

If you can show proof that your landlord has broken the rules, you're more likely to win your case.

Evidence could include things like:

  • photographs of repair issues

  • emails and letters you’ve sent or received about the problem

  • receipts or bank statements if the problem has cost you money

  • notes from your doctor if the problem is affecting your health

Check 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, you can read previous decisions on the tribunal website.

If you apply, your decision will also be published. Ask the tribunal not to include your details if you do not want them to be published.

Getting legal advice

In most cases, you do not need legal help to go to the tribunal. You can apply and represent yourself.

Consider getting legal advice if your case is complicated, or if you want to claim a large amount of compensation. A solicitor can help you work out how much to ask for.

Find a solicitor on the Law Society of Scotland

Solicitors charge for their work. You may be able to get free legal advice or legal aid to help with costs.

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