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:
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:
they’ve broken the rules around protecting your deposit
they gave false information on your eviction notice and you moved out
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.
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