Complaining about a letting agency
This page explains how to complain about a letting agency. It explains how to escalate the dispute to the tribunal if the complaints procedure does not resolve the matter.
What can I complain about?
If you're a tenant and you're dealing with a letting agency, your landlord will either be:
the letting agency itself, or
a private landlord who's paying the letting agency to look after their property and rent it out
Whatever the situation is you can complain about anything you're not happy with, including:
rude members of staff at the agency
being charged an illegal premium
repairs not being done
The letting agent code of practice
From 31 January 2018 any person working as a letting agent has to adhere to the letting agent code of practice. These are standards tenants and landlords should expect if they rent a property through a letting agent.
Under the code a letting agent must:
carry out their business in a way that complies with all appropriate legislation
be honest, open, transparent and fair in their dealings with tenants and former tenants
make sure all staff and any subcontractors comply with the code and any other legal requirements
make sure that all private information is handled sensitively and in line with legal requirements
respond to all enquiries and complaints within reasonable timescales and in line with any written agreement
Under the code a letting agent cannot:
unlawfully discriminate against a tenant or prospective tenant
provide information that is deliberately or negligently misleading or false
communicate in any way that is abusive, intimidating or threatening
The letting agent code of practice is available in full on the Gov.scot website, and includes rules on:
standards of practice
communications and complaints
how money is handled
If you think your letting agent is not complying with the code, you should complain in writing to them. The complaint must be dealt with in line with the letting agent’s complaints procedure.
How to make a complaint
use the tribunal’s template code of conduct complaint letter
state what paragraph numbers of the code of practice your letting agent has broken
give reasons why you think your letting agent has broken them
keep a copy of your complaint letter
email or post your complaint to your letting agent
have proof that the letting agent received the complaint - add a read receipt to your email or send your letter recorded delivery and keep the receipt
The letting agent's complaints procedure should say how long the letting agent has to respond to your complaint.
Applying to the tribunal
You can apply to the First Tier Tribunal Housing and Property Chamber if complaining to the letting agency does not resolve the matter. Your application should tell the tribunal what you want the letting agent to do.
You must have tried to resolve the matter by complaining to the letting agency first. If you cannot prove that you made a complaint then the tribunal may dismiss your application. The tribunal will also not consider any new issues that are not covered by your complaint.
You can include a claim for compensation as part of your application to the tribunal. You may need to speak to a solicitor or law clinic to help you calculate the value of compensation you believe you are owed.
If the tribunal accepts your application then you may get a date for a tribunal discussion or a hearing.
There is no cost to apply to the tribunal and solicitors are not required at discussions or hearings. If you decide to get a solicitor to represent you then you may have to pay their costs.
What to send in your application to the tribunal
your application form
what you want the letting agent to do
details of compensation you believe you are due
copies of the complaint letters you sent to the letting agent
copies of any responses to your complaint from the letting agent
proof that the letting agent received your complaint
any other relevant written communication you had with the letting agency
What you will need to fill out the application form
Notes on completing form J - this is a helpful document that will tell you how to fill out the application form
the letting agent’s registration number - this should be on your tenancy agreement. You can ask the letting agent for their registration number or search the letting agent register for it
paragraph numbers from the letting agent code of practice that you included in your complaint letter. You will write these in Part 6a of the application form
Send your application by post or by email to:
Glasgow Tribunals Centre, 20 York Street, Glasgow, G2 8GT
What happens once you apply to the tribunal
The tribunal can arrange a discussion or a hearing based on your written evidence. These will help the tribunal decide if the letting agency broke the code of practice.
You can make your case at the discussion or hearing. The letting agency will have a chance to respond. The tribunal will then issue a written decision.
If the tribunal decides the letting agency has broken the code of practice
The tribunal can issue a Letting Agent Enforcement Order. It will say how the code of practice has been broken and what the letting agency must do to resolve the situation. If the tribunal agrees that you are due compensation they would issue an order for payment at this stage.
If the tribunal decides the letting agency has not broken the code of practice
The tribunal will reject your application. You then have the right to appeal that decision within 30 days of receiving the tribunal’s written decision. When you appeal you must show that the tribunal has not applied the law correctly.
Last updated: 3 August 2021