Taking legal action if your private landlord will not do repairs

If your landlord refuses to do repairs, apply to the First-tier Tribunal for Scotland (Housing and Property Chamber). The tribunal can order your landlord to do repairs. You can apply if you rent from a private landlord or letting agent.

Before taking legal action

You must have written to your landlord to report the problem and given them reasonable time to fix the repairs. The tribunal will not accept your application if you have not done this.

Follow our guidance on reporting repairs.

Applying to the tribunal

It's free to apply to the tribunal.

You can apply and represent yourself at the tribunal. You do not have to use a solicitor.

To apply download application form A from the tribunal website.

Fill in the form and send it to the tribunal along with:

  • a copy of your lease or tenancy agreement

  • copies of letters or emails you sent your landlord about the repairs

  • any other evidence you think is relevant, such as photos or doctor's letters

Sending your application

Post: Glasgow Tribunals Centre, 20 York Street, Glasgow, G2 8GT

Email: hpcadmin@scotcourtstribunals.gov.uk

You must live at the property to force the landlord to fix repairs. If you move out, your application will be cancelled.

If you want to cancel your application, you can do this at any time.

If you need help going to the tribunal

Speak to:

Find a solicitor from the Law Society of Scotland.

You could get legal help for free or at a lower cost.

Going to the tribunal

If the tribunal accepts your application, you will be asked to attend a hearing or case discussion so the tribunal can make a decision about the repairs.

A hearing is usually needed if the tribunal wants to hear evidence or inspect your home. Otherwise, the tribunal can arrange a case discussion, which is usually shorter and more informal.

If the tribunal does not make a decision about your repairs on the day, they will send a decision letter to you and your landlord.

If you attend the tribunal in person, keep any travel tickets or receipts as you may be able to claim expenses.

If the tribunal decides repairs are needed

They can send your landlord a repairing standard enforcement order. This tells them what they must do to fix the repairs and how long they have to do it.

Your landlord must prove to the tribunal the repairs are completed before the order can be lifted.

The tribunal can inspect your home to make sure the problems are fixed.

It’s a criminal offence for your landlord to ignore an order.

If the tribunal disagrees with you

If the tribunal decides that your home does not need repairs, they could reject your application.

They could also reject your application if:

  • you do not send the right documents

  • you have not given the landlord time to fix the repairs before applying to the tribunal

  • the repairs have been fixed since you applied

You can appeal the decision within 30 days of getting the rejection letter. The letter will tell you how to appeal.

Alternatives to the tribunal

To avoid taking legal action, you can consider:

Last updated: 29 June 2022

Housing laws differ between Scotland and England.

This content applies to Scotland only.

Get advice if you're in England