Who can I complain to?

AFS Team·17 May 2023·4 min read
Who can I complain to?

Your landlord, letting agent or hall manager

Your landlord, letting agent or hall manager should always be your first point of contact when making a complaint about your rented accommodation. You should put your complaint in writing (email is great for this so there are records!) and be specific about the issue you are having.

It may be a good idea to set a time frame - Give them a reasonable amount of time to respond and take action to resolve the issue. If they don't respond or don't resolve the issue, you can escalate the complaint to other organisations, which we will look at now…

Your university accommodation office

If you're living in university-managed accommodation, your university accommodation office should be able to help resolve your complaint. Most will have specific procedures for handling complaints and using these processes may speed things up or make them overall easier.

If you are not in university-managed accommodation, but instead private rentals, your university (or Students’ Union) may still be able to help. If you are living in a private hall you could escalate your concern to their head office or if they are a member to ANUK.

The local council's environmental health department

If your complaint is related to issues such as damp or mould, you can contact the local council's environmental health department. They have the power to investigate and take action against landlords and they can give you advice on how to protect your health and safety in your home.

You may have heard some horror stories about mould in university accommodation, but this does not mean it is something you should have to put up with!

The Housing Ombudsman Service

The Housing Ombudsman Service is an independent organisation that investigates complaints from tenants about social housing landlords in England. They can investigate complaints about a wide range of issues, including repairs, maintenance, anti-social behaviour, and harassment. They can make recommendations for resolution and can help you to understand your legal rights as a tenant.


Shelter is a UK charity that provides free advice and support to people experiencing housing issues. They can provide advice on things like your legal rights as a tenant and how you can take action to resolve issues. Shelter can also provide support and guidance on other issues, like rent arrears or if you are threatened with eviction.

It is so important to speak up if you do have complaints or issues. Especially if this is your first time renting, it can seem scary but just remember that you have rights and your accommodation can really make or break your university experience.