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You've been told your flat is fire safe but disagree

This advice applies to England

The first thing you should do is look at your fire safety assessment - you can ask your landlord or the council for a copy, depending who arranged the assessment.

Look at the findings from the assessment - if you don’t understand parts of the assessment, or you still disagree, explain this to your landlord. If you haven’t already, you should ask for an assessment first.

Collect evidence

Get together any evidence you have that your home is unsafe - for example you should:

  • get a copy of your fire safety assessment
  • get copies of any letters or conversations you’ve had with your landlord about the problem
  • write down the reasons you disagree with the assessment
  • ask for a report from the fire service

Find out how to make a complaint

Who you need to contact depends whether you’re renting from:

  • the council
  • a private landlord
  • a housing association

Check your tenancy agreement to find out how to make a complaint. If you're a council tenant, you can usually find the complaints process on their website.

You should put your complaint in writing - clearly write down why you you disagree with the assessment, and what you want to happen next. For example whether you want another assessment, or for them to make changes to the building. Make a copy in case you need it later.

Contact your nearest Citizens Advice if you’re not sure who to complain to, or you need help writing it down. An adviser can help you make a formal complaint. It’s also a good idea to raise the issue with your local MP - they might be able to take your concerns directly to the council.

Complaining if you rent from a private landlord or housing association

Speak to your local council if you're not happy with your landlord's response. Ask them to do an inspection - they’ll investigate if they think there is a hazard in the home you rent. They’ll decide whether or not your landlord has to make changes based on this inspection.

If your council doesn’t think there are any hazards that need addressing, and you disagree, you can complain about your local council to the Local Government Ombudsman.

You shouldn’t live somewhere that you think is unsafe, but there is always a risk that your landlord will decide to evict you if they disagree with the repairs you’re asking for. You can get help if this happens.

Complaining if you're a council tenant

Ask your local council to arrange another inspection. They’ll then have to decide whether or not to make changes if the inspection finds any hazards.

If they won’t do another inspection or you’re unhappy with the outcome, you can complain to the Local Government Ombudsman.

If your complaint isn't addressed

You might be able to take your complaint further if you’re still not happy, but you’ll need to get specialist legal advice.

Contact your nearest Citizens Advice - an adviser can help you find a local solicitor or another service offering free legal advice.

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