Skip to navigation Skip to content Skip to footer

Claiming compensation from your landlord

This advice applies to Wales

If your landlord breaks certain rules, you can take them to court to get compensation.

If your landlord won’t repair your home

There are different rules about claiming compensation. Check the rules about taking court action if your landlord won’t make repairs.

Tell your landlord about the problem first and ask them if they’re willing to fix it.

Tell them you’re thinking of asking for compensation. They might agree to put things right without having to go to court. This will save time and you won’t have to pay court fees.

Check what you can claim compensation for

You can get compensation if your landlord:

  • didn’t give you a written statement or their contact details when you moved in - a written statement is the contract between you and your landlord
  • didn’t correct or update your written statement if it was wrong or incomplete
  • sold the property and didn’t give you the new landlord’s contact details
  • didn’t protect your deposit
  • made you pay a banned letting fee - for example a fee to get a written statement

If you live with your landlord, you can only claim compensation for problems with your written statement - and only if your landlord said they'll give you an occupation contract.

Check what rights you have if you live with your landlord.

If your landlord didn’t give you a written statement or their contact details

Your landlord must give you the following within 14 days of you moving in to the property:

  • a written statement
  • their contact details

If you live with your landlord and they sent you a letter saying they’ll give you an occupation contract, they need to give you a written statement within 14 days of the letter.

If your landlord changed your contract, they need to give you a written statement within 14 days after they’ve changed your contract.

If your landlord didn’t give you a written statement or their contact details, you can claim compensation.

The maximum amount you can get is 2 months’ rent.

Tell the court if you have evidence that your landlord didn’t give you a written statement deliberately. If the court agrees, it might make your landlord pay up to double the amount.

If your landlord didn’t correct or update your written statement

If your landlord gives you a written statement that’s incorrect or incomplete, they must correct or update it within 14 days.

If you and your landlord agreed to change a term in your written statement, your landlord must do one of the following:

  • give you a corrected or updated written statement within 14 days
  • send you a letter within one month telling you about the change - this is called a 'notice of variation’

For example, you might agree to change the terms in your written contract to give you permission to keep a pet.

If your landlord changes the type of occupation contract you have, they must correct or update your written statement within 14 days after they gave it to you.

If your landlord didn't correct or update your written statement, you can claim compensation.

The maximum amount you can get is 2 months’ rent.

Tell the court if you have evidence that your landlord deliberately didn’t give you a written statement when they changed a term in it. If the court agrees, it might make your landlord pay up to double the amount.

If your landlord sold the property and didn’t give you the new landlord’s contact details

Your landlord must give you the new landlord’s details within 14 days of selling the property.

If your landlord didn’t give you the new landlord’s details, you can claim compensation. 

The maximum amount you can get is 2 months’ rent.

If your landlord didn't protect your deposit

If your landlord hasn’t protected your deposit, you could get 1 to 3 times the amount you paid for your deposit.

Check if your landlord has to protect your deposit.

If your landlord made you pay a banned letting fee

Your landlord is only allowed to ask you to pay for certain things - for example a deposit or rent.

Your landlord can’t ask you to pay any other fees - for example to:

  • get a written statement - they can only ask you to pay for a copy if you’ve lost the first one
  • make an inspection of the property when you move in or out of the property

If your tenancy started before 1 September 2019 and your landlord made you pay a banned letting fee, these rules won’t apply to you.

If you signed a new contract on or after 1 September 2019, your landlord can’t make you pay a banned letting fee.

Check what your landlord is allowed to ask you to pay.

Check how to claim compensation

If your landlord won’t put things right, you can take them to court to get compensation.

To claim compensation, you need to:

  1. Write to your landlord
  2. Fill in the claim form
  3. Send the form and pay the court fee
  4. Go to the court hearing

Write to your landlord

Write to your landlord saying you’re planning to apply to the court for compensation. You should include a deadline for them to respond.

When you write to your landlord, they might be willing to fix the problem. So you might not need to do anything else.

Fill in the claim form

If you don’t hear back from your landlord or they don’t agree to fix the problem, you can either:

You should also write a statement about your situation - this is called a ‘witness statement’.

In your witness statement you should:

  • say what went wrong - give as much detail as possible
  • explain how you’ve tried talking to your landlord to make them put things right
  • tell the court if you think your landlord broke the law intentionally

Check how to write a witness statement on GOV.UK.

Keep a copy of your form N1 and your witness statement. If you have to go to the court hearing, the court will ask you about what you’ve written.

You should also include any evidence that could support your case. You might include:

  • letters, texts or emails you sent to your landlord - for example emails where you asked them to do something and they didn’t reply
  • copies of your written statement
  • copies of a letter from your landlord saying they’ll give you an occupation contract
  • receipts or evidence of bank transfers showing what you’ve paid your landlord

If you need help filling out your form or writing your witness statement, talk to an adviser.

You can also ask a volunteer from the Support Through Court charity to help you with your claim. You can find the contact details of Support Through Court on their website.

Send the form and pay the court fee

Make 3 copies of your claim form, your witness statement and any evidence you have. Put all 3 copies into one envelope and send it to your local court - you can find the address of your local court on GOV.UK.

You’ll also have to pay a court fee. How much you need to pay depends on your case. Check how much your court fee will be on GOV.UK.

Check your insurance policies and credit card agreements. If you have insurance that includes legal expenses, your insurers might pay your court fees.

If you’re on a low income or claiming certain benefits, you might be able to apply for help to pay the court fee on GOV.UK.

If your case is successful, you can ask your landlord to pay back your court fee.

The court will send your claim to your landlord. Your landlord will have 14 days to respond. The court will send you a copy of what they said.

Your landlord might make you an offer or agree to fix the problem. You can accept their offer or go to the court hearing.

You could get compensation even if you accept your landlord’s offer, so it’s still worth going to the hearing.

Go to the court hearing

Make sure you follow any instructions the court gives you before the hearing - for example if they ask you for more evidence.

The court will write to tell you when the hearing will be. You will need to go to the hearing - try to arrive early.

You can represent yourself or ask a solicitor to come with you. If you choose a solicitor, this will cost you money unless you get legal aid. Check if you can get legal aid on GOV.UK.

Before the court hearing, read your claim form and witness statement to remind yourself of what happened. You can also make notes of what you want to tell the court.

Bring your paperwork and evidence with you to the hearing. The court might ask you about something you said, so it’s better to have them so you can check them.

You can take a friend or relative with you for moral support.

If your hearing is at Cardiff Civil and Family Justice Centre, you can ask a volunteer from the Support Through Court charity to go with you.

You can find the contact details of Support Through Court on their website.

Getting the court’s decision

If the court agrees that your landlord hasn’t followed the rules, they’ll ask them to:

  • pay your compensation, including any interest
  • fix the problem you made the claim for - for example by giving you a written statement
  • pay you back any court fees you’ve had to pay

If your landlord refuses to pay your compensation

If your landlord doesn’t pay your compensation, you can ask the court to make them pay. Check how you can ask the court to make your landlord pay what they owe you on GOV.UK.

If you want to take further legal action, you can also talk to an adviser.

Get help with your claim

You can check if you can get free or affordable legal help.

Did this advice help?
Why wasn't this advice helpful?

Please tell us more about why our advice didn't help.

Did this advice help?

Thank you, your feedback has been submitted.