Birmingham has seen the highest number of housing complaints about landlords and agencies of any UK council during the last five years.

The council has received 15,605 complaints since 2015, according to a survey by Online Mortgage Advisor, which put in a freedom of information request to 102 authorities.

Of the 72 that responded, Birmingham came out on top, followed by Barnsley with 10,535 complaints and Waltham Forest Council with 8,518.

The figures reflect the vigorous campaign that local media, Birmingham City Council and local MP Jack Dromey have been conducting over the past six months, calling on the city’s rogue landlords to be forced out of the private rented sector.

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Zero complaints

At the other end of the table were Brent Council and Wolverhampton which both boast a surprising zero number of complaints recorded in the last five years. Glasgow was next best with just 47 complaints.

Tonje Odegard, a spokesperson for Online Mortgage Advisor, admits: “There is a certain disparity in the consistency and uniformity of reporting from council to council, so it could be that Birmingham Council just has a more concise and comprehensive way of reporting – although this can’t be seen as the only reason why numbers are high.” 

​​​​​Complaints were broken into five categories, with disrepair and repairs that cause a risk to health and safety not being done producing the vast majority with 46,368, followed by dishonest or unfair trading behaviour (2,433), harassment (805), illegal eviction/related to evictions (630) and other (226).


Verve says lockdown has seen an abnormally high numbers of complaints being made. Birmingham Council has received 111 complaints concerning illegal eviction or complaints relating to evictions during the pandemic. Twenty-one of the councils reported receiving similar complaints, with Oxford topping the list (175), followed by Bristol (135).  

Read more about landlord complaints.

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