Contact Information

 0303 123 1702

Allerdale Borough Council,
Allerdale House,
Workington,
Cumbria,
CA14 3YJ

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Private renting

Award winner - Howgill Close, Bolton Low HousesWhat you will need to rent a private property

Most private landlords ask for a deposit before they will grant a tenancy. This is to act as an insurance against non-payment of rent or damage to their property. You should always check with the landlord before going to see a property how much deposit is required and on what terms.

See the downloadable documents section below for some top tips for renting a property.

You may need references from previous addresses and from your employer if you are working. Again, you should check with the landlord what is required before going to see a property.

Private tenancies

You should ask your landlord for a written copy of your tenancy agreement and, if you have had to pay a deposit, a receipt for the money you have paid. It is worth agreeing with your landlord the extent of any damage to the property before you move in to avoid problems later recovering your deposit.

Unfurnished private properties are let on what is known as an assured tenancy. This means that you are secure in the property, as long as you don't break any of the tenancy rules laid down in your tenancy agreement, for a minimum period of six months.

You need to agree with the landlord how long a shorthold tenancy will last. It can last for a set period (known as a 'fixed term') or be left open ended. An assured shorthold tenancy does not give you the right to have your tenancy extended after the original period has ended. It is well worth asking your landlord how long he is planning to let the property, especially if you want to avoid having to move on again in the future.

Paying for a private rented property

If you are planning to rent a private property, it is worth checking that you can afford to pay the rent. In places where demand for privately rented properties is high, such as Keswick and Cockermouth, rents are quite high. Don't forget that you will also have to pay the Council Tax and bills such as electricity and gas.

You may be able to get housing benefit help with paying your rent; before you take on a tenancy and claim housing benefit, you can ask Allerdale Borough Council for a pre-tenancy determination. This will give you the rent figure which will be used to work out your housing benefit. However, the pre-tenancy determination does not guarantee that you will get housing benefit or tell you the amount you will get. You should remember that your housing benefit can be reduced for a number of reasons. Examples include the rent being charged being above normal market rents and the property being too big for your needs.

If you don't pay your rent, your landlord can seek a Court Order to evict you from your home. If you are more than two months or eight weeks in rent arrears. In most cases the Courts cannot refuse to grant the landlord an Eviction Order, so you should at all times make sure your rent is kept up to date.

You can get a claim form for housing benefit and pre-tenancy determination form from any Council office or by calling the number shown.

If you think your rent is too high, you can in the first six months of your tenancy ask the Rent Assessment Committee to decide what your rent should be. You can contact The Rent Service on the number shown.

Ending a shorthold tenancy

Your landlord can ask you to leave at any time after six months, providing any fixed term you agreed has ended. He must give you two months notice in writing that he wants you to leave.

Your landlord can apply to the County Court for a Court Order ending the tenancy at any time for certain reasons laid down in law. These include rent arrears, anti-social behaviour and damage to the property.

Your landlord cannot evict you without a possession order from the County Court. If you have problems with your landlord trying to force you out of your home, please contact Allerdale Housing Services on the number shown

House condition complaints

Allerdale Borough Council may be able to assist you if you are worried about the condition of your private rented property. Allerdale Borough Council uses the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) to assess housing conditions.

Downloadable Documents

All documents open in a new window.
File nameSizeApproximate Download time
Adobe PDF format - download the viewerAssured shorthold tenancies in PDF format510 Kb1 min 13 secs @ 56k, 2 secs @ 2mb
Adobe PDF format - download the viewerNotice that you must leave in PDF format344 Kb49 secs @ 56k, 1 sec @ 2mb
Adobe PDF format - download the viewerRenting rooms in someone's home in PDF format464 Kb1 min 6 secs @ 56k, 2 secs @ 2mb
Adobe PDF format - download the viewerThe Deposit Protection Scheme in PDF format62 Kb9 secs @ 56k, 0 secs @ 2mb
Adobe PDF format - download the viewerTop tips for landlords in PDF format141 Kb20 secs @ 56k, 1 sec @ 2mb
Adobe PDF format - download the viewerTop tips for tenants in PDF format140 Kb20 secs @ 56k, 1 sec @ 2mb
Adobe PDF format - download the viewerGaining possession of a property in PDF format141 Kb20 secs @ 56k, 1 sec @ 2mb
Adobe PDF format - download the viewerHow to Rent: the checklist for renting in England in PDF format563 Kb1 min 20 secs @ 56k, 2 secs @ 2mb

Get Adobe Acrobat ReaderDownload Acrobat PDF Reader (external website). Acrobat PDF Reader allows you to view PDF files.

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0303 123 1702

Allerdale Borough Council
Allerdale House, Workington, Cumbria,
CA14 3YJ