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Government's £150 rebate scheme

Eligible households across Allerdale will begin to receive their £150 energy cost council tax rebate from today (Thursday 12 May). 
More than 40,000 households will receive a one-off payment, with the first batch of payments for those in council tax bands A to D who pay for their council tax via direct debit.
There are some households whose Direct Debit details have not been verified and these will follow on as soon as possible. Households who don’t pay by direct debit will receive letters containing information on how they can collect the rebate from their local post office in the coming weeks. 

Find out more about the rebate scheme.

Private renting

Our Rent With Confidence scheme

Allerdale Borough Council wants tenants to rent with confidence and is working hard to improve housing standards in the private rental sector. As part of this, we have developed an Allerdale Rent With Confidence (RWC) website and a five-star rating scheme. 

This will help landlords advertise and manage their properties and provides tenants with choice and understanding of the condition a property is in, and check if landlords and agents are meeting their legal requirements and managing properties and tenancies well.

We are initially starting the scheme in the St Michael's area of Workington, but hope to do extend it to other areas.

Go to the RWC website

What you will need to rent a private property


Most private landlords ask for adeposit 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.

If you have had to pay a deposit, a receipt for the money you have paid


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

Tenancy agreement

You should ask your landlord for a written copy of your tenancy agreement. 

Damages and your deposit

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.

What does 'assured tenancy' mean?

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.

Length of your tenancy agreement

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, check 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  or other benefits to 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.

Can I be refused a tenancy if I am on benefits?

For a long time, letting agents and landlords have been putting in place so-called ‘no DSS’, ‘no benefits’, or ‘no Universal Credit’ policies to prevent renters who receive housing benefit from accessing homes.  

However, a landmark court ruling in July 2020 confirmed that refusing to allow someone to rent a property because they are on benefits is discrimination and therefore unlawful.  

If an estate agent, or landlord, is refusing to accept you because you are on benefits, please contact the housing team here on 0303 123 1702.

More information from the Property Ombudsman  and the  website Landlord Zone.

What if I fall behind with my rent?

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 calling us.

If you are struggling with your rent or any other bills, you can find more advice or assistance on our budget advice page , or give us a call.

I think my rent is too high

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. 

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,  contact Allerdale Housing Services  especially if you are facing being made homeless .

House condition complaints

We 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.

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