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Cumbria Choice

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Who can apply for properties through Cumbria Choice?
    You must have been accepted onto Cumbria’s Housing Register to be able to apply for either rented or low cost home ownership properties through Cumbria Choice.  Anyone aged 16 years or over may apply to join the Housing Register.
  • How do I apply to join the Housing Register?
    You will need to complete an application form.  These can be completed online at Login/Register  or can be obtained from one of the housing organisations.  For contact details go to Partner Landlords
  • How do I know if I have been accepted onto the Housing Register?
    You will receive a letter confirming that you have been accepted onto the Housing Register.  This will tell you the Band you have been placed in and the date from which your application has been registered.
  • Can you refuse to accept me onto the Housing Register?
    There are some people who are not eligible to be included on the Housing Register. These are:
    • Certain people who are subject to Immigration Control under the 1996 Asylum and Immigration Act.
    • Certain people from abroad who are not subject to immigration control but who are not habitually resident in the UK, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man or the Republic of Ireland.
    • People (including members of their household) who have been guilty of unacceptable behaviour that makes them unsuitable to be a tenant.
    For more detailed information contact your Local Authority or one of the housing organisations.  For contact details go to Partner Landlords
  • What are priority Bands?
    Your application will be assessed according to your level of housing need and placed in one of 5 Bands, A to E. We will also take into account whether you have a local connection with Cumbria and the extent of this and whether you are able to afford to resolve your own housing problems.  Within each Band applications are placed in date order.
  • What do I do if my circumstances change?
    It is very important that you tell us of any changes in your circumstances so that we can amend your application.  We will tell you if this results in your application moving to a different Band.  If you move up a Band the date used will be the date you move into that Band.  If you move down a Band the date used will be the date that applied when you were previously in that Band or any earlier date when you were in a higher Band.
  • Do I need to renew my application each year?
    Yes, once a year, normally on the anniversary of your application you will be sent a declaration form, which you must complete and return within 28 days.  If you fail to return the form your application will be cancelled.
  • How often are properties advertised?
    Properties available for rent are advertised each week.  As soon as we are given formal notice that a property is due to become vacant we will advertise it. For more details click Step Two-Choosing, part of our step-by-step guide to using the service.
  • Where are properties advertised?
    Properties are advertised in the following ways:
    • On this website at Property Search
    • In a newsletter available from the Local Authorities and the housing organisations.
  • What information will the property adverts contain?
    The adverts will tell you the landlord, location, size, rent and other features of the property. Where available a photograph of the property or a similar house type will be provided and you will be able to access information about the local area and facilities. The advert will also tell you if there are any special requirements that the applicant must meet, such as age requirements, which Bands may bid for the property and which will be given priority for the property. 
  • How do I apply for a property?
    You can express your interest or bid, as it is also known, in the following ways:
    • Online through our website at Property Search
    • Through our 24hr automated telephone service on 0300 011 2160
    • By texting 07537 402596
  • How many properties can I express an interest in?
    You will be able to express an interest in a maximum of three properties each time properties are advertised. However, you will only be able to express interest in properties that are suitable for your family.
  • How long will I have to bid for a property?
    Properties will be advertised from Thursday and you will be able to register your interest in properties up until midnight the following Tuesday.
  • Will I know how many other people are interested in the same property?
    Yes, when you bid for a property you will be told where you are in the queue. This is likely to change frequently due to other people bidding for the same property. Using this information you may decide to withdraw your bid for one property and bid for a different property for which you are higher placed in the queue. You can do this at any time before the closing date.
  • How do you decide who is offered a property?
    Once the closing date for bids has passed a shortlist of interested applicants is drawn up. The shortlist places the bids for each property in order - by Band, local connection and effective date. The applicant at the top of the list will normally be offered the property. Click Step Three-Offer for more details.
  • If I successfully bid for a rented property, can the landlord refuse to let it to me?
    You may not be invited to view the property for the following reasons:
    • You owe rent or have other housing related debts
    • You are a Council or Housing Association tenant and legal action has been taken against you because you have broken your tenancy conditions
    • You have sufficient resources to solve your own housing problems
    • You have not provided the required documentary evidence to support your application by the date given
    • Your circumstances have changed and this results in a reduction in your level of priority 
    • You have provided incorrect or misleading information, which has resulted in your application being awarded a higher priority than it deserves
  • If I am offered a property, will I be able to view it before making up my mind?
    Yes. You will be given an opportunity to view the property and decide whether you would like to accept it.
  • What if I don’t like the property when I have seen it?
    You will not normally be penalised for refusing a property that you have been offered and will still be able to express interest in properties that become available. However, if you refuse two properties in one year you may be placed in a lower priority band.
  • How will I know what has happened to the properties advertised?
    Information about homes that have been successfully let is published. We tell you the number of applicants that expressed an interest in each property, the Band and the registration date of the successful applicant. To see the results of properties that have been let click Recent Lets.
  • How will this information help me?
    It will give you a better idea of how popular a particular property or area is and how long you would normally have to wait. You can then decide whether to look for other types of property or areas where you may not have to wait as long.
  • What if I become homeless?
    You should contact your Local Authority to arrange an interview to discuss your circumstances. We will work with you to try to prevent you becoming homeless and will discuss your housing options with you. If this is unsuccessful you may be offered temporary housing. You may still express an interest in properties through Cumbria Choice, providing your application has been accepted on the Housing Register, but in most cases it is unlikely that this will be in time to resolve your homelessness, as most applicants will have to wait a long time before being successful.
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