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 but conditions will apply. 

  • How do I apply to join the Housing Register? 
    You will need to complete the online application form.  This can be completed via the following link Login/Register. If you encounter any difficulties with your application please contact one of the Cumbria Choice partners. For contact details go to About Us.  

  • How do I know if I have been accepted onto the Housing Register? 
    You will receive an email/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:  

  • 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 who are EU, EEA and Swiss citizens who do not have settled or pre-settled status. 

  • 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.  

  • What are priority Bands? 
    Your application will be assessed according to your level of housing need and placed in one of 3 Bands, A to C. 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 your responsibility and very important that you update your application reflecting changes in your circumstances and contact details.  We will notify you if the changes to your application result in movement to your banding.  

  • Do I need to renew my application each year? 
    Yes, once a year an automatic renewal request will be generated. You will be expected to review your application ensuring all your details are correct and still relevant whilst confirming your intention to remain on the housing register. This process must be completed within 28 days of your renewal request being issued. Failure to comply will result in your application being closed and removed from the register.   

  • How often are properties advertised? 
    Properties available for rent may be advertised daily Monday to Friday and each will be advertised for a period of a week. As soon as we are given formal notice that a property is due to become vacant we will advertise it. 

  • Where are properties advertised? 
    Properties can be advertised in the following ways: 

  • 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 

  • How many properties can I express an interest in? 
    If you are in priority bands A and B you will be able to bid on a maximum of three properties each week. However, applicants in band C will have unlimited bids available to them. All applicants will only be able to bid on properties suitable to their needs. 

  • 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. Please be advised preference is given to applicants who will fully occupy a property.  

  • If I successfully bid for a rented property, can the landlord refuse to let it to me? 
    Yes, the landlord may refuse to offer the property to you if you fail to pass a pre-tenancy declaration or have provided false information as part of the application process. Applicants will also be required to pass an affordability assessment. 

  • 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 or have another live bid? 
    You will be penalised for refusing a property unless that refusal is deemed ‘reasonable’ by the partner landlord. Whilst matched to a property all other active bids will be disregarded by other landlords. You cannot be offered another property whilst in the process of viewing another. If you make more than 3 refusals your banding may be decreased, or you will be suspended from the Housing Register. 

  • 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. The Local Authority 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. 

  • Why do I need an email address? 
    Our new system has been engineered to allow our customers more control over their applications and information. By including an email address on your application, you are able to request your login information and reset your password should you need to.  

  • What do I do if I don’t have an email address? 
    If you need help setting up an email address or you're not sure on where to begin, please go to our information page, Email address assistance. From this page you will have multiple options on different providers of free email addresses.