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Finding a home - Housing associations

South Lakes Housing and other housing associations offer a range of affordable housing to rent.

To register you need to contact South Lakes Housing who administer Cumbria Choice.

You can register for a housing association home if you are over 18 years old.

You can apply if you are under 18 but someone older will have to agree to cover the cost if you don’t pay the rent or cause damage.

Single people or couples would normally be considered for a one bedroomed property.

Decoration and furniture

Don’t be disappointed at the poor state of decoration in some housing association properties.

You may receive a decoration allowance to help buy paint and wallpaper - ask if it isn’t offered.

You’ll need to furnish and carpet a housing association house yourself. Impact Housing Association runs a furniture scheme where you can buy low cost furniture and white goods at the premises on North Lonsdale Road, Ulverston.

Assured and fixed term tenancies

Housing associations offer assured tenancies.

As long as you keep to the rules of the tenancy agreement the home is yours for life.

You have access to a good repairs service and the rents are generally cheaper than they are for a private property.

Fixed term tenancies and probationary/introductory tenancies are often offered initially to new tenants.

If you stick to the rules it may be transferred to an assured tenancy. 

If you rent your home

Both you and your landlord have rights and responsibilities. These are listed in the tenancy agreement. It is important you understand them.

Some of the main ones are to:

  • pay the rent on time
  • keep the house and garden clean and tidy
  • put the rubbish out as required
  • keep your visitors under control
  • behave reasonably at all times
  • get on with your neighbours
  • keep the noise down
  • prevent illegal activities, including using drugs in your home
  • avoid dangerous activities
  • ask permission to keep a pet if you rent your home (if you do have a pet keep it under control especially if you share a garden or other common area)
  • tell the landlord about damage or repairs you need
  • answer letters from your landlord
  • ask us for help if you ever need it or you can contact Shelter and Citizen’s Advice Bureau.

The landlord has to:

  • allow you to remain in the house as long as you keep to the rules of the tenancy
  • keep premises in a wind and watertight condition
  • keep the drains, gutters and external pipes in good condition
  • keep in good condition installations for the supply of water, gas, electricity, sanitation and water heating
  • paint from time to time external doors, windows, gutters and pipes
  • carry out necessary repairs

Altering or decorating your rented home

In a housing association home you can generally decorate the inside. You must still ask permission to change the building, for example changing the kitchen units or knocking doorways between rooms. 

Leaving a rented home when you want to go

If you decide to give up your tenancy you must:

  • tell your landlord four weeks in advance in writing
  • leave the house clean and tidy
  • finish repairs or decoration you have started
  • take a reading of gas and electric meters
  • tell the gas and electric companies you are leaving and pay the bills
  • tell the benefits agency, housing benefits, catalogue companies etc that you are leaving and give them your new address
  • hand your keys back to the housing association, letting agent or landlord telling them you are leaving and where you are going

Do not:

  • leave without telling your landlord
  • give your keys to friends to use the house
  • post your keys through the letterbox of the housing association, letting agent or landlord
  • leave without making sure your rent and bills are up to date