Advice for private sector tenants

We provide advice for private sector tenants.

House condition

If you live in private rented accommodation and the house or flat you occupy is unsafe or lacking facilities then you should contact your landlord. If your landlord refuses to take action then contact us. The property may need to be inspected.

If you choose to make a formal complaint against your landlord then the council will need to get in touch with them before an inspection takes place.

If there are faults or omissions for which the landlord is responsible then we will formally write to them with an inspection report, listing the hazards found in the property and what corrective action is required.

Housing conditions are assessed in accordance with the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS).

Your landlord will usually be responsible for structural repairs, fixtures and fittings and maintenance of services, gas and electrical installations. This may be detailed in your tenancy agreement.

There is a particular duty on landlords to ensure that electrical installations are safe and all gas appliances are tested annually and certified by a competent person who is on the Gas Safe Register.

Social housing

Your housing provider may have a dedicated repair line and may operate their own contractors to carry out repair and maintenance work on your home. It is important that you tell them as soon as a problem occurs.

In the case of emergencies, such as power failure or flooding from internal pipework, they may provide 24 hour response. They will usually give you details of these services in your welcome pack.

If you are still not happy, you can make a formal complaint to the council about your landlord.

Privately owned houses

If you own your home and are concerned that you cannot continue to carry out essential repairs, or are on low income or benefits, then we may be able to help, by providing advice and information on possible funding sources available to owner occupiers. Please note the Council no longer offers grant assistance for renovations.

Other houses

If an adjacent property that is empty or in poor condition is directly affecting your property, contact us. We may be able to help you deal with the problem.

Redress schemes for lettings agents and property managers

All residential letting and property management agents are required to join one of three government-approved redress schemes.

  • The Property Ombudsman 0172 233 3306
  • The Ombudsman Service (Property) 0330 440 1634
  • The Property Redress Scheme 0208 275 7131.

The following organisations may be helpful if you need legal advice.

  • Citizen Advice Bureau: 01228 633900
  • Cumbria Law Centre: 01228 515129
  • Leasehold Advisory Service: 020 7383 9800.