Paying your rent is your responsibility. If you find it difficult to pay your rent or fall behind with payments you should contact us as soon as possible on 01628 543101. Stop your debts from getting out of control, come to us and we can help you work through your debts and support you along the way.

Three things to do if you can't pay your rent:
  1. Call your Tenancy and Neighbourhood Officer (TNO) to make them aware of your situation. With your TNO, you can talk over the situation and they will be able to offer you some advice and support. You can contact your TNO by calling 01628 543101
  2. If you need assistance finding out what benefits you are entitled to, try where there is a helpline to support you with free confidential and independent advice.
  3. We have a dedicated Welfare and Support Team who are able to provide support and advice on benefits who can help you to maximise your income. Based on the information that you provide we can give you an estimate of the amount of Housing Benefit you may receive. This means that until your claim is processed you can pay us any shortfall between the amount of Housing Benefit and rent due. You can call them on 01628 543101.

Please remember we are here to help you.

If you ignore your rent arrears we will begin proceedings to evict you from your home. Before we do this we will contact you to try and assist you. If you do not make payment, a Notice will be served on your tenancy and we will begin to take action in the County Court to evict you.

Only you have the power to stop this by working with us.

There are lots of people you can speak to who can also give you advice and help if you can’t pay your bills. Here are their details:

  • Money Advice Service

    Free and impartial money advice, set up by the government.

    03444 111 444 

  • Citizens Advice

    Call Local rate 03444 111 444 9-4:30pm

  • National Debtline

    They offer advice on debt problems and free booklets and fact sheets on dealing with debt. 

    0808 808 4000

  • Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP)

    A Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) is for people in need of extra financial assistance on top of their Housing Benefit.  The council receives a set amount of DHP funding each year to assist customers who are charged rent.  DHP's are not continuous but are short term payments.

    What can DHP be used for?

    A DHP can help towards housing costs.  It can be paid if your Housing Benefit does not meet the full rent you must pay.  There can be several reasons for this discrepancy, for example:

    • Your Local Housing Allowance is lower than your rent in private rented property;
    • Your Housing Benefit is reduced because of non-dependent deductions / housing costs contributions;
    • Your Housing Benefit is reduced because of you have a spare bedroom/s in social rented property;
    • Your Housing Benefit is reduced due to the Benefit Cap. 
    What can DHP not be used for?

    You cannot use a DHP to pay for:

    • More than the difference between your Housing Benefit and your rent;
    • Assistance with fuel, water or sewerage charges if these are included in your rent;
    • Food charges for breakfast, lunch and dinner;
    • Any reduction in Housing Benefit due to the recovery of a Housing Benefit overpayment;
    • Assistance with Council Tax;
      Any reduction in Housing Benefit due to a sanction being applied.
    How do the Council decide if I can be paid a DHP?

    They will ask you for a lot of information and, when making a decision, will look at the following things:

    • Your income;
    • Your savings;
    • If anyone else in your house can help you;
    • If you have any loans or debts;
    • If you could manage your money better;
    • If you or anyone in your family is ill or disabled;
    • If you have tried to improve your situation.

    The Council will send you a letter telling you of their decision and explain their reasons.

    Your Local Authority will decide how to treat any income or other resources you have.  When considering whether it is appropriate to award a DHP, a customer must demonstrate that he/she is suffering from financial hardship as a direct result of his/her housing costs.  The Council will take in to consideration a wide variety of circumstances.

    How is DHP paid?

    If your application is successful, the Council will usually make the payment with any Housing Benefit that you get.

    How much can I get and for how long?

    How much you get depends on your circumstances, and each case if looked at individually.  The Council can make a payment for different periods of time, again depending on your circumstances.

    What if I'm not happy with the decision?

    As DHP's are not Housing Benefit, there are no rights of appeal against this decision under the Benefit regulations.  However, if you do not agree with the Council's decision, you can write to them and ask them to look at the decision again.  There is no guarantee for any applicant that they will receive a DHP.

    If you need any further information on DHP's or would like help to make a claim, please contact our Welfare and Benefits Team on 01628 543101


  • Payday Loans

    There are plenty of high street shops that offer payday short-term loans but do you have the full picture?

    It’s not a good idea to borrow from money lenders to pay off any money you owe us or other people. They often charge higher interest charges than the high street lenders such as banks or building societies. This means you might end up owing a lot more money than you originally borrowed.

    Payday loans can be easy to get but interest rates are high. There may be other ways for you to sort out your short-term money problems so think about the alternatives before you consider borrowing.