Benefits and debt advice

Help to pay rent, mortgage and Council Tax

Pay your rent

There are 3 possible ways to get help with paying your rent.

Housing Benefit

Housing Benefit may be an option if you are eligible for a ‘legacy benefit’ such as Employment & Support Allowance, Income Support or Jobseekers Allowance. You may also be able to claim HB if you are getting Penson Credit.

When you claim HB you can also claim help with paying your Council Tax (see below).

Universal Credit

Universal Credit is the most likely way of getting help with paying rent. When making a claim for UC either online or by phone, make sure you give details about your rent, including any service charges you may have to pay.

Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP)

Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) could also be claimed if you are eligible for housing costs through HB or UC. Apply for Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP) on our website. 

When claiming DHP it is important that you state the full detail of your household expenditure. Often people think they should not include detail such as TV subscriptions, alcohol or smoking costs, and they can forget to include insurance costs. These can all be counted as legitimate costs which may improve the chance of being awarded DHP.

Some landlords may have funds available to help tenants pay their rent. Ask your housing officer what may be available.

Council tenants may be eligible for the Tenant Hardship Fund if impacted by the cost of living crisis. Find out about paying your Council rent on our website.

Pay your mortgage

If you are struggling to pay your mortgage then you may get help direct from your mortgage provider. You may be able to agree a three-month mortgage payment holiday. Contact your mortgage provider to find out more.

If you are on a low income and claiming benefits such as Universal Credit, Employment and Support Allowance or Income Support you may be eligible for assistance from the DWP to pay your mortgage interest. See support for mortgage interest for details. The Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI) scheme is a loan that must be paid back. It may be advisable to get advice before entering into a SMI arrangement.

Council Tax

There is assistance available for people on low incomes, living alone or in special circumstances. Find out about help paying your Council Tax on our website.

There are many people who get into debt with their Council Tax and there can be a significant cost to repaying such debt. Never forget to deal with Council Tax matters. There is help available to get you through difficult times.