As your landlord we want to ensure you have the right advice and support when you need it. This section provides information about what is available to you.
Income Officers within our Housing Teams can provide you with free guidance and support.
They can help both new and existing customers on a range of issues, such as:
- Welfare benefit guidance
- Referrals to support agencies
They can also provide information on how to access a range of benefits such as housing and Council Tax Reduction. Alternatively, you can calculate what you may be entitled to using a benefits calculator.
To contact your Income Officer call 0808 169 9301.
The earlier you contact us, the better.
- Try to gather together as much information about your income and outgoings as you can.
- Check to see if you are entitled to any extra help through benefits.
Depending on your individual circumstances, we can:
- Provide information on how to set up affordable and achievable payment arrangements to manage your rent arrears.
- Assist you to complete and manage claims for benefits, including Universal Credit.
- Assist you to claim discretionary housing payment from your local authority (to help cover housing costs).
- Provide information on support agencies in your area and assist with referrals, if required.
- Advice Guide - online money help from the Citizens Advice Bureau.
- Civil Legal Advice - Check to see if you are able to get free and confidential advice as part of legal aid.
- StepChange Debt Charity - a registered charity offering free, confidential advice and support to anyone who is worried about debt.
- HM Revenue & Customs - find out more about the tax credits and benefits you may be entitled to.
- EntitledTo - find out exactly what tax credits and benefits you are entitled to by filling in this online form
- National Debtline - free debt advice and support for people with money worries and debt problems.
- The Money Charity - is a national money education charity which aims to help people handle their money well.
- AdviceUK - AdviceUK is the UK's largest support network for free, independent advice centres.
- Christians Against Poverty - Free local services, run through local churches, to help tackle poverty
Universal credit and benefits
Universal Credit is a new benefit which supports people who are out of work or on a low income. It replaces a number of benefits including Housing Benefit. If your payment includes help towards your rent, you will be responsible for making sure this money is paid to us.
Universal credit video
Universal Credit has been rolled out to all areas. See the video below which explains all you need to know.
With Universal Credit replacing six other benefits, it’s important you are aware of your entitlement and how to make a claim.
Click the link below to register for a free online course which will show you how to make your claim online and what information you will need to do this.
You may qualify for help towards paying your rent through Housing Benefit which is paid by your local council. Please contact them to establish if you are eligible to make a claim. It is available to help people in low-paid employment and people not in work. You will be responsible for providing all the information that your local council asks for in assessing your Housing Benefit claim, and it is very important that you claim as soon as you can. Any entitlement will start from the day you submit your claim. You are also responsible for telling the council when your circumstances change.
Remember - even if you receive Housing Benefit, you're still responsible for ensuring that you pay your rent.
Bedroom tax, also known as removal of the spare room subsidy or under occupancy charge, is a change to the Housing Benefit, or Housing Element of Universal Credit entitlement that states your payment for housing will be reduced if you are deemed to have a spare bedroom/s. You will be affected if you are of working age, between 16 and 64 years of age.
Having one spare room means the amount of Housing Benefit or the housing element of Universal Credit you are entitled to, will be reduced by 14%.
Having two or more spare rooms means the amount of Housing Benefit or the housing element of Universal Credit you are entitled to, will be reduced by 25%.
There is a limit on the total amount of benefit that most people aged 16 to 64 can get. This is called the benefit cap.
If you are affected, your Housing Benefit payment will go down, so that the total amount of benefits you receive will not be more than the cap level. If you are already receiving Universal Credit, the reduction will be taken from the housing element (no reduction will be made to the childcare element).
If you are a pensioner, you will not be affected. You can use the benefit cap calculator to estimate how much you might lose.