We know that sometimes circumstances can change, and we’re here to support you if you need help with paying your rent.

There are lots of ways we can help – and we won’t know anything is wrong unless you tell us! Our aim is to help you out of debt so you can pay all of your important bills on time and by doing so improve your mental health and wellbeing, so it is important to let us know if you are struggling to pay your rent or can’t make a payment.

Some of the ways we can help include:

  1. Maximising your potential Council Tax discounts and benefit entitlement through Council Tax Support, Universal Credit or Housing Benefit

  2. Changing your payment date

  3. Changing the frequency of your payments

  4. Making an arrangement to pay over a longer period of time

  5. Accepting nominal payments for a temporary period

  6. Considering a temporary hold on any recovery actions

  7. Holding or stopping bailiff/enforcement action

  8. Referring you onto a Benefit Officer at the Council

  9. Offering a friendly walk in service or private appointment at Bridgwater House or at your home

  10. Refer you onto free independent external help

  11. If you are on benefits and struggling to pay your Rent or Council Tax you may be entitled to additional help , like discretionary housing payments 

If you are struggling financially, please contact your Income Officer on 0800 585 360.

Council Tax Support, Housing Benefit and discretionary payments

These benefits are managed by Somerset Council, who may be able to support you with:

  • Council Tax support – To help people whether unemployed, working and on a low income to pay council tax
  • Housing Benefit – To help people who have reached state retirement age with help towards rent
  • Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) – Extra short term help towards rent
  • Exceptional Hardship Payment (EHP) – Extra short term help towards council tax

Contact Somerset Council on 0300 123 2224 or visit www.somerset.gov.uk.

Independent money advice

The Citizens Advice service offers practical, up to date information and advice on a wide range of topics, including full benefit checks, application assistance and appeals; priority debt and budgeting advice; plus, housing, legal, discrimination, employment, immigration, consumer problems. 

The free advice is available to everyone. You can get advice:

StepChange offers free and expert advice to help you with the first steps towards managing your debts and get the support you need.  For more information visit www.stepchange.org or call 0800 138 1111.

Alternatively, you can use the online debt advice tool via their website. 

If you are worried about debts or have missed other payments, there is also free and independent debt advice available. The government sponsored Money Helper can help you find support.

Breathing Space is a government initiative that provides people struggling with debt (and wider vulnerabilities) a period of protection from debt collection activities, temporarily freezing interest, fees, and enforcement, pausing contact from creditors (in relation to eligible debts), preventing seizure and sale of goods, and preventing some third party deductions. The scheme aims to help people in problem debt to better manage their finances, seek professional debt advice and reach long term sustainable solutions.

There are two types of Breathing Space:

  • Standard Breathing Space will last for a duration of 60 days and
  • Mental Health Crisis Breathing Space will last for the duration of any mental health treatment that an individual is undergoing plus an additional 30 days. There is no time limit on how long mental Health crisis can last.

We are here to help

If you are struggling to pay your rent and bills, we are here to help.

Our friendly Customer Service Team can
help with:
– Balance enquiries
– Debt and benefit enquiries
– Payment arrangements
– Rent statements
– General enquires
– Reporting changes about your rent

Getting help if you can’t afford your energy bills

Your energy supplier can help if you are having difficulties with your gas and electric bills. You can get other grants and benefits too. Your options will depend on your situation.