Problems paying your rent



COVID-19 update

If you're a council tenant having trouble with rent payments during this time, please contact our rent team via email 

If your enquiry is urgent, please contact us on 020 8496 3000.


Every now and then we all have problems with money. It’s normal.

If you’re having trouble paying your rent or bills, we can help you.

Get in touch with the Income Maximisation Team today. They can support you with debt and money advice. 

If you’re a council tenant or leaseholder and you need some financial support, the Income Maximisation Team can help you with:

  • debt and money advice
  • help with maximising your income
  • support with your benefits
  • advice finding work
  • help moving to a smaller property

Contact the team today, before money becomes a problem.

Phone 020 8496 3000


Further information Click to get info

There are some other organisations who can give you support about financial/ debt advice.

Citizen’s Advice Bureau

For free impartial advice you can view the Citizen’s Advice debt and money webpage here.

Energy advice

Find out if you can get more affordable gas and electricity bills by switching supplier. 

Search online for ‘Switch my energy supplier’

Adult Learning Service

Get support to improve your work skills, visit the Waltham Forest Adult Learning Service

Welfare reform Click to get info

How will the changes affect you?

This page gives you an overview of the latest welfare reform changes, how you might be affected and what Waltham Forest Council can do to help.

We’ve kept it simple, but the details are subject to change.

Housing Benefit cuts if you have a spare bedroom

This is also known as the under-occupancy charge or bedroom tax

Who is affected?

  • You are of working age
  • If you have more bedrooms than the Government says you need, you’ll have to cover some of the rent (14% of the rent if you have one extra bedroom and 25% for 2 bedrooms or more)
  • A maximum of one room is allowed for an over-night carer who doesn’t normally live with you.

You’re allowed one bedroom for:   

  • each adult or couple
  • each other person over 16
  • two children under 10
  • two children of the same sex under 16
  • adult dependant temporarily away on armed forces duty
  • disabled child who is unable to share a room
  • foster carers.

Typical reduction is of £14 a week

Emergency financial help from the Council

Local Welfare Assistance

Waltham Forest’s Local Welfare Allowance (LWA) scheme is designed to assist the most vulnerable.

This is for payments towards cookers or beds or for general living expenses e.g. money lost or stolen.

There are qualifying conditions, for more information go to:

Discretionary Housing Payments

You may also be entitled to claim. Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP) if you are affected by the under occupation charge, Benefit Cap or have rent arrears.

Benefit Cap   

Your Housing Benefit or Universal Credit will be reduced to ensure that you don’t get more than the Benefit Cap limit.

The total amount a household will be able to claim in benefits is: £442.31 a week in London

The total amount a single person will be able to claim in benefits is: £296.35 a week in London

Exemptions from the Benefit Cap

If you are entitled to any of these benefits and affected by the benefits cap you will be exempted from the cap: 

  • Personal Independence Payment
  • Disability Living Allowance
  • Guardian Allowance Benefit
  • Carer’s Allowance Benefits
  • Universal Credit with Carer’s element

For a full list check go to the GOV.UK website.

Disability Living Allowance

Disability Living Allowance (DLA) has been replaced with Personal Independence Payment (PIP) from April 2013.

If you are in receipt if DLA and your claim is due for renewal, you will be required to claim PIP instead.

Universal Credit

Universal Credit (UC) replaces Income Support, Job Seekers Allowance (ib), Employment Support Allowance (ESA), Working Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit and Housing Benefit.  

There will be only one monthly benefit payment made direct to claimants, who will be responsible for paying their landlords.

Roll out of Universal Credit has already begun in Waltham Forest.

As of April 2017, those aged 18 to 21 who are on UC are required to apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship, gain work-based skills, or go on a work placement six months after the start of their claim.

If you move from Housing Benefit, Income Support, ESA(ir) or JSA(ib) to Universal Credit, your legacy Benefits will continue to be paid for 2 weeks after you claim Universal Credit. This is in place to help with your housing and living costs while you wait for your first payment of Universal Credit. You do not need to pay it back. The extra two weeks of Housing Benefit will not affect how much Universal Credit you get.

Get an advance on your first payment If you need help to pay your bills or cover other costs while you wait for your first Universal Credit payment, you can apply to get an advance to the value of your first estimated payment.

How to apply

You can apply for an advance payment in your online account or through your Jobcentre Plus work coach. You’ll usually find out the same day if you can get an advance.

Have you signed up to our online rent portal? 

It’s simple to join and easy to use. You can check the balance of your rent account anytime; make a payment online simply and safely; check if benefits have been paid into your account and make sure your contact details are up to date and correct.

Simply click the ‘my account’ button at the top of the home page of