How to get extra help with rent from the council

How to get extra help with rent from the council

A house next to a hand with a lot of money in it

Rent is the money that you pay to your landlord to live in your home.

A man in a baseball hat is holding up some house keys next to a front door

Your landlord is the person who owns the place where you live.

A woman is holding her purse upside down looking for money but there is no money left

Rent sometimes costs a lot.

You can run out of money to pay for it.

A man in a wheelchair has his finger in the air with a picture of a light bulb next to him

But there are things that you can do to get more money for your rent.

A picture of the council behind a woman giving some money to another woman. Underneath them is a title saying Discretionary Housing Payment

Your council could give you a Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP).

A Discretionary Housing Payment is extra money to help with your rent.

Discretionary means it is up to somebody to decide if you get something.

A picture of two people at the council. One is thinking about giving no money or giving some money

The council decides:

  • if you should get any money
  • how much money you should get
  • how long you can get it for.
An easy read discretionary housing payment request form with someone ticking to say they already get housing benefit or universal credit

You can ask for a DHP if you get money from benefits to help with rent.

Benefits are money from the government to help pay for things like rent.

A housing benefit leaflet and a Universal Credit leaflet

The benefits that help with rent are called Universal Credit or Housing Benefit.

An open laptop showing a website home page

How to tell the council you need a DHP

You can:

  • visit your council's website and fill in a Discretionary Housing Payment form
A man sits at a desk, writing. He is sat next to a woman who is smiling while on the phone. They are both in a building which is labelled 'Council'
  • go to the council office and ask for a Discretionary Housing Payment form.
A man searching for a webpage on a laptop sitting at a desk

You can find your local council on the government website.

A woman helping a man to fill in a form

You can ask your social worker , support worker or a member of your family to help you fill in the form.

A woman from the council helping someone fill out a form

You can also tell your council that you need help to fill in the form.

The council should have someone who can help you.

A woman is writing down why she needs more money. She is thinking that she has no savings and no other money

In the form you need to tell the council why you need help with rent.

A woman thinking about her housing benefit payment and seeing that she still doesn't have enough money in her purse to pay

Reasons why you need help with rent could be:

  • you do not get enough money each month to pay all of your rent
A picture of a bedroom next to a housing benefit leaflet and a universal credit leaflet that have a red cross over them
  • you live in a privately rented home that has an extra bedroom which your benefits do not pay for.
A council tax bill

Other help you could get to pay your rent

The council may help you with things like money to help you pay your council tax bill.

A woman and a man sit at a desk writing on a piece of paper. The man is helping the woman.

Ask your social worker or support worker to help you:

  • make sure you get all the help you can from the council
In front of a picture of lots of different types of benefit leaflets is the Houses of Parliament and a hand putting money into an envelope.
  • check that you are getting enough benefit money to help with rent.
A girl with Down's Syndrome is speaking to a person in a helpline on a mobile phone

Your social worker, support worker or a trusted friend could see if there is other money you could get.

Sometimes there is money called grants which you can use to help with your rent.

A man with his hand in the air next to a warning sign

Watch out for scams

Scams are when people lie to try and get your money.

A man phoning a woman saying he is from the council but behind him is a computer screen which says Scams are us

Sometimes people will pretend to be from the council.

a woman is talking on the phone to someone with a speech bubble to a bank card number which has a red cross over it

Do not give your personal information over the phone or internet.

A man holding up a sign saying 'Name'. A house on a street next to a self addressed envelope. An email with the email address circled in blue

Personal information means things like your:

  • name
  • home address
  • email address
  • bank details
A woman is explaining something to a man. Both are sitting on chairs facing each other

Ask someone you trust if you think something is a scam.

A man talking to a Mencap helpline adviser on the telephone

Contact the Learning Disability Helpline if you need more help

  • Telephone 0808 808 1111