What to do if you're worried about paying your rent or you're in rent arrears.

If you're having problems paying your rent call us on 0117 922 2200 and we'll do all we can to help.

Our phone lines are open 8.30am to 6pm, Monday to Friday.

We can help and advise you on how to deal with your rent arrears and put you in touch with other organisations that can offer specialist help and support if needed.

If you need to contact us out of hours, use our rents enquiry form.

Manage your payments

To help manage your payments, you could:

There are other services which could help you pay your rent:

Recorded messages

If we need to speak to you about paying your rent, we may send you a recorded message to let you know.

If you receive a message from us, you can transfer through to speak to us for free by pressing 1 on your keypad.

The numbers we'll use to call you are:

  • 0117 205 0165
  • 0117 205 0064

If you miss the call, we'll send a text message along with our contact number. 

If you call us, you will be charged but we will ring straight back so you don't run up any unnecessary costs.

We will never ask you for bank or card details over the phone, unless we're processing a payment to your rent account and data protection checks have already been completed. 

We might ask for your name and date of birth.

We will never ask you to send us personal or financial information via text message.

Debt advice in Bristol

We fund a number of independent advice agencies in Bristol that give free specialist legal advice on debt. 

If you've any rent arrears you should seek specialist advice from one of the agencies listed below:

There are also budgeting projects that can help you manage your money better.

Check to see if you can claim any benefits

Use our benefits calculator. The following websites also show whether you might be entitled, how you can claim and how much you might get.

Local advice services

National advice services

Help with budgeting

Increase your income

Get back into work with help from the Move On project

Move On offer free, confidential advice and support with:

  • Carrying out job searches.
  • Creating or updating your CV.
  • Filling in application forms.
  • Carrying out job searches.
  • Interview practice.

Contact Move On for a one to one appointment.

Get back into work or set up your own business

The following websites offer help to find work, get training or start your own business.

Other ways to increase your income

  • Take in a lodger (this may affect your benefit entitlement).
  • Get grown up children living at home to help you with the bills.

Reduce your outgoings

Cut your expenses by shopping around for cheaper deals on bills such as gas electricity, telephone and insurance. You could use one of the websites below that compare prices for these services:

Manage your money

There are ways of spreading costs to fit in with your income, so that it is easier to manage your money:

  • Rent: arrange with the Rent Management Service to pay your rent fortnightly or monthly. Remember that you must pay in advance.
  • Council tax: contact council tax on 0117 922 2900 to rearrange payment times.
  • Gas and electricity: key or card meters, or weekly, monthly payment cards.
  • Telephone: pay as you go.
  • TV Licence: use the TV Licensing payment card to pay weekly or monthly. See the TV Licensing website for more information.
  • Bristol Water and Wessex Water have combined payments. Ask for fortnightly or monthly payment books. If you are on income support water charges can be taken from your benefit. You can also ask for a deduction to be made for arrears off rent and council tax.
  • If you receive income support or job seekers allowance, employment support allowance or pension credit. Ask the Department for Work and Pensions for a weekly deduction to be made from your benefit. This is to pay towards rent, council tax and water charge arrears.

You can also sign up for a Bristol Account where you can check your rent balance and other housing payments online at any time.

Borrowing money or buying on credit

If you're considering borrowing money or buying on credit make sure:

  • You can afford any repayments, now and in the future
  • You do so through a reputable company or credit union. Do not use illegal money lenders.
  • You read and understand all the small print.
  • That you have enough money left to pay your priority bills such as your rent.

Credit unions

What to do if you have creditors

Creditors, such as banks and loan companies may:

  • Try to persuade people to keep up their payments when they can no longer afford to do so.
  • Threaten bailiffs and court action.

You can persuade them to accept a lower figure. If you can't and they take you to court, you should:

  • Get help from a debt advice agency.
  • Fill in the court forms, giving details of your financial situation, especially your income and essential expenses.
  • Offer a monthly repayment that you're sure you can afford to keep up after you've paid your essential expenses, such as your rent.