Welfare Reform

What you can do

Benefits Cap

If you have received a letter from the Department for Work and Pensions stating you may be affected, please follow the advice given within the letter detailing how you can gain further advice and support; in particular regarding assistance with job search.

The Welfare Reform team within the Benefits Section is dedicated to supporting households affected by the cap and can provide advice and discuss possible options for those suffering a loss in their benefit.

Email: wrt@wandsworth.gov.uk

Social Sector Size Criteria

If you are a Council Tenant in a property larger than your needs the Council may be able to assist you to move to a smaller property either through a transfer or mutual exchange. If you wish to discuss this you should contact the Council by: 

Email: housingapplications@wandsworth.gov.uk
Telephone: 020 8871 6812

Other options

Council tenants

If you are a Council Tenant and wish to discuss payment of your rent and arrears or require budgeting advice, contact the Rent Collection Service. 

Email: rents@wandsworth.gov.uk
Telephoning: 020 8871 8987

Negotiate a lower rent with your Landlord

Speak to your landlord or letting agent and ask them to consider reducing your rent (to the new LHA rate).  If you have a good tenancy record, they may be prepared to consider this instead of having to find a new tenant. If you are unsure about approaching your landlord you can contact the Housing Options Service listed below for advice and assistance.

Seek advice from the Council's Housing Options Service

You can receive confidential housing advice from the Council's Housing Options Service. The team are responsible for the prevention of homelessness, and providing general housing and tenancy relations advice.

The service is based at:

Housing Customer Centre
Housing and Community Services Department
90 Putney Bridge Road
SW18 1HR

Opening hours: 9am to 4.30pm (5pm for telephone queries).

For an initial discussion telephone 020 8871 6840 and if necessary an appointment will be arranged for you.

Pay the difference

Pay the difference between the new benefit rate and the rent yourself out of other income.  You should ensure that you have sufficient funds to do this, and don't fall into debt as a result.

Look for cheaper accommodation

Look to move to a property with a cheaper rent. It may be that you will need to consider alternative areas where rents are cheaper.

Discretionary Housing Payments

You may apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP). This is a cash limited fund for those needing further financial help with housing costs.

An application must be made in writing to the Benefits Service and should contain as much detail as possible about the circumstances that make it difficult for you to pay the shortfall in your rent.  Please note that a DHP cannot usually be a long term solution.

Visit GOV.UK for details.

Information sharing

Please note, in accordance with legislation we may share information with social landlords, in order to identify people who may be affected by certain welfare changes so appropriate types of advice, support and assistance may be provided.