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Coronavirus: Rents, Benefits and Council Tax

teal bullet  Flexible payment plans teal bullet  Apply for Council Tax Reduction teal bullet   Benefits advice teal bullet  Food bank vouchers teal bullet  Utility bills teal bullet  Mortgage payments

If your circumstances have not changed:

  • Your council tax pays for essential services for all residents, so it is important that you continue to pay your council tax.

If you need to rearrange your council tax payments for the coming year:

  • We are offering a range of flexible payment plans, including the ability to spread the cost of council tax evenly over 12 months or starting payments from June instead of April.
  • Contact our Revenues Team at to discuss different payment options.  We may agree a special payment plan with you so that your Council Tax for 2020/21 is split over 10 months from June to March 2021, meaning you won't have anything to pay until June.  If you are unable to pay the full instalment for April please contact us and we can agree to defer part of your payment until later in the year.

If you are struggling to pay council tax:

If you can't pay your mortgage:

  • The Department of Works and Pensions (DWP) may be able to help towards the interest payments through Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI).  See on how to apply

If you are in a council property and are struggling to pay your rent:

  • Please continue to pay rent on your council property if your circumstances have not changed.
  • If you are concerned about making rent payments due to loss of earnings or illness please contact the rents team (or call 02380 285 222 option 2 if you have no access to email) to discuss a plan for your rent account.

If you are self-employed and not earning enough to pay your bill:

If you are off sick with Coronavirus:

If the Universal Credit money you get for rent does not cover the full amount:

·         You can apply for Discretionary Housing Payments.  You must either be getting Housing Benefit with us or Universal Credit that includes something towards your housing costs.  Awards are discretionary and we will consider each case.  You can apply at

If you are struggling to pay utility bills:

If you have no money to buy food

  • Contact our Benefits Team on 01590 626121 who will check your eligibility and supply you with a food bank voucher.  You can also contact New Forest Citizens Advice at or by phone on 0300 3309 009.

Other financial measures:

We have been closely monitoring the emerging government guidance in relation to Coronavirus, and the announcements of a range of financial measures designed to support businesses and residents.

These measures include:

  • offering a three-month mortgage holiday for those in need,
  • reimbursing small and medium-sized companies for the cost of statutory sick pay,
  • employers can apply for a grant to cover 80% of retained workers' salaries (up to (£2,500) if they are unable to work due to the coronavirus
  • supplying vouchers for children who currently receive free school meals when schools close, and
  • continuing to fund free childcare entitlements for two, three and four-year-olds.
  • Increases to Working Tax Credit and Universal Credit
  • The government has announced a hardship fund for local authorities to support vulnerable people.  As soon as we receive details of this we will communicate this.

General money advice - for free and impartial money advice see  

Council Tax

01590 646111



01590 646121


Note: We have postponed debt recovery action  until further notice.

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28 May 2020: Council tenants - rent payment plans

Please continue to pay your rent on your council property if your circumstances have not changed. If you are experiencing financial difficulties contact (or call 02380 285 222 option 2 if you have no access to email) and talk to your Tenancy Account Officer about a plan for your rent account. We have been able to work with many tenants to create a sustainable plan to maintain their rent account. If you have not felt able to contact the team then please be assured that it is our aim to work with you, and please get in touch.

18 May 2020: Employment and benefits support

Employment and benefits support. If you are affected by coronavirus or its effect on the economy, there's a wide range of support available. See information form the Dept for Work and Pensions at:

Updated: 4 Jun 2020
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