Help with household costs


It’s important that you pay your rent to prevent arrears accruing. 

If you have rent arrears, or are worried about paying, we would urge you to contact your landlord immediately to discuss your situation. 
If you’re a Council tenant, our dedicated Rent Income Officers will deal with any concerns you have confidentially and sensitively. We understand there’s lots of reasons why you may fall behind with your rent payments, for example a change in your circumstances, or you may be struggling to manage your bills. Rent Income Officers can discuss options with you and even arrange for a Financial Inclusion Adviser to carry out a benefit health check to make sure you’re getting everything you’re entitled to, including budgeting advice if 

Visit our rent pages

Email the team

Phone our dedicated helpline 01620 827 528


It’s also worth checking you’re claiming all financial support you may be entitled to:

  • Pensioners on a low income may qualify for Housing Benefit (HB) to help towards rent and some service charge costs. Apply for Housing Benefit online
  • Working age people out-of-work or on a low income may be entitled to Universal Credit (UC), including some help towards your housing costs. Apply for Universal Credit online
  • Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) may also be available. You must be entitled to HB or the housing costs part of UC to get a DHP. Apply for DHP online


Council Tax

It’s important that you pay your Council Tax as this helps us to pay for essential services we provide to all local residents.

If you have fallen behind with your payments or are struggling to manage your bills, get in touch with our Council Tax & Debt Management team straight away.

Officers can check that you are receiving any Council Tax discounts or exemptions you may be entitled to, or even discuss a repayment arrangement with you to spread out your payments over a longer period of time if that helps.

If you have accrued Council Tax arrears, along with other debts, Officers can provide information about the Scottish Government’s Debt Arrangement Scheme. The scheme can provide someone in debt much-needed breathing space and allow them to repay all of their debts in full through a debt payment programme, set up over an extended period of time.

Don’t ignore the problem, get in touch as soon as possible and we’ll do what we can to help.

Visit our rent pages

Phone 01875 824 314

Council Tax Reduction

You may be entitled to a Council Tax Reduction (CTR) if you have lost your job, had your hours reduced or are on a low income. You can apply if you own your home or rent. The amount you receive will vary based on your circumstances. CTR is not automatically awarded even if you are claiming UC so you need to apply separately for this.

Apply online for a Council Tax Reduction

Managing energy bills and heating your home

It is estimated that around 13,500 households (22%) in East Lothian are living in fuel poverty with a Scottish national estimate of 619,000. For the most up to date information on the support available please keep up to date with our website.

Our leaflet Managing energy bills & heating your home is available to download and provides lots of helpful information for anyone struggling with their energy costs, regardless of whether you own your own home or are in rented or social accommodation. The leaflet also provides lots of contact information for organisations outwith the council who can help and provide support.

Access to food

There is a network of organisations providing support to people who are struggling to access food. This varies from fresh or tinned ingredients to pre-prepared meals which can be reheated. Some will require a referral from Social Work or another professional, whereas others you can refer yourself to.

Find out more about the support that is available online: 

Access to food

Managing Energy Bills