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Paying rent for your council home

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Ways to pay your rent

Please note the seven digit rent account reference (shown on the bottom right hand corner of your rent card) is needed for any payment method you choose to use.

Open a Camden resident account and pay your rent directly and check your balance.

Camden resident account

The first time you want to check your balance, you will need your rent account reference (pay ref). You do not need this every time.

Pay online

Alternatively you can pay online, you will need your payment card or bank account details and your rent account reference (pay ref) every time you make a payment. This can be found on your rent statement or the seven digit number at the bottom right-hand corner of your rent card. 

Pay by direct debit

Set up a monthly direct debit by filling in a direct debit instruction form.

Download: Direct debit mandate (PDF)

This is the simplest way to pay your rent, garage, parking or shed charges. Current payment dates are the 15th, 22nd or the 28th of the month.  If the due sum changes, then the direct debit changes too. We can also take an agreed amount each month to repay any rent arrears.  Return the completed form to:

Rents and Charges Team, Leaseholder Services, London Borough of Camden, Camden Town Hall, Judd Street, London, WC1H 9JE.

Pay by standing order

Download: Rent Standing Order form

Send the completed form to your bank. Your bank will take the correct amount from your account each month and pay it directly to us. Your bank may charge for this service.  Whether paying weekly, fortnightly or monthly you must pay the rent in advance. If your rent changes, you have to tell the bank the new amount to be taken out.  Please advise the rent and charges team if you cancel your standing order.

Pay by telephone

Telephone 020 7974 6104 and pay using a credit or debit card.

Pay at a Post Office

Take your rent card and payment (cash, cheque or debit card) to the cashier. If you pay by cheque, make the cheque payable to Post Office Counters Ltd.

Pay at any PayPoint outlet

You can pay your rent anywhere you see the PayPoint sign.

Pay direct from your Camden salary

If you work for us you can arrange for your rent to be taken straight from your monthly salary. Contact the rents and charges team for an application form.

Pay by internet or telephone banking using your own bank

If you use your own bank's website or telephone banking facility, you will need to give the following details:
Payment details

Beneficiary name:
L B Camden Rents Account
Beneficiary sort code:
Beneficiary account:

Quoting reference: this is the seven digit payment reference for your account with us (it will start with a 1, 2, 8 or 9)

Struggling to pay your rent

If you are having difficulty paying, it is important to contact a member of the rent service immediately at [email protected] or by calling 0207 974 4444.  

We will respond to a tenant’s difficulties by seeking practical and sustainable solutions. If you cannot pay any arrears in full we will discuss affordable repayments. This may involve paying an extra sum with your rent each week or month until the debt is paid off. We can also help you access money, benefits or debt advice if you would like this.

You may be entitled to housing benefit or universal credit.

Find local sources of free confidential advice on the Money Advice Service website

The following national organisations can offer specialist money advice online or over the telephone.

What happens if you don’t pay your rent

If you're behind with your rent, you can expect to hear from us. 

Our aim is to help you maintain a successful tenancy, so when we contact you about your rent, we will always try to understand the reasons for not paying. If you are struggling to pay and can’t afford to pay your arrears in one go, we can help you get back on track by making a realistic repayment agreement. This will mean that you can pay your rent each week, with a bit extra to reduce your arrears. 

If you need more specialist help, or are having general money worries, your neighbourhood housing officer will always be happy to discuss this with you to see how we can help. This help includes arranging debt and benefits advice. 

As well as letters and phone calls, we may send email or text reminders. This page gives you an idea what our messages say: 

  • Texts and emails will usually have the heading ‘Important message from Camden Council’. 
  • To be sure it’s you, we will ask you to enter your postcode before you can open the message. 
  • Information about how to pay on the Camden Webpage and our payment line 020 7974 6104
  • We may also invite you to contact us if you need support or advice, for example if you are struggling to pay.
  • We will never ask for your bank details. If you are worried about any messages you get or think it’s a scam, please contact us on 0207 974 4444.

Court action

We may take court action against you, if you do not contact the rent service team, or do not keep to the agreement you have made to pay the rent.

If we take court action, we will always offer to meet you first to explain what will happen and what your rights are. The next step will then be to serve you with a legal notice. This tells you the amount of rent you owe and gives you four weeks’ warning that we may apply to the county court for a possession order. A possession order gives us the right to end your tenancy, and means you will lose the right to live in your home. Going to court could also mean that you have to pay substantial court costs, currently over £300, and it may affect your chances of getting credit in the future.

Paying for a garage, car space, shed or insurance

If you rent a council garage, car space, shed, or join our household contents insurance scheme, you must keep your payments up to date.  If you get behind you must contact the rent service team straight away. If you do not bring your account up to date, we will write to you, giving you notice that we are taking your garage, car space or shed away, or ending your insurance cover, until you have paid off all your debt.

Universal Credit: paying your Council rent

If you are a Camden Council tenant and receiving Universal Credit (UC) your housing costs will usually be included in your monthly UC payment.  This replaces Housing Benefit.

This means you will be responsible for paying your rent.
In exceptional circumstances, the housing element of UC may be paid direct to your landlord. More details of this are in this DWP leaflet below:

When you make the claim for UC, you will need to know the following information about your home and the rent:

  • the total amount of rent charged;
  • the total amount of eligible service charges;
  • name and address of your landlord (find our details below);
  • rent-free weeks: if you are a Camden Council tenant there are no rent free weeks;
  • how many people are liable to pay the rent (in addition to the UC claimant); and
  • how many bedrooms you have.

If you don’t know these figures you can ask the rent service team

You will also be asked the name and address of your landlord:

Camden Council

Rent Service
Supporting Communities
3rd floor, 5 Pancras Square
London Borough of Camden
Town Hall
Judd Street

Your UC will be paid monthly so you will need to know the monthly amount of rent that is due. This will be made up of the rent and eligible and ineligible service charges.

The easiest way to pay your rent is by Direct Debit.  

You may not get your first UC payment until at least five weeks after making the online claim. If you are in financial need and cannot wait until this payment you can ask for a Universal Credit New Claim Advance. This will be a proportion of the full payment and you will have to pay it back over a period of time. You can apply at the same time as your initial interview at the Jobcentre. If you want to apply after this, you must call the UC Service Centre on 0345 600 0723 within 21 days of the claim for UC.

If you are two months or more in arrears with your rent your landlord will ask for some of your UC payment to cover the arrears.

Extra help towards your rent

If you need extra short term financial support you may be entitled to a Discretionary Housing Payment

Helpful information from

Universal Credit Helpline

Call the helpline if you need help making your claim online or have any questions about UC:

  • telephone: 0345 600 0723
  • textphone: 0345 600 0743

Find out about call charges

Rent and other charges explained

Your rent is made up of:

Net rent

This is the basic charge for your home. This is generally reviewed each year and any increase meets strict guidelines set by the Government. The sum due also depends on the size of your property and the estate services provided.

Estate service charges

Other charges included in your rent could be for caretaking and estate cleaning services, your digital TV connection and for the 24-hour Responsive Security Patrol. There may also be charges for optional services such as contents insurance and garages, sheds or parking spaces.

The separate amounts which make up the weekly charge are shown on the notification letter we send you each year and any time there is a change to the amount you need to pay.

Water charges

We no longer manage water charges on behalf of Thames Water. For any water-related charges, please visit or call 0800 980 8800.

WaterSure Plus

WaterSure Plus provides specific help to residents on certain means-tested benefits and where their water and wastewater bill makes up at least 3% of their household income, whether they have a water meter or not. You can find further information on the WaterSure​​​​​​ website or by calling 0845 9200 888.

Heating and hot water

The council has a district heating network which provides energy in a combination of heating and hot water at most of our estates. This is different from single utility suppliers who only supply gas or electricity.

If the energy in your home is provided by the district heating system and you are a tenant, you pay a weekly charge for heating with your rent. If you are a leaseholder, your heating charge is included in your service charges.

Some homes on the district heating network have a heat meter installed. Find out more about heat meters and how we calculate your charges. 

If your home is not on the district heating system, you pay for your energy directly to your gas/electricity supplier.

Change in charges

When your rent or other charges change we will write to you at least four weeks before the change is due. Any changes in your weekly charge are shown on a notification letter that we send to you.

Rent statements

We will send you a rent statement each quarter which will show all of your charges, account adjustments, payments and weekly balances.

When you check your statement please remember that some payments may not be credited to your account the same week you make them.

You can check your balance online or get a statement of your account by signing up to the Camden Account.  You will need your pay reference number to register, please keep this number confidential.  New tenants will need to wait for a week after the date you signed your tenancy agreement to be able to create a Camden Account.

Sign up for your Camden Account.

You can contact us if you have a query about your rent statement