Local Housing Allowance (LHA) for private tenants
If you are renting a property or room from a private landlord, we use the local housing allowance to work out how much housing benefit you get.
The amount of housing benefit you get will depend on where you live and who lives with you.
Local housing allowance rates are set for different types of accommodation in each area. The rates range from a single room in a shared house, up to properties with four bedrooms.
We normally pay benefit to the tenant, who will then pay the landlord.
Local housing allowance rates
Local housing allowance rates apply to private tenants making a claim for housing benefit. The current rates are frozen until the end of March 2013. These are the maximum amounts for each category. The actual amount you will be entitled to will depend on your income and savings.
If we pay you direct, you will receive payment every two weeks. For dates, please see Payment dates for tenants [18kb].
The amount of local housing allowance we use to assess your claim will be set once a year and can't be changed even if your rent changes. We will assess the rent change when your local housing allowance is due for review.
Every year, we have to recalculate private tenants' local housing allowance so it stays in line with market rents. When you have been on local housing allowance for a year, we will calculate your benefit with the new rate.
We apply the shared room rate if you do not have exclusive use of more than one room and share any, or all, of a kitchen, a room suitable for living in, and a bathroom or a toilet. This category also applies to all claimants under 35 . There are two exemptions to this rule: if you receive Severe Disability Premium or if you are a care leaver under the age of 22. In these cases, you will be entitled to the one-bedroom rate.
The four-bedroom rate is the maximum amount of local housing allowance available. If you have more bedrooms than this, we will assess your claim using the four-bedroom local housing allowance rate.
We only include bedrooms when we calculate how many rooms a property has, as all tenants are entitled to a kitchen and a bathroom.
The entitlements are one bedroom for every adult couple and every single adult over the age of 16.
A single child is also entitled to one bedroom. Any two children of the same sex aged under 16 and any two children aged under ten need to share a bedroom under the criteria.
You can calculate how many bedrooms you are entitled to using the Directgov Local housing allowance bedroom calculator.
Call us for further information using the contact details on this page.