Local Housing Allowance rates
Local Housing Allowance (LHA) is a way of working out Housing Benefit for people on low incomes who rent from private landlords. LHA is based on the number of rooms people are allowed, not how much the rent is. The number of rooms allowed depends on who lives with you.
How much Local Housing Allowance am I entitled to?
That depends on how many bedrooms you are entitled to, where you live and your personal circumstances. Follow the three simple steps below to work out what you may be entitled to:
1. Work out how many bedrooms you are entitled to:
Count one bedroom for the following people living in your property:
- Every adult couple (married or unmarried).
- Any other adult aged 16 or over.
- Any two children under the age of 10.
- Any two children of the same sex aged under 16.
- Any other child.
If you are unsure please see the Directgov bedroom calculator.
Extra rules apply if you fall into one of the categories below:
If you are a single customer under 35
If you are a single customer (with no dependants) under 35 you will be entitled to the standard rate for a room in shared accommodation (this is for a room in a property with shared facilities such as a kitchen and bathroom).
If you are a single customer over 35 or a couple with no children
If you are a single customer over 35 from January 2012 or a couple with no children you will receive either the shared accommodation rate or the one bedroom rate depending on the type of property you rent.
If you are severely disabled
If you or your partner have a disability (and you do not have any dependent children) your benefit will be based on the one bedroom LHA rate regardless of the size of accommodation that you occupy. By severely disabled we mean that you have the Severe Disability Premium included in your benefit assessment.
If you or your partner have a disability (with a long term health condition) and need overnight care from a non-resident carer you may be allowed an additional bedroom within your Local Housing Allowance size criteria.
For more information, please phone us on 0161 912 2220 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are a foster carer
You can get housing benefit for an extra bedroom if you're a foster carer and you have:
- a foster child placed with you
- fostered or been approved within the last 12 months and are waiting for a placement
You can only get housing benefit for one extra bedroom under this rule, regardless of the number of foster children living with you.
If you are a care leaver under 22
If you are a care leaver under 22, or live with a care leaver under 22 who is your partner, and have no dependent children your benefit will be based on the one bedroom Local Housing Allowance rate.
By care leaver we mean someone who was in council care after the age of 15. For more information about what we mean by care leavers, phone us on 0161 912 2220 or email email@example.com
2. Check the Local Housing Allowance rates for the area you want to live in:
To find out the latest Local Housing Allowance Rates nationally visit Directgov.
Remember that the amount of benefit you are entitled to still depends on your circumstances such as any money you have coming in, other people living with you and so on. To find out how your income and circumstances affect your local housing allowance rate, fill in an online benefits calculation.
What if my rent is lower than the LHA rate I am entitled to?
You are only entitled to claim benefit to cover your level of rent.
What if my rent is higher than the LHA rate I am entitled to?
If your rent is higher than the LHA rate you are entitled to you will need to pay the difference or find a cheaper property to rent. For example, if your rent is £100 and the LHA is £90 you will need to pay the extra £10 to your landlord.
You may want to negotiate the level of rent with your landlord, prior to taking on the property. As an incentive, we can arrange to pay your benefit directly to your landlord, if they agree to reduce the level of rent. To apply please fill in a direct payments (affordable rent) form.