Local Housing Allowance (LHA) is the way housing benefit is calculated for people who rent from a private landlord. The figure is used to determine the maximum amount of benefit you can receive.
If you have been getting housing benefit since 7 April 2008 or before, the Local Housing Allowance will only apply to you if you:
- change address or
- have a break in your claim
LHA rates are based on:
- the number of bedrooms you need
- the area in which you live
To calculate the number of bedrooms that can be included use the LHA Direct bedroom calculator.
To work out which LHA rate applies to you use the LHA Direct website.
How much Housing Benefit can be paid?
If the LHA rate is lower than your rent, you are responsible for paying the shortfall between your Housing Benefit entitlement and the amount of rent that you are liable to pay.
If the LHA rate is higher than your rent, you will receive up to the amount of your rent liability.
How payments are made
Payments will be made directly into your bank account, two weekly in arrears. We will not normally pay the landlord or agent.
Restrictions for single people aged under 35 years
If you are single, under the age of 35 and rent from a private landlord, you will normally only be entitled to enough Housing Benefit to cover the average cost of a single room in a shared house in your area. This is the case even if you have a place of your own. This rule is often known as the 'single room rent restriction'.
This means that the maximum Housing Benefit you may be entitled to is the rate to cover a single room in a shared house or flat. This means that the most you will be likely to receive in Housing Benefit payments will be £100 per week, unless you are exempt from the changes.
This will affect you if you:
rent accommodation from a private landlord
already get Housing Benefit, or are going to make a new claim
do not normally have children living with you
are under 35 years old
live in a self contained property
This will not affect you if you:
rent from a local authority or housing association
are aged under 22 and have been in care
live in supported housing provided by a housing association, registered charity, voluntary organisation or a county council (in England)
get the severe disability premium in your benefit because you are entitled to the middle or higher rate care component of Disability Living Allowance
need an extra bedroom for a carer who provides you with the overnight care you need but who does not normally live with you
have spent at least three months in a
homeless hostel or
hostel specialising in rehabilitating and resettling within the community. To benefit from this exemption you need to have been offered and accepted support services to enable you to be rehabilitated or resettled in the community
are managed under active multi-agency management under the Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements