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Home > Benefits > Benefits information and advice > Local housing allowance

Local housing allowance

Local Housing Allowance(LHA) rates are used to calculate and pay Housing Benefit for people who rent from a private landlord. We still take into account your income and any savings you may have.

The amount of LHA that applies depends on who lives with you and what area you live in. LHA does not depend on how much rent you pay, but you cannot receive more LHA than the amount you pay for rent.

The Bedroom Entitlement Calculator can help you work out which rate you are eligible for. However please note that single people under 35 years of age may only be entitled to the '1 bedroom shared rate' and not the '1 bedroom' rate. See below for more information.

Bedroom Entitlement Calculator

Select the calculator and check the Local Housing Allowance Rates for the number of rooms you are entitled to.

You will be entitled to one bedroom - up to a maximum of four - for each of the following:

  • a couple or lone parent
  • other people aged 16 or over
  • two children under 16 of the same sex
  • two children under 10
  • any other child

You may be able to receive an extra room allowance if you have a disabled person who is unable to share a bedroom as described in the categories above. The disabled person must be in receipt of the care component of Disability Living Allowance at middle or high rate; PIP daily living, at either rate, Attendance Allowance or Armed Forces Independence Payment.

If you think this may apply to someone in your household, please complete the Extra Bedroom form below.

Apply for an extra bedroom for a disabled person

An extra bedroom can also be allowed for a regular (non-resident) overnight carer. To qualify, you or your partner must require, and actually receive, regular overnight care from a carer, or team of carers, and be receiving middle or high rate care component of Disability Living Allowance, PIP daily living, at either rate, Attendance Allowance, Armed Forces Independence Payment or otherwise be able to show us that you require overnight care.

Complete the Additional Bedroom for Overnight Carers form below to provide details if you think this may apply to you.

 Apply for additional Bedroom for overnight carer/s

The amount of 'eligible rent' used in the calculation of your Housing Benefit will be either the appropriate LHA rate or the actual rent you are charged per week, whichever is lower.

The rates are set by the Valuation Office. Unless there is a change to your household your claim will continue to be based on this amount.

Payments

In most cases LHA will be paid directly to you, into a bank or building society account. Payments will be made fortnightly, 4-weekly or monthly in arrears. You can arrange for your bank or building society to pay your rent directly from your bank account to your landlord.

You cannot choose to have your LHA paid direct to your landlord, except in some very exceptional cases, where there are reasons that mean you cannot cope with handling your financial affairs. Our Vulnerability & Safeguarding Guidance explains the situations where we will consider paying the landlord on your behalf.

Restrictions for those aged under 35

A "Single Room Rent" restriction applies to all single people up to the age of 35. This means that any single claimant, with no partner or care of a child, aged up to 35, will have their LHA set at the "1 Room" shared rate and not the "1 Bedroom" rate.

There are exemptions to this restriction:

  • anyone with a partner;
  • anyone with care of a child (e.g. receiving Child Benefit)
  • anyone with one or more non-dependants
  • anyone receiving middle or high rate DLA Care, with no-one getting Carers Allowance for looking after them
  • if you need an extra bedroom for a carer who provides you with the overnight care you need and they do not normally live with you. Download the Additional Bedroom for Overnight Carers form below to provide details if you think this may apply to you.

There are also exemptions where the single person:

  • is under the age of 22 and was formerly in social services care under a court order [section 31(1)(a) of the Childrens Act] which applied after their 16th birthday
  • is under the age of 22 and was formerly provided with accommodation by social services [under section 20 of the Childrens Act]
  • is aged 25 and over, and is an ex-offender subject to the MAPPA Scheme
  • is aged 25 and over, and has spent at least three months in a hostel provided to prevent homelessness

Please ask us for details if you think you may be exempt from the Single Room Rent restriction.

When Local Housing Allowance does not apply

  • If you are a council or housing association tenant
  • If you have a tenancy that started before 1989, or
  • If you live in a caravan, mobile home or house boat
  • If you live in a hostel

If you are in board and lodging or charity-supported accommodation you may also not get LHA.

But you may still be able to get Housing Benefit to help with your rent. Please ask us if you need any more information.