Skip to main content
click for the homepage
mobile menu button

Contact Us

apply 2

Apply

report 2

Report

pay 2

Pay

Home > Benefits > Benefits information and advice > Local Housing Allowance

Local Housing Allowance

LHA Entitlement and Payments

Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rates are used to calculate Housing Benefit for people who are on a low income and rent from a private landlord.

You cannot get LHA if:

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

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

You may still be entitled to Housing Benefit to help with your rent. 

Contact us if you need any more information

Payments

The amount of LHA you can get depends on:

  • who lives with you
  • what area you live in
  • what money you have coming in
  • what savings you have.

LHA does not depend on how much rent you pay, but you cannot receive more LHA than the amount you pay for rent.

The LHA rates may be different depending on which area you live in. These rates are set by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA), based on local rents. Remember that you may get less than the LHA rate depending on your personal income and circumstances.

In most cases LHA will be paid directly to you, into a bank or building society account. 

Payments will be made every 2 weeks, or every 4 weeks or each calendar month in arrears.

You can arrange for your bank or building society to pay your rent directly from your bank account to your landlord.

You can no longer choose to have your LHA paid direct to your landlord, except in some very exceptional cases. These cases would be 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. 

When you know how much LHA you are entitled to receive, you can work out how much rent you can afford to pay which can help you find accommodation which suits you.

The Council will not talk to your landlord about your claim unless you have given written permission to do so - unless you are in arrears with your rent by eight weeks or more. In these circumstances the landlord has the right to ask for direct payments and so the Council would then confirm to your landlord the amount of benefit to which you are entitled.

Change of circumstances

If you have a change of circumstances that affects the number of rooms, you are allowed then your LHA figure can be changed. 

Appealing against LHA rates

You cannot appeal against the level of LHA that the VOA has set. This rate is used for everyone qualifying for that room requirement.

Further information

Visit gov.uk for more information on understanding the LHA. 

Local Housing Allowance Rates

The Bedroom Entitlement Calculator can help you work out which rate you are eligible for. 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. Please see Single Room Rent Restriction for more information.

The Bedroom Entitlement Calculator can help you work out which LHA rate you are eligible for.

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 bedroom 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.

If you think this may apply to someone in your household please complete the Bedroom for Overnight Carer(s) form

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.

You may also be able to receive an extra room allowance if you have a disabled person who is unable to share a bedroom.

The disabled person must be in receipt of the care component of Disability Living Allowance at middle or high rate; Personal Independence Payments (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

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 and your claim will be assessed on the LHA rate applicable on the date your claim is made. Unless there is a change to your household your claim will continue to be based on this amount.

Single Room Rent Restriction

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.

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-dependents
  • anyone receiving middle or high rate Disability Living Allowance (DLA), or Attendance Allowance or either rate of Personal Independence Allowance (PIP) and no one can be getting Carer's Allowance for looking after you.
  • 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, an extra room will be allowed when calculating your LHA entitlement.

Exemptions where the single person is:

  • under the age of 25 and was formerly in social services care under a court order [section 31(1)(a) of the Children's Act] which applied after their 16th birthday
  • under the age of 25 and was formerly provided with accommodation by social services [under section 20 of the Children's Act]
  • aged 25 and over, and is an ex-offender subject to the MAPPA Scheme
  • aged 16 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.

For more information, please contact us

Payments Direct to Landlord

We must issue all payments of Local Housing Allowance (LHA) directly to the tenant.

However, in some special cases we can decide to pay the landlord instead. This may be where a tenant has difficulties managing their own affairs, or where they are in rent arrears of eight weeks or more.

If you feel that the above criteria applies to your tenant, you can ask us to consider direct payment to you as the landlord by completing the LHA Landlord Payment Request Form

Download guidance on LHA Payment Safeguarding