Local Housing Allowance (LHA)

Pages in Local Housing Allowance (LHA)

  1. 1. You are here: Local Housing Allowance (LHA)
  1. 2. LHA rates

View current LHA rates

LHA details

Those not covered by LHA are:

  • Council tenants
  • Registered Housing Association tenants
  • tenants with a registered 'fair rent'
  • pre 1989 tenancies
  • tenancies provided by a charitable or voluntary organisation which include care, support and supervision
  • tenants of caravans, mobile homes and houseboats.

For LHA, the Rent Service's current valuations of individual accommodation will be replaced. Instead, the Rent Service will set a flat rate Local Housing Allowance for properties in the broad market area based upon the number of bedrooms. This will form the starting point of the Local Housing Allowance calculation.

Entitlement will still be assessed taking into account a claimant's income, capital and personal circumstances and so may be paid at a lower rate than the Rent Service's figure.

Bedrooms

The rate is based on how many bedrooms are needed for the number of people living in the property. It allows one bedroom for:

  • every adult couple
  • any other adult aged 16 or over
  • any two children of the same sex under 16
  • any two children regardless of sex aged under 10
  • any other child.

In some cases, the shared accommodation rate will apply:

  • you are one of a couple, don't live with dependants and rent a room in a shared home
  • you are 34 years or younger and live alone (there are exemptions for severely disabled people, care leavers under 22 years of age or those with a bedroom used by care workers providing overnight care)
  • you are 35 years or over and rent a room for your sole use in a shared home.

It is only the number of bedrooms that are counted. The number of living rooms, bathrooms and so on are not taken into account. Therefore a single parent with a daughter of 12 and a son of 8 will have their benefit calculated from the Local Housing Allowance for a three bedroom property.

If the rent is higher than the Local Housing Allowance the claimant will have to make up the difference themselves.

Payment methods will change with the introduction of LHA

Unless a claimant is vulnerable and will experience great difficulty managing their rental payments or it is improbable that the claimant would pay their rent, the LHA will be paid directly to the claimant.

If a claimant and their representative feels they are vulnerable, benefit can be paid to their landlord. The benefit payable to the landlord will not exceed the eligible rent.

If the LHA is more than the rent the excess will be paid directly to the claimant. However, it would be possible to pay the extra money to the landlord if there were rent arrears, but the landlord would need to prove this to us.

Any request for payment to a landlord will need to be supported by evidence from a third party. Information and evidence will be considered from, amongst others:

  • Social Services or Adult Social Care Teams
  • DWP
  • support or advisory services like the Citizens Advice Bureau or our network of Help Desks
  • GP
  • family or friends.

Evidence from a landlord cannot be considered sufficient, and a decision to pay a landlord must be reviewed periodically.

To safeguard tenants and landlords, we have a policy to work to, which will ensure that any decisions are clear and fair.

Benefit can still be paid to the landlord if a tenant falls into arrears of eight weeks or more. Written proof of the arrears will be required and so landlords should ensure they keep detailed records of the rent account.