The Government has changed Housing Benefit to make it fairer and easier to use. The scheme for lower income tenants living in the private rented sector is called Local Housing Allowance (LHA).
- Local Housing Allowance (LHA) is a way of working out Housing Benefit for some tenants on a low income living in private rented accommodation.
- LHA is based on the number of bedrooms your household requires. (details further on)
- LHA is not based on the rent charged by the landlord, so the Housing Benefit you receive may be higher of lower than the rent you are being charged.
Work out your Local Housing Allowance Rates .
Shared Accommodation Rate (SAR) will apply if you have use of just one room and share the rest of the property, or if you are under 35 and live on your own.
LHA questions and answers
Will I be affected by LHA?
The change will only affect you if you rent your home from a private landlord
What is different about LHA?
LHA is fairer, clearer, gives you more choice and financial responsibility. Most of all LHA is simpler.
How is the LHA calculated?
Each Council will be divided into areas called Broad Rental Market Areas (BRMAs).
How many bedrooms do I need?
LHA is based on the number of bedrooms you need, not on how much your rent is.
How much LHA will I get?
The LHA rate is the rent figure used to work out the tenant's housing benefit.
How will Local Housing Allowance be paid?
LHA will usually be paid directly to you.
- Basic Bank Account Guide (PDF)
You can also get advice from a welfare organisation such as Citizens Advice.
Will there be exceptions?
Some tenants will have problems with the responsibility of paying the rent themselves. In order to safeguard these tenants, the Council will use its discretion to decide whether there is evidence that it is in the tenant's interest to pay their LHA direct to their landlord. If you are worried about managing your money, ask us if we can help.
Further information for landlords and tenants
You can get further information on LHA from Customer Services.
You can also get information at the following websites: