If you are a private tenant, Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rates will be used to work out your maximum Housing Benefit.
The amount of benefit you get depends on the number of people in your household and the number of bedrooms you need. Please note that the maximum number of bedrooms allowed is 4.
Local housing allowance rates
| Property type|| April 2016- 31 March 2020|
|Single person under 35, shared rate
Working out your LHA rate
The shared rate shown above applies to you if:
- 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
If the shared rate does not apply to you use the LHA bedroom calculator to work out how many bedrooms you are eligible for based on your circumstances.
The rent I am charged is different to the LHA rate that applies to me
If the rent you are charged is less than the Local Housing rate that applies to you the maximum amount of benefit you can possibly receive is the amount of rent you are charged.
If the rent you are charged is more than the Local Housing rate that applies to you the maximum amount of benefit you can possibly receive is your Local Housing Allowance rate.
Will my LHA rate ever change?
The current Local Housing Allowance rates came into effect on the 1 April 2016. These rates will now remain frozen as they are for a further 4 years. Therefore your rate will not be reviewed or change unless you have a change of circumstance mid year that would affect the LHA rate applicable to you such as a new child joining the household or a non dependent moving in.
How will my LHA be paid?
If you are in receipt of Local Housing Allowance your benefit will be paid directly to you. You can choose to have benefit paid straight into your bank account or by cheque. Your payments will be issued fortnightly. Please be aware that we cannot make payments into a Post Office card account.
What happens if I am unable to receive direct payments?
If you feel unable to accept the responsibility of direct payments due to personal circumstances we may be able to consider making future payments directly to your landlord.
There are many reasons why a person may feel unable to manage their own financial affairs for example medical conditions, learning disabilities, addiction to drugs or alcohol, previous homelessness or debt problems. It is our aim to ensure that vulnerable people with genuine problems are offered the support they need and we advise anyone who feels unable to manage their own affairs to contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org requesting direct landlord payments. Please use 'Direct payment to landlord' as the subject for your email.
In order for us to reach a decision regarding who to send payments to, you will need to send supporting evidence with your request. We will consider evidence from a range of sources such as your GP, social/ support worker, Citizens Advice Bureau and many more.
Advisors at The Citizen’s Advice Bureau will be able to offer you free, impartial advice on all benefit and direct payment related issues. They can be contacted via telephone 08444 994112.