Tenant information

Local Housing Allowance is a way of working out new claims for Housing Benefit for tenants renting accommodation from a private landlord. It also affects tenants already getting Housing Benefit who move into accommodation rented from a private landlord.

It is based on:

  • The area you live in
  • Who lives with you
  • What money you have coming in
  • What savings you have

It is not based on how much rent you pay. The change will only affect you if:

You rent your home from a private landlord and you make a new claim for Housing Benefit with a date of claim after 7 April 2008

OR: You rent your home from a private landlord where you are already claiming Housing Benefit and you have a break in your Housing Benefit entitlement on 7 April 2008

OR: You change your address so that you begin renting your home from a private landlord and you make a new claim for Housing Benefit with a date of claim after 7 April 2008

OR: An in-work claim following an extended benefit payment after 7 April 2008

How much will the Local Housing Allowance be?

The maximum amount of LHA will depend on:

  • Who lives with you
  • What area you live in and the rate of LHA set by the Rent Service for
  • The number of bedrooms you require
  • What money you have coming in
  •  What savings you have

The LHA rates will be set by The Rent Service each month and we will be advertising the rates on the Benefit web pages from April 2008.

Why is the number of bedrooms I have important?

LHA is based on the number of bedrooms you need, not on how much your rent is. The number of rooms allowed depends on who lives with you and so depends on the size of your family

One bedroom is required for each of the following

  • A couple
  • A single person over 16
  • Two children of the same sex under 16
  • Two children under 10 regardless of gender

Payment of Local Housing Allowance

In most cases we will pay LHA directly to you. You cannot choose to have your LHA paid direct to your landlord. We will pay LHA by Bank Credit Transfer (BACS) as this is a more secure way of paying. If you have a bank account you can arrange for your bank to pay your rent direct to your landlord. If you don’t have a bank account you may want to open one, if you would like help or advice on opening a bank account please contact us on 023 9244 6362.

It will be up to you to pay your rent to your landlord. If you are worried about managing your money, ask us if we can help. In special cases we may be able to pay your rent to your landlord.

The new rules do not apply to:

  • Local Authority tenants
  • Tenants of registered social landlords (housing associations) however, with effect from 1 April 2013, the award will be calculated on the minimum number of rooms requiredTenants who have a registered or fair rent
  • Tenancies which commenced before January 1989
  • Protected cases such as supported housing provided by social landlords, charities or voluntary organisations
  • Tenancies in caravans, house boats or hostels
  • Claimants with a continuous claim from before 7 April 2008 (until there is a break in their claim)
  • They also may not apply if the rent includes an amount for meals.