Local Housing Allowance

What is it and how do you claim it

Local Housing Allowance (LHA) is the name for Housing Benefit for most tenants of private landlords who claim Housing Benefit after April 2008.

The amount of benefit you get depends on:

  • who lives with you
  • where you live
  • how much money you have coming in
  • what savings you have
  • the amount of rent you pay
  • your age

We will automatically assess your claim using LHA rules if we need to.

There is no separate claim form for LHA if you are making a new claim for benefit, just complete a benefit application form

Find your Local Housing Allowance Rate

You need to know:

How many bedrooms the rules say you need - this can be different from the actual number of bedrooms in the property

Which LHA area your property is in

How many bedrooms

Your LHA rate is the one for the number of bedrooms you need according to the LHA rules. This may be different from the number of bedrooms in the property.

Separate rules apply if you are under 35 and live alone, or if you live in shared accommodation. If you live in shared accommodation (for example you rent a room used only by you and share all other facilities with other households) then you get the shared accommodation rate of LHA no matter how old you are. If you are under 35 years old and live alone, then you will also get the shared accommodation rate unless one of the exemptions applies to you.

Except for people who get the shared accommodation rate, the LHA rules say you are allowed one bedroom for each of the following:

  • a couple
  • a single adult or young person (aged 16 or over)
  • two children under ten of either sex
  • two children under 16 of the same sex
  • any other child
  • a carer who provides you or your partner with regular overnight care but doesn't live with you
  • a child with a severe disability who is unable to share a room
  • a foster child (or children). You can count a room for them for up to 52 weeks even if you are waiting for a placement as long as you are an approved foster carer. You must have such a room in your home in addition to the rooms you need for the rest of your household in order for us to count it towards your LHA rate.
  • a former non-dependant (usually a son or daughter) who is a member of the armed forces and is away on operations and intends to return to live with you.

To help you calculate your Local Housing Allowance use the links below:

There are leaflets on the Local Housing Allowance below, to help you find out more details about the scheme. There are also leaflets to help you set up a bank account.