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Claiming housing benefit - Local Housing Allowance (LHA)

Local Housing Allowance is the name for housing benefit for people living in the privately rented sector.

LHA does not apply to you if you rent a property from Golden Gates Housing Trust, a registered social landlord or housing association.

LHA is based on a person's income and savings, however LHA is a flat rate allowance based on the size of the household living in a property.

LHA rates are available below, or you can call us to find out the rate applicable to your household size.

Payment of LHA will normally be directly to the tenant, who will then pay the landlord.

How many rooms do I need?

Local housing allowance aims to reflect the current market rates for rented properties in our area and is calculated by looking at how many bedrooms a household needs. The LHA rate that will apply to the tenant will match the number of rooms they need. This does not include bathrooms, kitchens and living rooms.

To calculate the number of rooms needed, you need to count one bedroom for the following people living in your household:

  • a single claimant or every adult couple
  • any other single adult aged 16 or over
  • any two children of the same sex aged under 16
  • any two children under the age of ten
  • any other child.

The maximum number of rooms allowed is four.

Aged under 35 or living in shared accommodation?

If you are single, under 35 and don't have any children then you will only be entitled to the LHA rate for a room in shared accommodation.

If you are single, or a couple not responsible for children, aged 35 or over and you are living in shared accommodation. Then you will only be entitled to the shared room rate of local housing allowance.

If you are aged between 25 and 35, please visit the shared accommodation rates page on the right for more information about how it will affect you.

Payment of local housing allowance

Normally local housing allowance will be paid to the tenant. This will be paid by BACS in to your bank account. There are certain circumstances that we are able to pay the landlord, this is known as 'safeguarding'.

We could pay your landlord if you have special circumstances:

  • learning difficulties
  • rent arrears problems
  • severe debt problems
  • fleeing domestic violence
  • alcohol/drug/gambling addictions.

If you think we should pay your landlord because you think these circumstances apply to you, then please contact us.

You can download the safeguarding strategy [pdf] for further information.

You can download the application form to request payment to be made to your landlord [pdf].

We can now also consider paying your landlord if this would mean your landlord lowering the rent charged to a more affordable amount. Or, if paying your landlord would help you secure a new tenancy we can consider paying them direct. Please contact us for more information.

Bank accounts

As local housing allowance is normally paid to the tenant then you are going to need a bank account. If you do not have a bank account, you will need to go to a high street bank and open a basic bank account.

Rates

2013-14  2014-15  2015-16 
Shared room  Weekly: 
£53.54
Monthly:
£232.01
Weekly:
£49.50
Monthly:
£215.09

Weekly:
£48.87
Monthly:
£212.35

One bedroom  Weekly:
£92.31
Monthly:
£400.01
Weekly:
£92.31
Monthly:
£401.11
Weekly:
£92.05
Monthly:
£399.98
Two bedroom Weekly:
£108.49
Monthly:
£470.12
Weekly:
£109.57
Monthly:
£476.13
Weekly:
£109.32
Monthly:
£475.02
Three bedroom Weekly:
£126.92
Monthly:
£549.99
Weekly:
£126.92
Monthly:
£551.50
Weekly:
£126.58
Monthly:
£550.02
Four bedroom Weekly:
£173.08
Monthly:
£750.01
Weekly:
£173.08
Monthly:
£752.07
Weekly:
£174.81
Monthly:
£759.59

Landlords

Information for landlords about housing benefit and council tax support