Current local housing allowance rates
Instead of getting an independent valuation on the property you are renting we will calculate your housing benefit based on the Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rate you require under the benefit regulations.
The LHA rates do not apply to council or housing association tenants, or people living in hostels, caravans, mobile homes and sometimes rooms where meals are included.
Further down this page, you can find out how you can work out your local housing allowance rate, along with other useful information.
The LHA rates will only apply to new and ongoing claims for pensioners and certain working age customers. Most working age people will now have to claim the housing element through Universal Credit and will no longer be eligible to claim Housing Benefit.
We would recommend that you always contact our benefit helpline on 01242 264341 before committing to a tenancy to determine whether you will claim Housing Benefit or Universal Credit.
If you are eligible to make a claim for Housing Benefit, when you submit your application form we will use the yearly LHA rate in operation on the date you made your claim, unless you have asked for backdated benefit. Once set the rate will normally remain unchanged for a year. If you contact the benefit office for a form and return it within one month, then the date you made your claim will normally be the date you asked for the form.
|Number of bedrooms||Weekly LHA rate||Monthly LHA rate|
|Single person aged under 35||£78.59||£341.45|
The figures shown in the table above are the maximum benefit you could get as it will depend on your household income.
How do I work out my local housing allowance rate?
Your rate is worked out by adding up the number of bedrooms you need under the benefit regulations. The number of bedrooms you require is based on who will be living with you at the new address. We do not include foster children, children away at college or children with shared access, unless you also receive child benefit for them.
You are allowed one bedroom for:
- Every adult couple
- Any other adult aged 16 or over
- Any two children of the same sex under 16
- Any two children under the age of 10
- Any other child
Example: A couple with one boy aged 8 and a girl aged 4 will get the two bedroom rate. When the boy reaches 10 they will get the three bedroom rate.
The maximum bedroom entitlement is four. Example: if you are renting a five bedroom property, the four bedroom local housing allowance rate is used in the benefit assessment.
What are the exceptions to these rules?
The following people may need to check with the benefit service before looking for accommodation:
- Single people who are aged under 35 will always receive the shared accommodation rate regardless of what they are actually renting, unless they are getting a severe disability premium, are under 25 and formerly in care, living with a non-dependant, an ex-offender (over 25) subject to active multi-agency management or have spent at least three months in a homeless hostel.
- Single people aged over 35 living in one room with shared use of other rooms will only get the shared accommodation rate. If they are renting a studio or one bedroomed flat then they will get the one bedroom rate.
- Single people or couples with overnight carers who are not part of the family. If you have overnight carers who require a separate bedroom, then we may be able to consider a two bedroomed property if you get Attendance Allowance or the middle or high rate care element of Disability Living Allowance.
- Childless couples living in one room with shared use of other rooms will only get the shared accommodation rate. If they are renting a studio or one bedroomed flat then they will get the one bedroom rate.
- Joint tenants will get the rate based on the part of the property they actually rent eg two joint tenants renting a two bedroomed property will each get the shared accommodation rate.
- Students will still not qualify for benefit unless they fall into one of the eligible groups.
The Local Housing Allowance rates are reviewed yearly and are updated on this webpage.