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Local Housing Allowance

Your Local housing allowance (LHA) affects how much help you get when renting from a private landlord.

LHA is used to work out both:

How your LHA rate is worked out

Your LHA rate depends on:

  • your age
  • who you live with
  • rent levels in your area
  • other things, like a disability or care history

It is based on how many bedrooms you can claim for under the rules.

The number, age and sex of the people in your household also affects your LHA rate.

Most single private renters under 35 only get the shared accommodation rate of LHA - even if you do not share your home with others. But there are exceptions and some single renters qualify for a higher LHA rate.

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Calculating LHA

We calculate your allowance using current Local Housing Allowance rates at the time of your claim. These rates are set by government for each Local Authority area.

The amount you're entitled to isn't related to the amount of rent you pay - we base our calculation on the number of bedrooms your household needs. We reassess this after a year, or if your circumstances change.

If the standard LHA rate is:

  • less than your rent - you will have to pay the difference, however, you may be able to request a Discretionary Housing Payment if you need extra help paying your rent
  • more than your rent - you'll only get the actual amount of your weekly rent

Note: We may reduce your Housing Benefit based on:

  • your level of income, or
  • if there's any other adults (or non-dependants) living in your household

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Old style Housing Benefit

You'll usually receive 'old style' Housing Benefit, rather than LHA if you've:

  • lived in your property before LHA was introduced (7 April 2008), and
  • continuously received Housing Benefit

You won't get LHA if:

  • your tenancy started before 1989
  • you live in a caravan, mobile home or houseboat

You can still get 'old-style' Housing Benefit to help with your rent in these circumstances.

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Also see

Benefits appointments

Contact us for an appointment to get benefits advice in person at West Offices.

Make an appointment

Sign language interpreting service

If you use British Sign Language (BSL) you can access our BSL interpreting service when visiting West Offices, and when contacting us remotely.

BSL Interpreting Service