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Local Housing Allowance (LHA)

If you rent your property from a private landlord then your benefit will be calculated using a Local Housing Allowance rate.

The rate we apply is determined by the number of bedrooms your household needs and the area the property is in.

View current Local Housing Allowance rates.

The bedroom entitlement calculator will tell you how many bedrooms your household will be entitled to. This considers:

  • the number of people in your household 
  • their age
  • their sex
  • any disabilities they have. 

Local Housing Allowance (LHA) does not apply to:

  • private tenants who have claimed continuously from before 7 April 2008
  • private tenants with tenancies from before 15 January 1989
  • people living in hostels or bed and breakfast accommodation
  • people living in mobile homes or on houseboats
  • if you receive care and support as part of your tenancy.

LHA does not apply to housing association tenants. These tenants are subject to the rules in respect of the Social Sector Size Criteria

Local Housing Allowance can cover your rent and some service charges if you have to pay them to continue living in the property. LHA cannot be used to pay for charges for heating, hot water, lighting, laundry or cooking. Your claim may be reassessed if your circumstances change - you must tell us if your circumstances change.

 

Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rates 

The number of people who live with you is used to work out how many bedrooms you are entitled to. We do not count other rooms such as a living room, kitchen or bathroom. 

You are entitled to 1 bedroom for: 

  • every adult couple (married or unmarried)
  • any other adult aged 16 or over
  • any 2 children of the same sex aged under 16
  • any 2 children aged under 10
  • any other child.

If you live in a property where some of the facilities are shared with someone else, you will be entitled to the shared room rate.

If you are under 35 years of age and live alone then you will be entitled to the shared room rate unless you fall into a group who are exempt from the restriction. 

If you decide to rent a property which is more expensive than the LHA rate for your household, you will have to pay the difference in rent yourself. If the rent is less than the LHA rate, then housing benefit will be calculated using the actual rent charge. The LHA rates are set annually by the valuation office. 

 

Customers with disabilities

You may be entitled to another room if you need regular overnight care and the care is provided by someone who does not live with you permanently.

To be eligible for this you must:

  • have care arranged and have a room available for a carer

you must be in receipt either:

  • Disability Living Allowance (care) at the middle of higher rate
  • high rate Attendance Allowance
  • the daily living component of the Personal Independence Payment
  • the Armed Forces Independence Payment.

If you do not receive a qualifying benefit, then we would need medical evidence from a GP of other medical profession that supports the requirement for regular overnight care.

If you have a disability and your partner is your carer, you will not qualify for another bedroom, when receiving care the care must be provided by someone who does not live with you.

You may be entitled to another bedroom if you have a disability which means you are unable to share a bedroom with your partner.

We may need to ask for more information about your medical condition and how if affects you if you think you may qualify.

 

Children with a disability 

You are entitled to an additional bedroom if you have a child who is unable to share with a sibling due to a severe disability.

We would assess the need for another bedroom by considering:

  • the nature of the child's disability and how the disability may affect other children if they were to share a room. This should be supported by evidence from a healthcare professional

The child must be in receipt of:

  • Disability Living Allowance (care) at the middle of higher rate.

You may be entitled to another bedroom if you have a child with a disability or a non-dependent with a disability who requires overnight care and the care is provided by someone who does not normally live with you.

To be eligible for this you must ensure:

  • you have care arranged and a spare bedroom must be available for the carer
  • an extra bedroom has not already been granted for care to another household member.

The child must be in receipt of:

  • Disability Living Allowance (Care) at middle or higher rate
  • the daily living component of Personal Independence Payments
  • Attendance Allowance
  • Armed Forces Independence Payments.

If you do not receive a qualifying benefit, then we would need medical evidence from a GP of other medical profession that supports the requirement for regular overnight care.

 

View information on our LHA safeguarding policy .
 

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