Local Housing Allowance (LHA)

LHA is a simplified Housing Benefit system for people on benefits or low incomes who rent from private landlords. LHA is based on the number of rooms people are allowed, not how much the rent is. The number of rooms allowed depends on who lives with the tenant. Housing Benefit can however only be paid for a maximum of 4 bedrooms per household.

Who is affected by Local Housing Allowance?

LHA came into force on 7 April 2008 and will only affect those tenants renting from a private landlord who either:

  • Enter into a NEW private tenancy agreement, or
  • Make a NEW claim for Housing Benefit, or
  • Have a break in their Housing Benefit entitlement

If you are a private tenant and in receipt of Housing Benefit on 7 April 2008 you will not be affected by LHA unless there is a break in your Housing Benefit entitlement or you move and enter into a new private tenancy agreement.

Who will not be affected by Local Housing Allowance?
The new rules do not apply to:

  • Local Authority tenants
  • Tenants of registered social landlords (Housing Associations)
  • Tenants who have a registered or 'fair' rent
  • Tenants whose tenancies commenced before January 1989
  • Protected tenants, such as those in supported housing provided by social landlords, charities or voluntary organisation's
  • Tenants with tenancies of caravans, mobile homes, houseboats or hostels

I am a tenant - how much LHA (Housing Benefit) will I get?

The amount of LHA you will get depends on:

  • Who lives with you
  • What money you have coming in
  • What savings you have

The LHA rates are set by an independent valuation officer, based on local rents.

Please use the link below to access the site to find your Local Housing Allowance rate:
www.voa.gov.uk/corporate/RentOfficers/LHADirect.html

How will I receive the LHA payments?

Payments of LHA (Housing Benefit) will be made directly to you and it will then be your responsibility to pay the full rent to your landlord.

If you think you will struggle with the responsibility of paying your rent direct to your landlord, safeguards are in place whereby the Benefits Section can decide whether it is in your interest for them to pay your landlord direct.

If you would like further information on LHA please contact the Benefits Section