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Local Housing Allowance (LHA)

Local Housing Allowance is a flat rate allowance based on the size of household and the area in which a person lives for tenants in privately rented accommodation which came into effect from April 2008.

 

LHA Calculation

If you live in council accommodation or other social housing, Local Housing Allowance will not affect you.

 

LHA Calculation

LHA Vulnerability Policy

Provides a safeguard for vulnerable tenants and reassure them that their benefit and rent will be paid

 

LHA Vulnerability Policy

 

2017/18 

local housing allowance

Shared rate/under 35 rate

£53.87

One-bedroom

£97.81

Two-bedroom

£115.07

Three-bedroom

£128.27

Four-bedroom

£160.00

 

 

2016/17 

housing allowance

Shared rate/under 35 rate

£52.30

One-bedroom

£92.05

Two-bedroom

£115.07

Three-bedroom

£128.27

Four-bedroom

£159.95

 

 

2015/16

housing allowance

Shared rate/under 35 rate

£52.30

One-bedroom

£97.81

Two-bedroom

£115.07

Three-bedroom

£128.27

Four-bedroom

£160.00

 

 

2014/15

housing allowance

Shared rate/under 35 rate

£51.78

One-bedroom

£97.81

Two-bedroom

£118.52

Three-bedroom

£127.00

Four-bedroom

£161.10

 

If you are unsure which rate applies to you then please refer to the LHA Calculation Page

 

  • Which landlords will be affected by Local Housing Allowance?

    LHA affects any landlord who enters into a deregulated private tenancy agreement with a person awarded Housing Benefit. A deregulated tenancy is one that commenced after January 1989.
  • What happens if the landlord increases rent?
    If your rent changes you need to let us know as if you are not getting the full LHA rate you may be entitled to more Housing Benefit. 
  • How will the LHA be paid? 

    LHA is payable to the claimant. Claimants will no longer have the choice of direct payments to the landlord. Payments will be made according to the existing payment cycle if the claim is currently in payment of benefit, or four weekly in arrears if they are a new claimant.

     

    The tenant will have to arrange to pay their landlord.  The Council will not talk to the landlord about a claim unless the claimant has given written permission to do so.

     

    Payments will normally be made by BACS (direct transfer to their bank account), which will mean that there are no postal delays to worry about, and the claimant does not have to wait for a cheque to clear. The money is available as soon as it arrives in the claimant's bank account.

     
  • What if there are rent arrears? 

    However if a tenant is in arrears with their rent by 8 weeks or more the landlord has the right to ask for direct payments and in those circumstances the Council would confirm to the landlord the amount of benefit they are entitled to.

     

    If you are a landlord you need to let us know if your tenant is in rent arrears as soon as possible and provide evidence of the arrears. 

  • Previously the rent was paid direct to the landlord, can this continue if the claimant does not want to have the money paid to them?
    If the claimant is unable to take the responsibility for the payment of rent then the Council can make the payments direct to their landlord.

     

    However this will only happen if there is a compelling reason to do so which means that the claimant cannot cope with handling their financial affairs. If the claimant is worried about taking this responsibility then they should talk to the Council about their concerns and explain the situation.  The council will only makes payments to landlords in exceptional circumstances and any such circumstances will require documentary evidence before any decision will be made. Any decision will be reviewed on an annual basis.

     

    If you would like to apply to have payments made direct to your Landlord and meet the criteria

    please complete the Vulnerability Form found on the Vulnerability Page

 

 

Who will not be affected by Local Housing Allowance

The new rules will not apply to:

  • Local Authority tenants
  • Tenants of registered social landlords (Housing Associations)
  • Tenants who have a registered or 'fair' rent
  • Tenancies which commenced before January 1989
  • Protected cases such as supported housing provided by social landlords, charities or voluntary organisations
  • Tenancies in caravans, houseboats or hostels

 

 

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