Local housing allowance
Local Housing Allowance (LHA) was brought in by the government on 7th April 2008 as a new way of working out Housing Benefit for tenants renting accommodation from a private landlord. LHA does not replace housing benefit it is just a different way of calculating your entitlement.
It does not affect people living in Derby Homes or housing association properties.
Does Local Housing Allowance apply to me?
You will not be affected by LHA if:
- you are a Derby Homes housing association tenant
- your tenancy started before 15th January 1989
- you live in a caravan, mobile home or house boat
- you live in a hostel
- your rent includes a substantial charge for board and attendance such as hotel or guest house, board and lodge accommodation where a meal or meals are included in your rent
- tenants who are already receiving Housing Benefit before April 2008 as long as they do not have a break in entitlement or change address after April 2008.
Which bedroom category do I fall into?
The amount of LHA you can receive depends on:
- who lives with you
- what area you live in
- what savings you have.
LHA is based on the number of bedrooms you need. One bedroom is allowed for:
- every adult couple
- any other adult aged 16 years old or over
- any two children regardless of sex aged under 10 years old
- any two children of the same sex aged under 16 years old
- any other child.
From 1st April 2012, if you are aged under 35 years old you are entitled to receive the standard rate for a bedroom in shared accommodation. This shared rate will be based on properties where a tenant has the exclusive use of only one bedroom and where the tenancy provides for him/her to share the use of one or more of:
- a kitchen
- a bathroom
- a toilet, or
- a room suitable for living in.
Single over 35 year olds, care leavers under 22 year olds, and couples with no dependant children will be entitled to the rate for a one bedroom property. For example, a one bedroom flat or studio or other kind of self contained accommodation, provided you actually rent a property of at least this size.
However, if you are in this category and decide to live in a property where you do not have either exclusive use of two or more rooms, or exclusive use of one room, a bathroom and toilet and a kitchen or facilities for cooking, you will be entitled to only the shared LHA rate.
Find out more about Local Housing Allowance for private tenants, and calculate your bedroom entitlement on using LHA Direct's bedroom calculator.
Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rates - in pounds £
|LHA rate||1 bed shared||1 bed|
|2 bed||3 bed||4+ bed|
|April 2014||58.24 (for under 35s, unless exempt)||83.91||103.85||116.53||155.77|
|April 2015||58.82 (for under 35s, unless exempt)||84.75||103.56||117.70||155.34|
|April 2016||58.82 (for under 35s, unless exempt)||84.75||103.56||117.70||149.59|
|April 2017||58.82 (for under 35s, unless exempt)||84.75||103.56||117.70||155.34|
|April 2018||58.82 (for under 35s, unless exempt)||84.75||103.56||117.70||155.34|
|April 2019||58.82 (for under 35s, unless exempt)||84.75||103.56||117.70||155.34|
|April 2020||62.83 (for under 35s, unless exempt)||90.90||115.07||136.93||182.96|
What if the rent I pay is the same as the LHA?
If the rent is the same as the amount of LHA to which you are entitled, you will usually get any LHA paid to you and you will have to pay your rent to your landlord.
What if my rent is higher than the LHA?
If your rent is more than the appropriate LHA you will have to pay the difference from your other income. In exceptional circumstances you may be able to get Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) to help pay the difference. Please complete the Discretionary Housing Payment application form online.
What if I cannot manage to pay the rent myself?
Some tenants may struggle with the responsibility of paying their rent and so safeguards have been put in place to make direct payments to landlords in certain circumstances.
If you would like your rent to be paid directly to your landlord please complete an Application for Local Housing Allowance Payment to be made direct to a landlord. We will consider your request based on the circumstances you have told us about on this form.
Payments may be made direct to your landlord where the Council decides that you are:
- likely to have difficulty in managing your financial affairs. This may be because of a medical condition, learning disability or a drug/alcohol problem which would mean you are likely to have difficulty handling a budget and prioritising payments.
- unlikely to pay your rent. This may be because of debt problems or where there is a history of consistently failing to pay your rent in the past without good reason.
Payments of Housing Benefit may also be paid direct to the landlord where:
- your rent arrears have reached the equivalent of eight weeks or more or where deductions are being made from Income Support or Jobseeker’s Allowance to pay off rent arrears.
If your landlord contacts us advising you are in eight or more weeks arrears:
- from April 2014 we will now accept this information over the telephone, the benefits advisor will suspend your claim and write to you with a deadline to respond by. This gives you the opportunity to demonstrate you are not in arrears with your rent.
If we do not receive a response from you by your stated deadline we will make a decision about where to send future payment based on the information we hold.
Please contact us if you need further information.