Local Housing Allowance (LHA)
Local Housing Allowance is Housing Benefit for those who rent from private landlords.
The rate of LHA you can receive depends on your age, the area you're living in and the number of rooms you need. This makes sure people living in the same area as you under the same circumstances get the same amount of support.
Local Housing Allowance Calculation
Your entitlement to LHA is based on:
- your age (there may be a restriction if you are single and aged under 35)
- who lives with you
- which area you live in
- how much money/savings you have.
The amount of benefit you are entitled to will also be determined by:
- how much your rent is
- whether anyone living with you is expected to contribute to your rent.
If the amount of LHA you get is less than your total rent, you may be able to get a Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) otherwise you will have to pay the difference yourself.
Local Housing Allowance Payments
LHA is paid directly into your bank, Building Society or Credit Union account.
It can also be paid directly to a landlord or agent in the following situations:
- your have rent arrears of 8 weeks or more
- you have deductions from a state benefit paid directly to the landlord or agent for rent arrears
- the tenant has died and it is the decision of the local authority to pay the landlord or agent.
Discretion to pay LHA direct to a landlord or agent can also be applied in the following circumstances:
- payment was previously made direct to the landlord under the rules described above
- it is believed that the tenant is likely to have difficulty paying rent or managing their affairs
- it is believed that it is improbable that the tenant will make payment to the landlord or agent
- the tenant has vacated the property leaving rent arrears (providing that there is a payment of Housing Benefit due and only for any period of any such entitlement).
While your claim is being processed, we can also consider issuing a payment to the landlord or agent for up to 8 weeks. This is called a "payment on account".
Universal Credit is a new benefit which is being introduced gradually. If you are already getting benefits, you will continue to receive them and you will not need to claim Universal Credit meantime.