Local housing allowance

Local housing allowance (LHA) rates are used to work out housing benefit entitlement for most tenants living in privately rented accommodation. 

They are based on the area where the person lives and the number of people living in their household and not the rent they pay or the size of the property they live in. 

How do you work out which LHA rate to use? 

In deciding the LHA rate to be used to work out housing benefit entitlement, we need to consider who lives in the household and how many bedrooms they require. 

The size criteria used to decide the number of bedrooms required 

One bedroom is allowed for: 

  • any adult couple
  • any other adult aged 16 or over
  • any two children of the same sex aged up to 15
  • any two children aged under 10
  • any other child 
  • A non-resident overnight carer (see below) 

Non-resident overnight carer 

Where the person who is not resident provides the claimant or partner with overnight care on a regular basis and there is a spare bedroom for them to use, you may be entitled to an extra bedroom. If you feel that this applies in your case you will need to complete a non-resident carer form

Extra room for severely disabled child 

If you have a child in your household who is severely disabled and is unable to share a bedroom, we may be able to allow an additional bedroom for this child, please complete the 'request for extra bedroom for disabled child' form

Foster children 

One extra bedroom can be allowed where the claimant or partner are: 

  • an approved foster carer who have a child placed with them; or
  • are between placements and have had a child placed with them within the last 52 weeks; or
  • are newly approved foster carers who have not yet had a child placed with them, but only up to 52 weeks from the date of approval 

You will need to provide proof of the above and also complete a foster carer form

Parents of armed forces personnel 

An extra bedroom can be allowed for an adult son, daughter, step-son or step-daughter of the claimant or partner who are in the armed forces and are treated as continuing to live with them, when deployed on operations. 

Prior to their deployment they must have been a non-dependant and there must be an intention for them to return to live with their parents. If you feel that this applies in your case you will need to provide more information including details of the period of their deployment. A non-dependant deduction will not be applied for the period they are deployed on operations however, there may be a non-dependant deduction when they return to live with you. 

Single people under 35 

Single claimants aged less than 35 years, will be entitled to the shared room LHA rate. 

Single claimants aged over 35 years and couples with no dependant children 

Single claimants aged 35 years and over and couples with no dependant children, will be entitled to the one bedroom LHA rate, unless they live in a property where they share any rooms and they would only be entitled to the shared room LHA rate. 

Joint tenants 

The LHA rate for joint tenants will be based solely on the claimant's family, plus any non-dependants, sub-tenants or boarders of the claimant. 

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This page was last updated on 23 June 2016