Local housing allowance

If you are a private tenant renting a property or room from a private landlord and you are on a low income, you may be able to claim and receive Local Housing Allowance (LHA).

You can claim LHA by completing a housing benefit claim.

How much will I get?

The amount of housing benefit/local housing allowance rate you receive is based on the number of bedrooms your household needs.

One bedroom is counted for:

  • each adult or adult couple
  • a person who is not a child (aged 16 and over)
  • every two children under the age of 16 if they are of the same gender
  • every two children under age 10 (regardless of gender)any other child
  • a non resident carer if you or your partner need overnight care
  • foster carers will be allowed one additional room so long as they have fostered a child or become an approved foster carer within the last 52 weeks
  • parents with adult children in the armed forces (or reservists) who normally live with them will be able to retain the bedroom for that adult child when they are deployed on operations

To work out how many bedrooms your household you can use the Directgov LHA bedroom calculator. LHA rates are available from LHA-Direct which can be searched by postcode.

Are you under 35?

If you are living alone and under 35 years old you are only entitled to the single room rate. However, certain under 35's are entitled to the one bedroom rate, these include the following:

  • if you receive the middle or highest care component of disability living allowance
  • if you are over 25 and have spent at least three months in a specialist hostel (or hostels) for homeless people and the main purpose of the hostel(s) was to provide accommodation, care, supervision or support to assist rehabilitation or resettlement in the community
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