Local Housing Allowance

Local Housing Allowance (LHA) is a form of housing benefit for private tenants.

The Government has amended the Local Housing Allowance rates (LHA) from 1st April 2020 to 31st March 2021. Most, but not all LHA rates have increased. If your LHA rate has increased and is at or below your contractual rent you will receive a letter to confirm you new Housing Benefit entitlement.

LHA does not apply to:

  • council tenants (although from April 2019, the LHA rate will affect the amount of housing benefit/universal credit council tenants receive. Find out more about the changes.)
  • tenancies registered with social landlords
  • protected cases, such as supported housing provided by certain local authorities, social landlords, charities and voluntary organisations
  • tenancies which are excluded from current rent restrictions
  • tenancies in caravans, houseboats, and hostels
  • tenancies where the rent officer decides that a substantial part of the rent is for board and attendance such as hotel accommodation

How to apply for local housing allowance

Please complete the Council Tax Support and Housing Benefit claim form:

How payments are made

Payment is made to the tenant, who then pays the landlord. Council tenants are not affected by the LHA and will continue to receive housing benefit/universal credit (although from April 2018, the LHA rate will affect the amount of housing benefit/universal credit council tenants receive. Find out more about the changes).

The amount of money you'll receive is based on:

  • The area you live in
  • Who lives with you
  • The money you and your partner have coming in, including earnings, some benefits and tax credits and things like occupational pensions
  • Your savings and your partner's savings

It doesn't depend on how much rent you pay. If your rent is higher than LHA, you'll need to make up the difference. This won't affect other benefits you may be getting.

The Department for Work and Pensions website (external link) outlines the aims of LHA.

Further information