The Local Housing Allowance (LHA) is the scheme for paying Housing Benefit, initially to tenants renting from private landlords.
Initially LHA will only affect:
- private tenants making a new claim for Housing Benefit
- existing benefit customers who change address to a privately rented property
- customers in privately rented accommodation who have a break in their existing benefit claim
Local Housing Allowance gives tenants more choice in where they live and is fairer because:
- You get the same amount of benefit as people in the same circumstances as yourself
- you can decide how much of your benefit you want to spend on renting a property
- you can find out how much Local Housing Allowance you will get before you rent a property
- Your benefit paid to you and it is up to you to pay the rent to your landlord
In most cases payment of LHA will be made direct to the tenant and it will be their responsibility to pay the rent to the landlord. The money will be paid direct into bank accounts or by crossed cheque. If you do not already have a bank account you may need to open one.
How is LHA worked out?
The Local Housing Allowance is a flat rate housing allowance based on the number of people who live with you and the number of bedrooms needed. Rooms such as kitchens or bathrooms are not counted.
One bedroom is allowed for:
- every adult couple
- any other adult aged 16 or over
- any two children regardless of sex aged under 10yrs
- any two children of the same sex aged under 16yrs
- any other child
If you are a single person under 35yrs and do not have a non dependent living with you, only the shared LHA rate will be used to calculate how much benefit you are entitled to. if you are a joint tenant you will qualify for a rate of LHA based on your family unit, inclusive of any non dependents or boarders.
However a single claimant, irrespective of age, sharing facilities will only qualify for the shared accommodation rate of LHA. These rates will be used to calculate how much benefit you are entitled to.
How much will I get?
The amounts of Local Housing Allowance will be notified to us by the Rent Service each month. These can be viewed below or directly at the council offices. The maximum number of bedrooms that can be allocated to the household has been restricted to four.
Rates for 2018/19
- Shared Room - £61.38 per week
- 1 Bedroom - £86.30 per week
- 2 Bedroom - £109.32 per week
- 3 Bedroom - £126.58
- 4 Bedroom - £163.16
Single people under 35 years will only be entitled to the Room Rate. Singles or couples over 35 will be entitled to the one bedroom rate unless they are actually living in shared accommodation.
You should also be aware that there has been no changes to the Housing Benefit entitlement regulations. The amount of actual benefit you receive will still depend on the money you have coming in, any capital you have and who lives with you.
What if I am unable to manage my own affairs?
If you are unable to manage you affairs we shall try to safeguard your benefit payments. This means that your benefit could be paid to a "third party", for example a son or daughter, who could then pay the rent on your behalf.
In certain circumstances the authority can pay benefit direct to the landlord. This can only happen when a professional body has provided proof that a customer is not able to manage their own affairs either through illness/severe learning difficulties or severe debt problems.
In these circumstances the authority will require additional information from the customer or from any appointee. Our Safeguard Policy is available to see here
- Safeguard Policy (Word Document, 0.19 Mb)
Last updated: Wed 28th March, 2018 @ 16:36