If you are a private tenant your Housing Benefit will be calculated based on the Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rate which applies to you and your household, and the income you and your household receive.

The LHA rate used will depend on the number of bedrooms you are allowed and not the number you actually have. The maximum bedroom allowance for Local Housing Allowance is four bedrooms, even if you require more.

Find out how many bedrooms you need.

These are the LHA rates for people claiming Housing Benefit, valid from 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020.

Number of bedrooms Weekly LHA rate  
1 £86.30  
2 £102.73  
3 £126.58  
4 £140.62  
Shared accommodation rate
(single under 35s unless you are in certain groups)
£55.02  

If you live on your own without dependent children, are under 35 years old , and live in privately rented accommodation, your Housing Benefit will be no higher than the shared accommodation rate.

Your Housing Benfit will not be restricted to the shared accommodation rate if any of the following applies to you;  

  • you are entitled to the severe disability premium because of your income
  • you are aged under 22 and a care leaver 
  • you are subject to Multi Agency Protection Arrangements  MAPPA
  • you are aged 25 and under 35 and have stayed in homeless hostels providing support, for any time that adds up to 3 months or more.

 

View further information about Local Housing Allowance.

When is Local Housing Allowance not used for Housing Benefit?

Local Housing Allowance is not used if:

  • you are a Housing Association tenant
  • you have a tenancy that started before 1989
  • you live in a caravan, mobile home, house boat or hostel
  • you are living in supported housing provided by the council, a Registered Social Landlord, a charity or a voluntary organisation
  • the rent officer decides that a substantial part of your rent is for board and attendance

If your rent is higher than the local housing allowance rate you should consider asking your landlord to reduce the rent. If you are unsuccessful, you can apply for Discretionary Housing Payments.