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Local Housing Allowance

Since April 2008 the Local Housing Allowance (LHA) has been used to work out housing benefit for tenants renting accommodation from a private landlord.

Since April 2008, the Local Housing Allowance (LHA) has been used to work out Housing Benefit for tenants renting accommodation from a private landlord. Your LHA rate depends on where you live and who lives with you.

Tenants Affected by LHA rules:

LHA rules affect private tenants, who after 6 April 2008

  • make a new claim or
  • change of address claim or
  • have a break of one week or more in their Housing Benefit and are not exempt from the LHA rules

Tenants Exempt from the LHA rules:

The following tenancy types are exempt from LHA rules -

  • Council, Registered Providers of Social Housing and Registered Housing Association accommodation
  • Tenancies which started before 15 January 1989
  • Certain supported housing, where the landlord is a registered provider of social housing, charity or non profit making voluntary organisation, that provides the tenant with care, support or supervision
  • Caravans, mobile homes and house boats
  • Hostel dwellers
  • Where the Rent Officer has decided that a substantial part of the rent is for 'board and attendance'.
  • Shared Ownership

LHA Rates are based on:

1. the number bedrooms your household needs (please refer to our Size Criteria page) and

2. the area where you live - known as a Broad Market Rental Area (BMRA)

If you want to work out the LHA rate that applies to you, visit LHA Direct external website & enter the postcode of where you are currently living or are thinking of living.

LHA Direct is not suitable for everyone to use. If you are in one of the groups that have Special Rules please email us for advice about your LHA rate.

Information for landlords

Please see here if you are a landlord and would like to find out more about local housing allowance rates.

Information for tenants

Local Housing Allowance (LHA) is a new and simpler scheme for working out housing benefit. It came into effect on 7 April 2008.

Additional information about Local Housing Allowance & LHA Rates?

Some more information & help from some external organisations.

Why was Local Housing Allowance introduced?

LHA was introduced to increase tenant responsibility, place choice firmly in the hands of tenants and help them develop the skills necessary to make the transition into work.

LHA Rates

In order to know how much your Local Housing Allowance (LHA) will be, you need to know which Broad Rental Market Area (BRMA) your house or flat is located in.

Size criteria

Please see here for information on the size criteria for local housing allowance.

Broad Rental Market Areas (BRMAs)

Please see here for information on BRMAs.

Special Rules for Local Housing Allowance

Please see here to find out about any special rules for local housing allowance.