Singles under 35 years of age

You're only entitled to the shared accommodation rate if you:

  • are a single person
  • are aged under 35 years
  • do not have dependants or non-dependants living or treated as living with you

A non-dependant is someone who normally lives with you on a non-commercial basis. This could include adult children, a relative or friend.

The shared accommodation rate will still apply if you have any other person other than a dependent or non-dependant living with you. This could include a boarder or joint tenant.

If aged 25 or over 

The shared accommodation rate does not apply to:

  • some ex-offenders, and 
  • some people who have lived in a homeless hostel for at least three months

Singles over 35 years of age and couples with no dependent children

You'll be entitled to the one-bedroom LHA rate, if you rent a property of at least this size.

You'll only be entitled to the shared accommodation LHA rate, if you choose to live in a property where you don't have exclusive use of:

  • at least two rooms (counting only bedrooms and living rooms) or
  • one room and of a bathroom, a toilet and a kitchen or cooking facilities

Care leavers under 22 years of age

You'll be entitled to the one-bedroom LHA rate whether or not you share accommodation and regardless of its size.

This applies if you are:

  • a care leavers under 22, or
  • you live with a care leaver under 22 who is your partner, and
  • you have no dependent children

When care leavers reach the age of 22, they will fall within the definition of single person aged under 35 years and will be subject to the shared accommodation rate.

Persons who are severely disabled

You'll be are entitled to the one-bedroom LHA rate, whether or not you share accommodation and regardless of its size, if you are:

  • under 35 year olds
  • a single person over 35 or
  • a couple who has no dependent children, and
  • who have the Severe Disability Premium included in their benefit assessment

You are likely to have the severe disability premium if you are receiving:

  • middle or high care component of disability living allowance or 
  • attendance allowance or 
  • benefit treated as attendance allowance e.g. an increased payment for attendance in industrial injuries benefit or war disablement pension

Persons who need overnight care

If you or your partner receives overnight care, an additional bedroom can be allowed where:

  • the claimant or partner require overnight care
  • the overnight care is provided by a non-resident carer and
  • there is a spare bedroom in the property that is used by the carer(s)

A person who requires overnight care is likely to be a person who:

  • receives attendance allowance or
  • receives the middle or highest rate care component of disability living allowance or
  • if they do not receive either of the above, has provided the local authority with sufficient evidence to show that this type of care is required.

Joint tenants

If you are a joint tenant with your partner only, normal size criteria will apply.

If you are a joint tenant with anyone other than your partner, there are several different size criteria rules that might apply.