Local housing allowance
What is it?
It is a scheme that will affect tenants renting from private landlords. Its intention is to be a fairer and simpler way of calculating housing benefit. Local Housing Allowance (LHA) came into effect on 7 April 2008.
Who will be affected?
- Private tenants making a new Housing Benefit claim.
- Existing claimants who move to become private tenants at a different address.
- Claimants renting privately who have a break in their existing Housing Benefit claim.
At this moment in time you will not be affected by LHA if:
- Your landlord is a housing association.
- Your tenancy started before 1989.
- Your tenancy includes the provision of care, support or supervision and is provided by social landlords, charities or voluntary organisations.
- Your accommodation is a caravan, mobile home or houseboat.
- Your rent includes a substantial amount for board and attendance (eg private hostel accommodation), LHA may not apply. This will be decided by the independent rent officer.
How is LHA worked out?
It depends on:
- who lives with you, and
- your income and savings.
LHA is not based on how much rent you pay. LHA rates are set by an independent rent officer, based on local rents. These rates are the maximum amount of LHA you may get. You may get less than the maximum rate depending on your circumstances.
LHA and the number of rooms you need
LHA rates will be different according to the number of bedrooms you need.
One bedroom is allowed for:
- Every adult couple.
- Any other adult aged 16 or over.
- Any two children regardless of sex, aged under age 10.
- Any two children of the same sex, aged under 16.
- Any other child.
LHA and where you live
Every local council is divided into areas (Broad Rental Market Areas) by an independent rent officer. Calderdale will count as one area. This means that tenants with the same circumstances will be entitled to the same rate of LHA throughout the borough.
For more on Broad Market Rental Areas visit The Valuation Office Agency|.
How is LHA paid?
In most cases it will be paid direct to the tenant, who has responsibility to pay the rent to the landlord. We realise that some people may struggle with this responsibility and help will be available.
The safest and simplest way of paying LHA is into a bank or building society account. If you do not have a bank or building society account, find information about opening one in Money Made Clear| by the Financial Services Authority. Alternatively, you can contact our Customer Service Team who will assist you in opening one.
Need more information?
- E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Call us on 0845 245 8000
- Download a form to request LHA payment to your landlord