Local housing allowance

Local housing allowance is a way of calculating your rent allowance, depending on the number of bedrooms that your household requires. The payments, wherever possible, will be made to yourself rather than your landlord. This results in a simpler and fairer system that promotes responsibility and choice.

If you live in council accommodation or other social housing, for example a Futures Housing Group property, local housing allowance will not apply to you.

How is local housing allowance calculated?

The amount of LHA you can get depends on:

  • Who lives with you
  • What area you live in
  • What money you have coming in
  • What savings you have

LHA does not depend on how much rent you pay. The LHA rates may be different depending on what area you live in. These rates are set by an independent rent officer based on local rents. These rates will indicate the maximum amount of LHA you can get and you may get less than the maximum rate depending on your circumstances.

Will my LHA rate remain the same throughout my claim?

Your LHA rate will be reviewed each April, upon review your LHA will be amended to the current rate of LHA, based on your household circumstances.

However, if you have a change in circumstances that requires the LHA rate to be amended we maybe able to review your LHA rate before April.

Any changes that means you are entitled to more or less bedrooms will lead to a review of your LHA rate.

How will local housing allowance be paid?

In most cases LHA will be paid directly to the claimant.

The council will pay it directly into a bank or building society.

You cannot choose to have your LHA paid direct to your landlord.

If you don't have an account you will need to open one and we can provide information to help with this.

In some exceptional cases we may be able to pay your local housing allowance directly to your landlord. You will need to contact our customer services section to discus this further.

Provisions for a 'carer' to be included in the calculation of the LHA bedroom rate

From the 1st April 2011 an extra bedroom will be awarded if the local housing allowance claimant or partner requires 'overnight' care from a non-resident carer and a bedroom is available for their use.

Additional bedroom requirement for child with severe disabilities

From May 2012, regulations allow for one additional bedroom when there is a child with severe disabilities living in the property who is unable to share a bedroom.

Foster carers

In some circumstances an additional bedroom can be allowed in the calculation of the LHA rate for foster carers.

Adult child away on armed forces operations

In some circumstances an additional bedroom can be allowed in the calculation of the LHA rate for an adult child who is away on armed forces operations.

Need further help or information?

Contact the team directly on 01773 841470 or email benefits@ambervalley.gov.uk