Local Housing Allowance for private tenants
Local Housing Allowance (LHA) replaced the Rent Allowance Scheme
from 7th April 2008. Further changes have been made to LHA
from April 2011and January 2012. From April 2013, LHA amounts will
be reviewed every April for everyone rather than on the anniversary
of the claim. This brings them all into line for one annual review
and is part of the Government's Welfare Reform programme.
Local Housing Allowance is the Government's way of working
out Housing Benefit for people who rent from a private landlord.
The amount you get will be based on the number of bedrooms your
household needs, not how much rent you pay.
How is Local Housing Allowance worked out?
This is based on the number of bedrooms your household
needs, not necessarily the number of bedrooms you have. This is
sometimes called the size criteria.
The Government allows a set rate of LHA based on number of
bedrooms. One bedroom allowed each for:
- every adult couple (married or
- any other adult over 16yrs (eg a
- any two children of the same sex,
under the age of 16yrs
- any two children of either sex,under
- any other child
- A non-resident carer (from April
Use our Bedroom Entitlement Calculator to work out how
many bedrooms would be allowed for your household to work out your
Example:- a couple who live in a three-bed roomed
house with two children of the opposite sex, but both children
under the age of 10yrs, would be assessed as needing two bedrooms
and would therefore have their future LHA based on the rate for a
two-bed roomed house.
In the above example, when the elder child reaches
10yrs the LHA rate would increase to the three-bedroom rate. This
is because a bedroom would now be allowed for each
What's the next step?
Once the number of bedrooms you need is worked out, the next
step is to look up the Local Housing Allowance rate for the area
that you live. The Valuation Office Agency has reviewed all areas
of the U.K, containing privately rented accommodation and has set
these areas depending on their access to services, transport,
schools etc. These will be known as Broad Rental Market
Bassetlaw will fall into three Broad market Rental
Areas, they are:
- Mansfield, Worksop and Retford (North Notts)
- Newark & Grantham
Each area will have a weekly LHA rate set by the Valuation
Office Agency and these will be published here on these pages
so that you can check how much your Benefit will be based on. They
will also be published on the Valuation
Office Agency's website.
Local Housing Allowance updated monthly- April
||Shared or under 35 years
What happens when I apply for Housing Benefit?
The Valuation Office Agency will publish figures for each
category (no. of bedrooms) and rental area annually. The
amount used in your benefit calculation will be fixed, unless there
is a change in circumstance which would affect the number of
bedrooms you need or the area you live in. It would still be
based on the fixed LHA rate even if your rent increases during this
twelve month period.
To work out a claim, the Council still needs to collect the same
information and evidence as before for rent, capital and
income. This has not changed. The LHA rate is used in
the calculation of entitlement in the same way as before, so your
income level could affect the amount you are entitled to.
There will be no right of appeal against the LHA rates provided
by the Valuation Office Agency but a tenant would still be able to
appeal to the Council, as usual, about the level of benefit
- You will not be able to get more money
for Housing Benefit than the rent you are charged.
- There will no longer be a five bedroom
Local Housing Allowance rate. The maximum level is for a four
- Single people under the age of 35yrs will only be able to get
the shared accommodation rate from January 2012
How will you pay my allowance?
Under the old rent allowance rules we could pay Housing Benefit
either to the claimant or direct to the landlord or someone
else. Under the new rules we will pay the LHA direct to the
claimant who will be responsible for paying the rent themselves.
New claims will be paid 4 weekly, in arrears.
It may be possible to pay your LHA direct to your landlord if
you can show that your rent has been reduced to the LHA levels or
to help you keep your tenancy. These will be considered on a case
by case basis.
However there may be other occasions where it would be more
appropriate to to make the LHA payments direct to the
landlord. This will be looked at on an individual basis by
the Council and applies to vulnerable tenants and those who think
they may have difficulties paying the rent themselves.
View the Council's Vulnerability Policy.
If you would like to be considered for direct payments to
your landlord please contact us on 01909 533710 or download
and print a form from the forms to
Will I need a bank account?
Yes, It would be better if we could pay your LHA directly into a
bank account. Receiving your LHA this way means you can:
- get your money quicker, with funds clearing straight away
- get your money at cash machines, your bank branch, the post
office and at some supermarkets who offer 'Cashback'
- set up a standing order from your account to pay your rent to
- your money is safer, as cheques can go missing or be
- no more queuing up to cash a cheque or to pay it in to your
bank. Sooner or later,cheques will be phased out
- its cheaper for the Council to pay direct to a bank
The Council will ask you for your bank account
number and sort code. All details are kept strictly
confidential and secure and won't be used for any other
Last Updated - 06/03/2014