If you pay rent to a private landlord we will use the Local Housing Allowance to work out how much Housing Benefit you can get. This means that we do not always use the actual weekly rent you pay to work out your benefit. If your actual rent is higher than the LHA rate we will only use this rate to work out your benefit. So it is important that you find out the rate that will apply to you before deciding whether to rent a property
The LHA rate that applies to you will depend on
Local Housing Allowance rates depend on the number of people living in the property up to a maximum of 4 bedrooms.
One Bedroom required for:
Children whose main home is elsewhere should not be treated as occupiers.
The shared room rate for Local Housing Allowance applies to
Exemptions to the shared room rate
will qualify for the one bedroom rate.
LHA is usually paid to the tenant so that they can take responsibility for paying their rent to the landlord. But if you think you will have problems managing the rent payments you can ask us to pay your benefit direct to the landlord. More details and an application form are available in how we pay benefits.
We will also consider paying your benefit direct to the landlord if it will help you to get a new tenancy or keep an existing tenancy. We will only consider this if the rent is within the LHA rates or we are satisfied that you can afford to pay the difference.
If you are a landlord of a tenant on Housing Benefit, you can ask us to pay the benefit direct to you if the tenant is having problems paying the rent on time. You do not have to wait until the tenant has rent arrears of 8 weeks. Contact us as soon as you know your tenant is having problems paying the rent.
From 1 April 2013 the Government is introducing new rules that set out the number of bedrooms Housing Benefit will pay for if you are renting from a registered housing association.
If you receive Housing Benefit and have spare rooms you may be assessed as under- occupying your home and a reduction could be made to your Housing Benefit. This reduction is based on a percentage of your eligible rent.
The reductions have been set at
The rules allow one bedroom for:
Properties exempt form the restriction rules