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Local housing allowance (LHA)

LHA is the way of working out housing benefit for private tenants.

Twenty pound note and coins

Anyone who rents their home, from a private landlord, who makes a new application and is entitled to Housing Benefit is paid under the LHA scheme rules.  

Who is not affected by LHA?

LHA does not affect the following:

  • local authority landlords who let to 'council tenants'
  • tenancies with registered social landlords
  • some supported housing
  • tenancies which started before 15 January 1989
  • tenancies in caravans, houseboats or hostels
  • tenancies where the Rent Officer has decided that a substantial part of the rent is for board and attendance

Payments of LHA

Most people are paid their LHA direct into their bank or building society account by BACS. They can then set up a standing order or direct debit to pay their landlord.

You should be able to open an account either at a bank or building society to get your LHA. For further information on bank accounts please refer to the money made clear website

If you have difficulty opening an account, please let us know as we may be able to help or alternatively contact the Hillingdon Citizens Advice Bureau »

When will my LHA change?

We will review your LHA rate at the beginning of April each year.

Your maximum housing benefit will be the LHA rate that applies for the year. This may mean your benefit increases, decreases or stays the same. This will depend on the LHA rates The Rent Service give us at that time.

This review of your claim will happen automatically, there is no need for you to ask for it. We will write to you to let you know what your housing benefit will be following the review.

How many rooms are allowed for each household?

Information on how many persons can occupy a bedroom.

 One bedroom is allowed for the following:

  • each adult couple
  • any other adult (aged 16 or over)
  • any two children under 10
  • any two children of the same sex aged 10 to 15
  • or for any other child.

Read more about room allowances »

Change in circumstances

A new LHA rate normally applies from the Monday after the date of change.

  • if the tenant moves
  • if a child reaches age 10 or 16
  • if a household member arrives or departs
  • if the relationship between existing household members changes
  • if a member of the household dies

How much are the LHA rates?

The LHA rates are set by the Rent Officer on 1 April of each year up to a maximum of four bedrooms for each area (known as Broad rental Market Areas). From April 2016 the Government has frozen the LHA rates for 4 years.  The rates for 2016/17 are the same as for 2015/16 and they will not change until at least April 2020. LHA rates from April 2016 [25kb]

The LHA rate is based on the number of rooms the household needs, not the number of rooms in the property (although this may be the same). If the LHA is more than the rent charged then the housing benefit will be assessed using the actual rent.

Previous LHA rates

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Article utilities:  Bookmark and Share Print Print this page Last updated: 01 Apr 2016 at 13:21