Local Housing Allowance (LHA)

Local Housing Allowance (LHA) was introduced nationally from 7 April 2008. LHA is used to calculate most private sector claims.

Local Housing Allowance

The LHA looks at the location and the size of the accommodation rather than the rent being charged. In particular LHA rates take into account the number of bedrooms required by the claimant and their household but only up to a maximum of four bedrooms. Claimants with similar circumstances are generally entitled to the same rate of benefit regardless of the rent they pay.

The LHA places a cap on the maximum amount of Housing Benefit claimants can receive for each rate. Maximum LHA Rates were set in April 2011, and these applied until April 2013. From April 2013 the maximum amount we can pay in Housing Benefit is the LHA Rate set by the Valuation Office Agency.

For more information about the maximum rates that applied, please see our LHA from April 2011 page.

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The rate of LHA that is used to calculate a claimant’s Housing Benefit depends on the number of people living in the household. Further details are available in our size criteria section.

LHA rates are be set by the Valuation Office Agency each month. These rates are available on our LHA rates page.

The rates set by the Valuation Office Agency each month are the maximum amounts. The actual amount a claimant will receive depends on their income, savings and circumstances.

Since April 2013 Housing Benefit is based on the rate of LHA that applies from 1 April 2013 and will be reviewed each April unless there is a change in the rate the claimant is entitled to before then.

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Method of payment

Housing Benefit under the LHA rules is normally paid directly to the claimant. In some circumstances we may decide to pay the landlord. Further information on the payment of Housing Benefit under LHA rules is available on our Payments section.

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Claimants unaffected by LHA

LHA rules apply to deregulated private tenancies. They do not apply to:

  • Tenants who live in house boats, mobile homes or caravans
  • Tenants whose landlord is a registered Housing Association
  • Tenants who have regulated tenancies or registered rent
  • Tenants whose rent includes a substantial sum for board and attendance
  • Tenants whose landlord is a charitable or voluntary organisation who provide care support or supervision
  • Tenants who pay rent to Haringey Council
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Further information

Further information about LHA is available on our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) section.