Local Housing Allowance (LHA)

Local Housing Allowance

The Local Housing Allowance (LHA) was introduced in April 2008 and is used to calculate Housing Benefit (HB) for most private tenants. There have been several changes to LHA rules since that date. The information on this page is based on current rules.

The LHA looks at the location and the size of the accommodation rather than the rent being charged. The maximum amount we can pay in HB is the LHA Rate set by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA). Rates are capped at a maximum of four bedrooms.

LHA rates take into account the number of bedrooms required by a claimant and their household (up to the four bedroom maximum). Claimants with similar households are entitled to the same rate regardless of the rent they pay. The amount of HB a claimant can get depends on the LHA rate they are entitled to and their financial and household circumstances.

Rates

The LHA rate used to assess Housing Benefit (HB) depends on the number of bedrooms needed by the claimant and family members who live with them. This is known as the claimant's 'size criteria'. Further information about the number of bedrooms a claimant can get is on our size criteria page.

LHA rates are set annually by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) and are reviewed every April. The rates set by the VOA are the maximum weekly amount we can pay in HB. The actual amount a claimant will get depends on their income, savings and household. Further information about LHA rates in Haringey is available on our LHA rates page.

Method of payment

Housing Benefit (HB) under the LHA rules is normally paid directly to the claimant. In some circumstances we may decide to pay the landlord. Further information about who we can pay is available on our Payments page.

Claimants unaffected by LHA

LHA rules apply to most private tenancies but not tenants:

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

Appealing an LHA decision

You or your landlord can appeal against:

  • a decision to pay you and not the landlord
  • a decision to pay the landlord instead of you

You cannot appeal against decisions:

  • about the level of LHA set by the Rent Service
  • about the boundary of a Broad Rental Market Area (BRMA)

Appeals must be made in writing within one month of the date of our decision. You must tell us the date of the decision and what you are appealing against. You should also provide information and evidence to support your appeal. Please visit our Appeals page for further information.

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Page last updated:

9 February 2020

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