Local Housing Allowance

Local Housing Allowance rates are used to calculate Housing Benefits for tenants renting from private landlords.

When Local Housing Allowance applies

Local Housing Allowance applies to most people making a new claim for Housing Benefit.

A new claim for Housing Benefit can be made if you:

  • are claiming for the first time
  • are receiving benefit moving to a new address
  • have had a break in your entitlement to Housing Benefit

A break in entitlement will normally occur where there is a temporary change in circumstances which results in the loss of Housing Benefit. An example is an increase in earnings because of a temporary increase in hours.

Local Housing Allowance will not affect you if:

  • your landlord is a housing association
  • you live in supported accommodation provided by a social landlord, charity or voluntary organisation
  • your rent has been registered as a fair rent
  • your tenancy started before 1989

How it works

Local Housing Allowance is based on the:

  • number of bedrooms you have
  • area you live in

The allowances are set by the Valuation Office Agency and change every April. You will know in advance so that you can find out how much rent your Housing Benefit would pay before you rent a property.

Number of bedrooms

To calculate how many bedrooms you need, allow one bedroom for:

  • every adult couple (married or unmarried)
  • any other adult aged 16 or over
  • any two children of the same sex aged under 16
  • any two children under the age of 10
  • any other child (other than a foster child or child whose main home is elsewhere)

The following are not treated as being part of the household:

  • foster children
  • an estranged partner who visits regularly
  • children who stay for weekends only (for example, when a couple have separated) 

A maximum of four bedrooms can be considered in your application.

If you’re under 35 years old

The amount of Housing Benefit payable to single people under 35 years of age is restricted to the standard rate for a bedroom in shared accommodation.

This may differ if you are a care leaver and/or a former resident of a homeless hostel. 

You will need to notify us if this applies to you.

Contact the Benefit Team in your area:

Where you live

An independent Rent Officer decides what the Local Housing Allowance is for different sizes of property in each area. It will be based on the rents that most people pay in your area.

Local Housing Allowance will pay the same amount wherever you live in your area. For the current Local Housing Allowance rates, you can search the Directgov website.

Search for Local Housing Allowance rates on the Directgov website