Local housing allowance

Last updated: 18 July 2017

If you're renting a home from a private landlord and you're on a low income, you may be able to claim housing benefit.

Housing benefit for private tenants is called Local Housing Allowance (LHA).

LHA can help towards the cost of rent, but it doesn't cover charges for heating, hot water, lighting, laundry or cooking.

How LHA is calculated

The rate of LHA you receive depends on the area you're living in, and the number of rooms you need. This makes sure people living in the same area as you under the same circumstances get the same amount of support.

You can check the LHA rates for the area you live in.

From April 2017 there will be new LHA rates for your area.

If the amount of LHA you get is less than your total rent, you'll need to either pay the difference yourself or find a new home where the rent is covered by your LHA.

For example, if your rent is £700 a month and you get £500 in LHA, you'll need to pay the other £200 a month.

You can search for LHA rates by postcode or local authority using the Local Housing Allowance Portal.

How to apply

To apply for LHA, contact your local council's housing benefit department.

Your application will be 'means tested', which means the council will check to make sure you aren't able to pay the full rent yourself.

You'll also need to give proof that you have a tenancy agreement, because LHA is only available to people who are renting privately.