Local Housing Allowance (LHA) is used to calculate the maximum amount tenants renting from a private landlord can claim in Housing Benefit or Universal Credit. If you live in Council or Housing Association accommodation, you are not affected by LHA and should claim Housing Benefit or Universal Credit in the normal manner.
The amount of LHA you will receive depends on:
- your income
- your savings
- your personal circumstances, and those of the people living with you
- the size of your household
- where you live
The LHA is based on the number of bedrooms you and your household need rather than the rent you are being charged. If you are living in a property with a rent that exceeds the LHA rate you need, you must make up the difference yourself.
Once your award of LHA has been calculated, this rate will last for 12 months unless there is a change in your circumstances that results in a new rate being used. For example, a birth and you need an extra bedroom). If there has been no change in your circumstances, your benefit will be re-assessed on 1 April each year.
You can find more information on the LHA at the Valuation Office Agency (VOA).