Local housing allowance is a system for working out a fair rent for people who rent from private landlords (not the council or a housing association).

If you are a private tenant, the amount you can claim in housing benefit depends on:

  • Who lives with you
  • The area you live in
  • The rate of LHA set by the Valuation Office Agency for the number of bedrooms you need
  • Your income
  • Your savings and capital.

The Valuation Office Agency reviews LHA every April.

How many bedrooms am I allowed?

You are allowed one bedroom for:

  • Every adult couple
  • Anyone aged 16 or over
  • Any two children under 16, and of the same sex
  • Any two children under 10 regardless of their sex
  • Any other child (but not a child whose main home is elsewhere) 
  • A carer who stays overnight (where you or your partner need overnight care).

Long-term claimants

The LHA rules don’t apply to you if you have been claiming housing benefit for the same property continuously since 7 April 2008, and your tenancy agreement has not changed.