What Is Local Housing Allowance (LHA)?

The Local Housing Allowance (LHA) is a set of rules that determines how much Housing Benefit you can get if you are renting from a private landlord. Eligibility for LHA is the same as it is for Housing Benefit. The LHA was introduced in April 2008.

Under the rules of the Local Housing Allowance, councils will have a maximum amount of money they can give you for your rent. If you receive Housing Benefit under the Local Housing Allowance guidelines then your benefit is reviewed every April (unless you have a change of circumstances).

Local Housing Allowance is based on:  

  • the lowest rent in your area      
  • the number of bedrooms that is considered appropriate for your household (this might not be the same as the number of bedrooms you actually have)    
  • whether you have any non-dependents living with you

Claimants Unaffected by LHA

Local Housing Allowance only applies to people renting from private landlords. You will not be affected if:      

  • you live in a property owned by a registered social landlord
  • you live in supported housing where your landlord is a charitable or voluntary group who also provides you with support or supervision      
  • you started your tenancy before 15 January 1989  
  • you live in a houseboat, caravan or hostel     
  • a substantial part of your rent pays for board and lodging     
  • you have a shared ownership