Local housing allowance

The Local Housing Allowance (LHA) scheme is designed to be a simpler and fairer way of working out Housing Benefit for people on a low income who live in private rented accommodation and need help to pay their rent.

It is based on:

  • who lives with you
  • what income and savings you have
  • the number of rooms your household needs

The number of bedrooms you need is based on the number, age and gender of people you have living with you.

LHA will not be calculated on the number of rooms in the property or the amount of rent you are charged.

You can calculate how many bedrooms you are eligible for at the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) website.

LHA rates are updated annually each April, you can check your LHA entitlement by visiting the VOA website. Checking your entitlement before you take on a tenancy will help you to decide if you can afford to live in that property.

Single claimants under 35 years old and couples with no dependants who chose to live in shared accommodation qualify for the “shared” rate of LHA.

Local Housing Allowance will not apply if:

  • You rent your home from the Council
  • You rent your home from a Registered Social Landlord or Housing Association
  • Your tenancy started before 1989 or is registered for fair rent
  • You live in supported accommodation
  • You live in a hostel, caravan or houseboat
  • Your rent includes an amount for meals

Payment of Local Housing Allowance

Usually you will have your Local Housing Allowance paid directly to you. It is then your responsibility to pay the rent to your landlord, if you do not pay your landlord may take action against you.

If you do not already have one, you may want to set up a bank account. That way you can pay the rent to your landlord by setting up a direct debit or standing order. You can get advice about opening a bank account from any Solihull Connect Walk-In Centre or by phoning 0121 704 8200.

If you are worried about managing your payment of LHA please contact us because in certain circumstances we may be able to arrange payment directly to your landlord.

Changes to your circumstances

If your circumstances change, you must let us know straight away. Failure to do so could result in an overpayment of benefit which will have to be repaid and your claim may be cancelled. Visit our change of circumstances page for more details on what you need to report to us.