The LHA rate is a maximum flat rate allowance decided by the Rent Service and is calculated based on the median rent charged by landlords and is dependant upon the size of the property you need
Different LHA rates apply to areas known as Broad Rental Market Areas (BRMA’s).
Local housing allowance rates
Who does Local Housing Allowance apply to?
LHA will generally apply to claims from tenants of a private landlord including:
- new claims for Housing Benefit
- changes of address including moving rooms or flats in the same property
- claims following a break in benefit of a week or more
LHA does not apply to you if:
- your tenancy started before 1989
- you are a Housing Association tenant
- you are a council tenant
- you live in supported housing
- you live in a caravan, houseboat or a hostel
- the Rent Officer has decided that a large part of your rent is for meals cooked for you e.g. you pay for part board
What size of property can I claim for?
LHA rates are broken down into 'Room Rates' which apply depending on the number of household members occupying the property. We decide how many rooms you need according to the Housing Benefit rules.
One bedroom is allowed for the following people:
- a couple
- someone who is 16 or over
- two children under age 10
- two children of the same sex until they are 16
- a child (someone under 16)
How can I find out the LHA rate that applies to me?
The Rent Service monitors the rental market and lets us know the LHA amounts for each BRMA every month.
What if my rent is different to the LHA rate?
The LHA rate is the maximum amount you could possibly get. The actual amount you receive will be based on your income and household.
If the LHA rate is less than your rent then you will have to pay any shortfall to your landlord or try to negotiate a lower rent.
Will my LHA rate change?
The LHA rate will be reviewed every 12 months unless there has been a change in circumstances which means we have to apply a different LHA rate sooner.
Things that may change the LHA rate are:
- people coming to live with you or
- people moving out, or
- children reaching the age that means they need their own room
What if my rent changes?
Increases to your rent do not normally mean a change to the LHA rate but you must still inform us of all changes in your circumstances that could affect the amount of benefit you get. This includes changes to your rent.
See the Housing and Council Tax Benefit change in circumstances pages for more information about the changes you need to tell us.
Apply for housing benefit
If you are moving address within the Luton area and are already claiming Housing Benefit, see the Housing Benefit change in circumstances page for more information on how to claim, or follow the do it on line links to claim on line.
How is LHA paid?
LHA is normally paid by BACS transfer to the tenant