Work out how much local housing allowance you can claim

Local housing allowance (LHA) is housing benefit for people who rent a home from a private landlord.

LHA rates are based on the number of bedrooms in the property, up to a maximum of 4 bedrooms.

The LHA that we will use to calculate your benefit will depend on how many bedrooms are needed to accommodate the household, not the amount of the rent.

Number of bedrooms you are eligible for

The number of people who live with you is used to work out how many bedrooms you are entitled to. Other rooms, such as living room, kitchen or bathroom are not counted.  You are entitled to one bedroom for each of the following, up to a maximum of 4 bedrooms:

  • Every couple (married or unmarried)
  • Any other person aged over 16
  • Any two children of the same sex aged under 16
  • Any two children aged less than 10
  • Any other child

Use the online bedrooms calculator to work out how many bedrooms you could be eligible for:

Bedrooms calculator

You are also allowed a bedroom if there is a non-resident carer who frequently stays overnight in a bedroom. There has to be a medical need for the care, which must be for you or your partner. This can be shown if you or your partner receives Attendance Allowance, the middle or highest rate care component of DLA or the daily living component of the Personal Independence Payment. Alternatively, a doctor's letter explaining the need should be sufficient.

A separate bedroom may also be considered for severely disabled children, normally expected to share. In order to consider if an additional bedroom can be allowed, we will need to consider:

  • If there is a medical need for care
  • The nature and severity of the disability
  • The nature and frequency of the care required during the night
  • The extent and regularity to which the disability or care affects the sleep of the child expected to share a bedroom.

You may also be entitled to an extra bedroom if you or your partner need separate bedrooms because of a disability.

If you consider that you may be affected by this guidance, please contact us.

Groups whose bedroom entitlement could be different

Others things that may affect the amount of LHA you are entitled to

  • Your income
  • Your savings
  • If any one aged 18 or over lives with you
  • If you have a joint tenancy
  • The amount of your rent

If your rent is not covered in full by the LHA

If your rent is more than your LHA rate you will have to pay the difference yourself.

Other options are:

  • Negotiate a lower rent with your Landlord
  • Look for cheaper accommodation
  • Look for employment/training opportunities.

If you use your benefit for something else

Your benefit is for you to pay your rent with. If you do not use your benefit to pay your rent, your landlord may take you to court or try to evict you and you may lose your home.