Working out your local housing allowance if you're a couple

To work out how much benefit you might get you need to find out what Local Housing Allowance rate your benefit will be based on.

If you are part of a couple and do not live with any dependants, your benefit will be based on the one bedroom Local Housing Allowance rate if you live in:

  • a self-contained property
  • shared accommodation but have two or more rooms (bedrooms or living rooms) that no-one else can use

If you are part of a couple and do not live with any dependants, your benefit will be based on the Local Housing Allowance shared room rate if you live in shared accommodation.

By couple we mean a man and a woman who are married or are living together as if they are married, or two people of the same sex who are civil partners of each other and are members of the same household.

By a self-contained property we mean one where you have your own room plus your own:

  • bathroom
  • toilet; and
  • kitchen (or facilities to cook with)

For example, this could be a one-bedroom flat.

Practical examples

  1. Bill and Jane are a couple who have no children. They live in a house where they share facilities. They are entitled to one bedroom for themselves. As they share facilities, this means any benefit they are entitled to will be based on the Local Housing Allowance shared room rate.
  2. Gary and Roger are a couple. They live in a self-contained flat. They are entitled to one bedroom for themselves. This means any benefit they are entitled to will be based on the Local Housing Allowance rate for one bedroom.

You also need to find out if you can get the full amount of benefit. The amount of benefit you can get may be affected by:

  • any money you have coming in
  • any savings you have
  • how much your rent is
  • if we expect anyone living with you to pay towards your rent
  • if you share paying the rent with someone else who is not your partner

Non-dependants

If you claim benefit you can only get it for yourself and your family. If you share a property with someone who is part of your family but who is over eighteen years old your benefit may be reduced. This is because we may expect them to pay towards your rent.