Local Housing Allowance

Local Housing Allowance (LHA) is housing benefit for tenants in privately rented accommodation. It simplifies the rules and allows tenants more freedom both financially, and to choose where they live.

LHA is a flat rate allowance based on the size of household and the area in which a person lives. The amounts of LHA are set by the Vaulation Office Agency and their website shows the LHA rates for anywhere in the country. The amount allowed will also be based on a person’s income and savings and proof of a valid tenancy.

Payment will normally be to the tenant, who will then pay the landlord. However there are exceptions to this. The Safeguard Policy (below) explains the circumstances where payment can be made to the Landlord directly.  Please note, if you are claiming Universal Credit, your Housing Element entitlement will be based on these figures for privately rented accommodation, however the payments will almost always be paid directly to the tenant.

Prospective tenants can shop around with their allowance. If they find a property they like with a rent that exceeds their LHA they will need to make up the difference themselves.

How many rooms are you entitled to?

The number of rooms you are entitled to claim for depends on the number of people who live in your household. Please use the following as a guide and do not count the living room, kitchen or bathroom.

You are entitled to one bedroom for:

  • every adult couple
  • any other adult aged 16 or over
  • any two children of the same sex aged under 16
  • any two children aged under 10
  • any other child

Up to a maximum of 4 bedrooms.

Current Rates

The rates below are the calendar monthly amounts your Benefit calculation will be based on from 1st April 2020 when you apply for help with your rent:

Area 1 Bedroom * 1 Bedroom 2 Bedroom 3 Bedroom 4 Bedroom

South West Herts Area

 £416.49

£800.00

£1000.01

£1300.01

£1699.99

South East Herts Area

£356.48

£749.99

£925.01

£1199.98

£1399.99

Luton Area

£341.49

£625.02

£775.02

£974.98

£1150.01

  Stevenage / North Herts Area

£341.49

£674.99

£850.02

£1049.98

£1300.01

If you are a single person under the age of 35 years and living alone, you will only be entitled to the 1 bedroom* rate in the first column, regardless of whether your accommodation is self-contained or not.

Housing Benefit for most single people under 35 is restricted to the amount for a room in shared accommodation.

* This column relates to the amount which will be paid where a tenant has the sole use of 1 bedroom, but has to share the other facilities, such as the kitchen and bathroom with others who are separate independent tenants. The other columns show the amounts for self-contained accommodation.

Not sure which area applies to you?

Each local authority is divided into Broad Rental Market Areas (BRMA). Rent Officers set individual LHA rates for each BRMA. These are published by the local authority so that landlords and prospective LHA customers can be clear about the amount of rent the allowance will cover.

If you are not certain which area applies to you, you can find out from the Rent Officer Service.