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Assistance for private tenants and leaseholders

Where to find accommodation and what to do if you have problems with your landlord.

Published on: 8 January 2021

Last updated: 8 January 2021

Local Housing Allowance

Check your Local Housing Allowance

Local housing allowance (LHA) sets the maximum amount of rent that can be paid through housing benefit and universal credit. The best way to check whether the amount of rent the landlord wants is reasonable, is to find out what the LHA rate is.

The LHA amount that applies to you is the maximum you can receive as housing benefit or the housing element of universal credit. The rate depends on the location of the property you are renting and the number of bedrooms you need.

Use the check button below - you'll be offered a search box from which you should select ‘City of Westminster’ (‘Westminster’ is not listed). If you are looking for accommodation outside of Westminster then select a different local authority and if you are looking at a specific property use the postcode search facility.

The site also has a LHA Bedroom Calculator to explain the number of rooms that are used to decide LHA. The number of bedrooms depends on how many people live in your household and the age and sex of any children. For example, one bedroom is allowed for two children of the same sex up to the age of 16 but two children of the opposite sex are eligible for their own room from the age of 10.

Single or couples without children

For single people and couples without children the shared accommodation rate of LHA can apply. This is a lower rate based on the cost of a single room in shared accommodation. If you are single and aged under 35 the shared accommodation rate will apply regardless of the type of accommodation you live in. If you are either single and aged 35 and over or a couple with no children, the LHA rate depends on the type of accommodation you have: if you live in self-contained accommodation the one-bedroom LHA applies but if you live in a single room with shared kitchen and bathroom the shared accommodation LHA rate applies.

Finance

Housing benefit and the housing element of universal credit will normally be paid to the tenant making the claim. This will mean that you must have a bank account.

For more information on basic bank accounts visit the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). If you think you will have difficulty managing rent payments you must make this clear when making a claim for either housing benefit or universal credit.