How much of your rent counts for Housing Benefit

We may not use all the rent your landlord charges to work out your Housing Benefit:

  • If you are a private tenant and the Local Housing Allowance rules apply to you, we use a flat rate rent, based on the size of accommodation you need. The Valuation Office Agency (used to be called The Rent Service) set the amount
  • If you are a private tenant and the Local Housing Allowance rules don't apply to you, we ask the Valuation Office Agency for a valuation for your property. They will look at whether the rent is too high for the property, too high for the area you live in, or whether the property is too large for your needs
  • Housing Benefit does not cover some service charges like heating, water and meals, so we take them off the rent you are charged before we work out your benefit
  • If you are a single person under 35, have no children living with you, are renting from a private landlord and the Local Housing Allowance rules don't apply to you, your Housing Benefit will be worked out using a 'single-room rent' set by the Valuation Office Agency. If you were previously in care and under 22 years of age, or you are severely disabled or if you have a non-resident carer who stays with you, you won't be affected by this rule. And you won't be affected if you're aged 25 to 34 and have lived in a hostel for homeless people for at least three months or you're a certain kind of ex-offender
  • If you are a joint tenant we will only count your share of the rent when we work out your benefit

Local Housing Allowance

Local Housing Allowance (LHA) is a rent scheme under which Housing Benefit is calculated.

The amount of benefit you get depends on:

  • Who lives with you
  • Where you live
  • How much money you have coming in
  • What savings you have
  • The amount of rent you pay
  • Your age

We will automatically assess your claim using LHA rules if we need to.

Find out more about Local Housing Allowance