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Information about Local Housing Allowance

Local Housing Allowance

Local Housing Allowance (LHA) is a Housing Benefit for people on a low income who rent privately from a landlord.  We will work out whether you can claim Local Housing Allowance when you make a claim for Housing Benefit.

Local Housing Allowance rates are based on the number of bedrooms required by you and those in your household. Under normal rules you are entitled to 1 bedroom for

  • Every adult couple who are married or unmarried 
  • Any other person over 16 
  • Any 2 children of the same sex aged under 16 
  • Any 2 children aged under 10 
  • Any other child 
  • Carer/s providing regular overnight care 


You can find out how many bedrooms you may be entitled to on the Valuation Office Agency website.

You can claim Local Housing Allowance if you rent privately rented and you

  • Are making a new claim for Housing Benefit after 7 April 2008 or
  • Are claiming Housing Benefit and move home on or after 7 April 2008 and
  • You have less than £16,000 in savings

To apply for Local Housing Allowance make a claim for Housing Benefit. (Local Housing Allowance is just one of the ways that we calculate Housing Benefit.)


How often do the rates change?

Local Housing Allowance rates increase every April. Your Local Housing Allowance award may be updated within the year if

  • There is a change in the number of people living in your home
  • There is a change in the rent liability
  • You move house 
  • Someone in the household dies

Your payments will be paid direct to you. Then it will be your responsibility to pay rent to your landlord.

Under the following circumstances we can pay Local Housing Allowance directly to landlords

  • If the tenant has the equivalent of 8 weeks rent arrears
  • If the tenant has issues managing money due to ill health
  • If the tenant has issues managing money because they are vulnerable
  • If the tenant has previously had benefit paid to a landlord due to rent arrears
  • If direct payment is needed to secure or maintain the tenancy


If these circumstances apply to you, contact us for help. You can email benefits@wokingham.gov.uk or call  0118 974 6000.

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