Local Housing Allowance monthly rates
South Staffordshire Council has 3 Broad Rental
Market Areas ( BRMA’s) within its district. Each BRMA is post code
defined and has its own set of Local Allowance (LHA) rates.
To find out which BRMA your postcode comes
under and for other LHA information go to The LHA-Direct website
How your Local
Housing Allowance is worked out
The LHA-Direct website has three search
- Bedroom calculator = Work out how many bedrooms you may be
- LA Search = Search LHA rates by Local Authority
- Postcode Search = Search LHA rates by location
The Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rates will
- In the month that the claim is received, or
- The month in which there is a change of address, or
- The month in which there is a change in the number of occupiers
in the household. (From April 2012 the LHA rates will no longer
change each month. They will be reviewed in April of each
1st April each year the council has to
recalculate private tenants' LHA so that it stays in line with
Jan 2012 the LHA rate changed if you are single &
The Government changed the rules that apply to
single people living in self-contained accommodation and aged 25 or
more, but under 35. This means that they will only be entitled to
the lower rate of Housing Benefit for a room in shared
If you are single and aged 25 or more, but under
35, when your Housing Benefit Local Housing Allowance (LHA) is
reassessed, this change will apply to you, unless you are covered
by one of the exemptions. The change means that, instead of the LHA
rate referred to above, you would move onto the LHA rate for
shared accommodation in your area, which may be much lower.
The details of the change will not be known until
they are agreed in Parliament later this year. Even when this
happens we will not be able to tell you the exact rate for shared
accommodation, as this varies from month to month. However, the
current shared accommodation rate for your area can be found
further down this page, this will give you an indication of
the likely rate next year.
There is more information about the change and
about the current shared accommodation rates in different parts of
the country at the Direct Gov website – DirectGov (under local
If your tenancy is coming up
for renewal or you’re thinking of moving, you should get advice
before signing any new tenancy agreement. You need
to be sure that you can afford the rent for the period of your
tenancy otherwise you could fall into rent arrears.
You may be eligible for additional help towards your rent with a
Discretionary Housing Payment; for more information go to our
Discretionary Housing Payment page or
contact us on 01902 696668.
Our Housing Options department may also be able to
provide assistance. Please contact them on 01902 696504 for more
information. Housing options; Affordable
Housing - Interim Affordable Housing Policy
If you want to discuss how these changes may affect you then
please call our office on the above number or contact your local
Citizens Advice Bureau. Please see our webpage
for Other Useful contacts.
LHA new claims will:
1 April the maximum rent (LHA) is calculated is
changed so that;
- the £15 weekly HB excess that some
customers can receive is removed.
- the maximum LHA rate is for a 4 bedroom
property instead of a 5 bedroom property.
LHA weekly rates in any area can not be more than;
- £250 for a one bedroom property,
- £290 for a two bedroom property,
- £340 for a three bedroom property,
- £400 for a four bedroom property.
LHA rates are set at the 30th percentile of rents in
the area rather than at the median so that about 3 in 10 properties
for rent in the area should be affordable to people on HB rather
than every 5 in 10 properties as now.
Additional bedroom for a
The regulations are amended to allow for an additional bedroom
for a non-resident carer in the size
criteria for all private rented sector cases when the customer or
their partner is a person who requires
over night care.
Local Housing Allowance gives tenants more choice in where they
live. This is because:
- With Local Housing Allowance you will get the same amount of
benefit as people in the same circumstances as you.
- You can decide how much of your benefit you want to spend on
renting a property. For example, you can choose to rent a large
property and use all your benefit. Or, you can rent a smaller
property and use the rest of your benefit for other things.
- You can find out how much maximum Local Housing Allowance you
may get before you rent a property.
- You will find out about your Local Housing Allowance quicker
than the previous Rent Referral scheme.
For more details see leaflets
1 'A Guide To Local Housing Allowance'
SSDC (LHA) 2
‘Local Housing Allowance Information for Private Landlords’
Staffs Safeguard Policy
If you don’t pay your rent you may be evicted from the
Local Housing Allowance (LHA) is paid directly to the tenant,
not to the landlord. It is up to the tenant to make sure that the
rent is paid to the landlord. This means that:
- If your rent is higher than the LHA, you will have to make up
- If your rent is lower than the LHA, you will pay your rent and
keep the difference up to a maximum of £15.
Direct payments to tenants
The easiest way to receive LHA is straight into a bank account.
This means that benefit is received on the day that it is due and a
standing order or direct debit can be set up to pay your rent.
To arrange for LHA to be paid into a bank account, please
contact the Benefits Service or complete the following
form: BACS Payment Request
LHA cannot be paid into a Post Office Card Account like some
other benefits. You will need to have an account with a high street
bank or credit union.
The Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) provides a Money Advice Service
and they can help tenants by giving advice on:
· Opening bank accounts (see guide – Basic
· Setting up standing orders
· Making changes to household budgeting
· Rescheduling debts
· For details of your local CAB
Direct payments to landlords
LHA will normally be paid to the tenant.
Payment may be made direct to your landlord where we decide that
the tenant is:
· Likely to have difficulty in managing their financial
· Unlikely to pay their rent
We will only pay the landlord the contractual rent, if your LHA
is higher then we will pay you the difference up to a maximum of
£15 and you need to make arrangements to receive this.
You will need to put your reasons in writing as to why you think
your LHA should be paid to your landlord. Alternatively you can
complete the following form: Direct Payments
Application Form. We may need to ask for further evidence.
You can contact us regarding our Safeguards for Tenants and
What happens if you are eight weeks in rent
If we are told that you owe more than eight weeks rent, we will
look at paying your LHA directly to the landlord until the amount
owing has been cleared. To make this decision we will look at the
evidence from the landlord and check that the tenant agrees with
There are many reasons why someone cannot manage their money and
paying the landlord may only be a short term arrangement. Citizens
Advise Bureau may be able to offer support.
If you are worried about managing your money, ask us if we can
help. In special cases we may be able to pay your rent to your
What to do if you have a change in circumstance?
If you move to a new address or other circumstances change, you
should tell us straight away.
How your Local Housing Allowance is calculated?
The Local Housing Allowance (LHA) for private tenants is worked
out according to:
· How many bedrooms you have in relation to number of
The number of people who are included in your claim for LHA will
be used to work out how many bedrooms you are entitled to. This
number will correspond to the category of LHA you will get. We do
not count other rooms such as a kitchen or bathroom.
You are allowed one bedroom for:
· Every adult couple (same or opposite sex)
· Any other adult aged 16 or over
· Any two children of the same sex aged under 16
· Any two children under age 10
· Any other child
LHA - Size Criteria does not
include a bedroom for a Foster Child
Foster children are not treated as occupiers for the purpose of
the application of the size criteria in Local Housing Allowance
If you are a landlord you can submit market
evidence to help The Rent Service set the rates.
For more information regarding Local Housing Allowance,
please go to Frequently Asked
|Housing Benefit & Council Tax
|Telephone: (01902) 696668
||South Staffordshire Council
|Fax: (01902) 696630