Local Housing Allowance

also known as: LHA.

Find out about how much Local Housing Allowance you could be entitled to.

Who can claim LHA?

Local Housing Allowance can be claimed by tenants living in privately rented accommodation who need help with their rent.

How much LHA could you get?

The amount of financial help you receive will depend on the area where you live, your circumstances and how many bedrooms your household needs.

The amount of benefit you get may be affected by:

  • any money you have coming in eg earnings
  • any savings you have
  • if we expect anyone living with you to pay towards your rent
  • if you share paying the rent with someone else who is not your partner

The LHA rates for the Northumberland County Council area from 1 April 2015 to 31 March 2016 are shown in the table below.

Northumberland Council consists of four Broad Market Rental Areas - Northumberland, Tyneside, Durham and North Cumbria. If you are unsure which area your property falls into either contact the Benefit Section who will advise you or go to the LHA Direct website where you can search by postcode.

Broad Rental
Market Area

1 April 2015 - 31 March 2016

Weekly Amount
(Calendar monthly equivalent in brackets)


1 Bed

2 Beds

3 Beds

4 Beds



















North Cumbria






(Please note: The 2015 weekly LHA has been converted to a monthly equivalent by dividing by 7, multiplying by 365 and dividing by 12. This is because the new legislation (relating these matters to Universal Credit) lays down that the 'Approximate Calendar Month Equivalent' must be calculated in this way.)

The maximum amount of help you can receive is the four bedroom rate and there is a maximum amount payable for each property size.

If you contact the Benefits Section and inform us of your income and family details we will be able to provide you with an estimate of your actual LHA award.

How many bedrooms are you allowed?

The number of people you live with is used to work out how many bedrooms you are allowed. We don’t count other rooms like the kitchen or bathroom. The number of bedrooms you are allowed is then used to work out which LHA rate usually applies to you.

Use the bedroom calculator to work out how many bedrooms you are allowed or have a look at the info below.

You are allowed one bedroom for:

  • every adult couple (married or unmarried)
  • 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
  • an overnight carer if appropriate (please contact us on 0345 600 6400 for further guidance)

We do not count joint tenants.

It was announced on 12 March 2013, that the rules will also be clarified for two other specific groups of housing benefit recipients from 1 April 2013 – foster carers and armed forces personnel:

  • If you or your partner is caring for a foster child or have been accepted as a foster carer but have no child living with you an additional bedroom will be allowed as long as the period without a child does not exceed 52 weeks.
  • Adult children who are in the armed forces and continue to live with their parents will be treated as continuing to live at home even when they are deployed on operations. This means that the size criteria rules will not apply to the room normally occupied by the member of the armed forces.

How is LHA paid?

Your LHA will be paid into your bank or building society account if you have one, or by cheque. As a tenant you are then responsible for paying your rent to your landlord. The Money Advice Service have produced a guide, Paying your own rent which you can download here.

If you are having problems obtaining or managing a bank account contact us on 0345 600 6400 or one of our local numbers and we will be able to provide help with this.

In some exceptional cases we may be able to pay direct to your landlord. For further details about this, please view our LHA Safeguard Policy here.