Local Housing Allowance (LHA)
The Local Housing Allowance (LHA) is used to work out
claims for Housing Benefit for tenants renting accommodation
from a private landlord, based on how many bedrooms your household
- Private tenants who make a new claim after 7
- Existing claimants who have a change of
address and move to a private tenancy.
- Existing claimants who have a break in their
Housing Benefit claim after 7 April 2008.
- Existing claimants will remain on the current
Housing Benefit scheme until one of the above events take
Claimants who rent from Housing Associations, have a tenancy that
started prior to 1989 or reside in supported accommodation will not
move onto LHA.
Local Housing Allowance is designed to be a
fairer and simpler way of working out how much help with your rent
we can give you. It is intended to give you more choice and allow
you to choose the quality and price of your accommodation as you
will have a clearer idea of the amount of LHA you will be entitled
- The maximum amount of help you can receive is
the four bedroom rate.
- There is a maximum amount payable for each
- The LHA rate is set at one third from the
bottom of rents for properties in your
Your Housing Benefit will be based on the
Local Housing Allowance rate which applies to you. The Local
Housing Allowance rate which applies to you will depend on the
number of bedrooms you are allowed and the area where you live.
The amount of benefit you can get may be
- any money you have coming in, for example,
- 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.
How much LHA am I entitled to?
The Local Housing Allowance rates for the
Northumberland County Council area, covering the period
1 April 2013 to 31 March 2014 are displayed in our Customer
Service Offices and are shown in the table below.
Northumberland Council consists of four Broad
Market Rental Areas: Northumberland,
Cumbria. If you are unsure which area your property falls
into either contact the Benefit Section who will advise you of the
area, or alternatively click here to access
LHA Direct website where you may search for your
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.
1 April 2013 to 31 March
(Calendar monthly amount in brackets)
How many bedrooms am I allowed?
The number of people you live with is used to
work out how many bedrooms you are allowed. We do not count other
rooms such as a living room, kitchen or bathroom.
The number of bedrooms you are allowed is then
used to work out which Local Housing Allowance rate usually applies
You can use the following information as a
guide to work out how many bedrooms you are allowed or
click on the
bedroom calculator which will work it out for you.
You are allowed one bedroom for:
- every adult couple (married or
- any other adult aged 16 or over
- any two children of the same sex aged under
- any two children aged under 10
- any other child
- an overnight carer if appropriate (please
contact us on 0845 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
The maximum allowance is FOUR
Changes that may affect you if you are aged between 25 and
From 1 January 2012 the Government has
made changes to the way Housing Benefit is calculated for
those who are single and aged 25 to 34 and rent from a private
landlord. Click here for
What changes in my circumstances should I tell you about?
You should always tell us about any change
that might affect your benefit. If somebody moves in or out
of your household, you must tell us. We will then change your
maximum housing benefit to the correct LHA rate for the new size of
your household. If someone in your household has a birthday
that will affect the LHA rate (for example when a child turns 16),
we may also need to change your LHA as that person may then need an
How is LHA paid?
As a tenant you are responsible for paying
your rent to your landlord. If you are having problems
obtaining or managing a bank account contact us on 0845 600 6400
and we will be able to provide help with this.
In some exceptional cases we may be able to
pay direct to your landlord.
details please click here to view our LHA Safeguard Policy.
Northumberland County Council
Tel No 0845 6006400
Fax No: 01670 620098
LHA Direct Postcode
Frequently Asked questions leaflet
Basic Bank Accounts Guidance
If you would like any benefit document in a different format, or
if you need any help with language or translations please telephone
0845 6006400 and we will do all we can to help.