Toggle menu


Get the latest government advice about coronavirus. Advice for local residents and business can be found on our coronavirus information page.

Find out about Local Housing Allowance rates

find out more icon

What is Local Housing Allowance?

Find out if Local Housing Allowance could help you pay your rent if you are on a low income.

Local Housing Allowance (LHA) is housing benefit to help pay your rent if you are on a low income and rent from a private landlord.

We use LHA rates to work out your housing benefit. LHA is a flat rate allowance towards rent costs. It is worked out on the circumstances of the tenant and the area they live in.

The scheme is designed to pay the same amount to tenants with similar situations living in the same area.

The size of your household

The Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rate used to work out your benefit will depend on how many people there are in your household. We only include bedrooms when we work out how many rooms a property has.

Allow one bedroom for:

  • every adult couple (married or unmarried)
  • any other adult aged 16 or above
  • any two children, of the same sex, aged under 16
  • any two children, regardless of sex, aged under 10
  • any other child (other than a child whose main home is elsewhere)
  • a non-resident overnight carer
  • a foster child or children living with an approved foster carer
  • adult children who are in the armed forces but who continue to live with parents will be treated as continuing to live at home, when deployed on operations
  • disabled child who cannot share a bedroom

Single people under 35

People who are single and under 35 are classed as young individuals and get a shared room rate of LHA.

A young individual is someone who is under 35 and:

  • is not a member of a couple
  • is not a lone parent
  • is not entitled to the severe disability premium within the LHA calculation
  • is not under the age of 22 and subject to a care order
  • has no non-dependants in their household
  • does not need an extra room for a non-resident carer
  • is not an ex-offender under MAPPA (multi-agency public protection arrangements)
  • has not spent three months or more in a homeless hostel, or more than one hostel, specialising in rehabilitating and resettling into the community

Single people aged 35 and above and couples without children

Single claimants aged 35 and above and couples without children will qualify for the one-bedroom rate. They will qualify if they rent a one-bedroom property or rent one room with self-contained bathroom and toilet facilities.

If a couple rent a shared property, they will qualify for the shared room rate for LHA. A shared property is one where a person has shared use of a bathroom/toilet and or kitchen.


Find out how many bedrooms you are entitled to by using the bedroom calculator. 

Use the bedroom calculator

How much benefit will I get?

How much you get depends on how many people live in the property and the rent levels in the area. If the rent is more than the LHA, you must pay the difference to your landlord.

We will tell you how much you will get when we complete your claim. LHA is paid into the tenant's bank account. 

Support for vulnerable customers

If you are vulnerable, we will use our discretion to decide if we should pay the benefit to the landlord instead.

The following criteria will be considered when deciding who the benefit should be paid to:

  • protection for you if you are vulnerable, providing reassurance that your rent will be paid
  • to help prevent rent arrears and you being put at risk of eviction
  • to reassure landlords that rent charged will be paid if they have vulnerable customers or are approached by vulnerable customers
  • to help put you in touch with other agencies/support groups where they are given the support to manage their own affairs
  • to ensure council officials make fair, responsible and consistent decisions
  • to promote and publicise a clear process 
  • to treat each case independently and on its own merits

What happens next?

You or your representative, will let us know if they would like their LHA to be paid to the landlord. The request must be supported by written information from a third party.

We will accept information from:

  • social services
  • the Department for Work and Pensions
  • courts
  • reputable financial institutions 
  • support or advisory services
  • doctors

Making a decision

The manager of the housing benefits service will make the decision on each case.

 In all cases one of two decisions will be made:

  • you are vulnerable and payment of LHA will be made to the landlord, or
  • you are not vulnerable and payment of LHA will be made to the customer

How we contact everyone about the decision 

You and/or your representative will be written to and advised of the following:

  • the decision and reasons for it
  • if and when the decision will be reviewed
  • appeal rights
  • advice agencies, voluntary or statutory organisations which will be able to help
  • contact details for the Citizens Advice money advice service if they do not have a bank account

The landlord will also be written to and told:

  • if the tenant has been found vulnerable and we will pay them, the landlord, LHA up to the contractual rent
  • if and when the decision will be reviewed
  • request bank details if not previously received
  • if the tenant has been found not to be vulnerable, the landlord's appeal right against this decision

Local Housing Allowance rates

The following Local Housing Allowance rates are for - 1 April 2021 to 31 March 2022

Maximum amounts of Local Housing Allowances available for different property sizes
Number of roomsCategory

Maximum weekly amount

 GuildfordBlackwater Valley
Shared accommodationA£112.77pw
1 BedroomB£195.62pw
2 BedroomsC£253.15pw
3 BedroomsD£316.44pw
4 BedroomsE£414.25pw


Apply for Local Housing Allowance

How to apply

Complete our online form to apply for LHA. 

Make sure you have your: 

  • National Insurance number for you (and your partner if applicable)
  • full name and date of birth of everyone in your household
  • landlord's details, the amount of rent you pay and any charges included in your rent
  • your household income, savings, investments and expenses 

Apply for Local Housing Allowance