From April 2018 the Local Housing Allowance will affect the amount of benefit anyone who signed or renewed their tenancy after 1 April 2016 can claim.
What is the Local Housing Allowance?
It is set by the government and will cap the amount of benefits you can claim towards your rent.
The maximum amount you can claim will depend on where you live, who lives with you and how many rooms you need, rather than the type and size of your home.
What are the Local Housing Allowance rules?
One bedroom is allowed for:
If you are single and aged under 35 the most you can claim will be the Local Housing Allowance rate for a single room in a shared house, even if your home is self contained and you do not share with anyone else. Depending on where you live, the difference between the shared room and one bedroomed property rates could be as much as £57 per week and you would have to make up this shortfall from your other income.
Local Housing Allowance (LHA) Examples
Angela is 21 and has a 2 year old son. She needs 2 bedrooms under LHA rules.
Tom is 78 and his grown-up daughter lives with him. He also needs 2 bedrooms under LHA rules.
Gary is 28 and lives alone in a self contained one bedroomed flat. He is only entitled to the shared house LHA room rate because he is under 35 years old.
Julie and William have 2 sons aged 2 and 5, and 2 daughters aged 12 and 8. Julie’s father also lives with them. They are entitled to four bedrooms under LHA rules.
How will the Local Housing Allowance affect me?
– If your rent is more than the Local Housing Allowance you will need to make up the difference.
– There may be an extra deduction, even if your benefit has already gone down because your home has more bedrooms than you need.
– These changes also apply if you are of pension age so you will only be able to claim Housing Benefit up to the Local Housing Allowance for the size of property you actually need.
– If you get help with your rent through Universal Credit these new rules will still apply to you.
What do I need to do now?
Check the Local Housing Allowance website, click here
Local Housing Allowance rates can also be found on your local council website and their Housing Benefit department will be able to help if you are still unsure whether the changes affect you.
Remember Town & Country can also offer advice and support with budgeting to help you plan for the Local Housing Allowance.