Guide Housing Benefit

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5. Local Housing Allowance (LHA)

LHA rates are:

  • based on the number of bedrooms that a household needs (to a maximum of four), not the number of rooms in a property or the rent charged.
  • set for different types of accommodation in each area, ranging from a single room in a shared house up to properties with four bedrooms.
    The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) room calculator works out the number of bedrooms that your claim will be based on.
  • calculated by the VOA annually for specific areas known as Broad Rental Market Areas. There are three of these areas for East Devon: Mid and East Devon, Exeter, Mid and West Dorset. Search for LHA rates by postcode or local authority, including previous years' LHAs.

If you live in a caravan or houseboat, or your rent includes an amount for any meals, please contact us as we may need to ask the VOA to decide if you qualify within the Local Housing Allowance scheme.

Your income and savings may affect how much benefit you will receive. If you are a single person and under the age of 35 you will only be allowed the one bedroom in shared accommodation rate.

Now you know the LHA rate you can calculate your benefit by using the Housing Benefit & Council Tax Reduction Calculator

If you have been getting Housing Benefit since before 7 April 2008 the LHA only applies if you change your address or have a break in your claim.