Housing benefit in the private rented sector has been replaced by the Local Housing Allowance (LHA). These changes affect how housing benefit is worked out and how it is paid.
LHA makes it your responsibility to pay the rent directly to your landlord. It only affects tenants in the mainstream privately rented sector who:
- Make a new claim for housing benefit
- Change address
- Have a break in their housing benefit claim of at least one week.
If an existing tenant remains in a property and continues to claim housing benefit continuously, you will continue to be treated under the existing rules.
LHA makes it easier for tenants and landlords to find out in advance how much rent could be covered by way of housing benefit. The amount of LHA still depends on your household income and capital but the LHA figures determine the rent that the benefit calculation is based upon, and represents the maximum that you could receive.
LHA is based on the rent levels for the area in which you want to live and on the number of people that live with you. There is no change to the entitlement rules as these are still based on a person’s income, savings and proof of rent.
If you think you may be entitled to LHA, you need to complete and return an application form. You can also pick up a form from any of our One Stop Shops, request an application form to be sent by post.
How much will I receive?
The Rent Service no longer values individual properties. Instead they set monthly local housing allowance rates for different size properties within different areas based on the mid point of rent charged by private landlords.
These areas are called Broad Rental Market Areas (BRMA). Each local authority has at least one BRMA. There is no right to appeal against these rates.
Knowsley has 3 separate BRMAs:
- Greater Liverpool – covers Huyton, Kirkby, Halewood and Knowsley Village
- St Helens – covers Whiston and Prescot
- North Cheshire – covers Cronton
LHA rates are further broken down into room rates and look at the size of the household, including any non-dependants. To calculate the size criteria you need to count one bedroom for the following people:
- A single claimant or every adult couple.
- Any other single adult aged 16 or over.
- Any two children under the age of 10.
- Any two children of the same sex up to age 15.
- Any other child.
Click on the link below to find out what the local housing allowance rate are for the current month.http://www.knowsley.gov.uk/residents/benefits-and-grants/apply-for-local-housing-allowa.aspx