Local Housing Allowance (private rented)

Local Housing Allowance (or LHA) is a way of calculating and paying housing benefit for tenants renting accommodation from a private landlord. 

LHA doesn't replace housing benefit; it's just a different way of calculating your entitlement.

Who can claim LHA

If you're a private tenant renting a property or a room from a private landlord and you're on a low income, you may be able to claim and receive LHA. You can apply for LHA using our online form below.

You can’t claim LHA if you have £16,000 or more in savings, unless you're a pensioner and receive the guarantee credit part of Pension Credit.

How we work out LHA

We work out how much benefit you're entitled to based on:

  • where you live
  • how big your property is
  • how many people live in your home
  • your income – including benefits, pensions and savings (over £6,000)
  • your circumstances

We also look at how many bedrooms you have in your property. You're allowed one bedroom for:

  • each adult couple
  • any other person (aged 16 or over)
  • any two children of the same sex (aged under 16)
  • any two children aged under 10 irrespective of their sex
  • any other child

The number of bedrooms that you're allowed may not be the same as the number of bedrooms you have in your property. 

If you or your partner need overnight care, you can apply for an additional bedroom for a carer using our online form below.

If you're under 35 or live in shared accommodation

If you're under 35 and live alone, we use the shared accommodation rate to work out your LHA. There are some exemptions to the shared accommodation rate if you're:

  • under 35, living in shared or self-contained accommodation and:
    • you get the Severe Disability Premium in your benefit, because you're entitled to the middle or higher rate care component of Disability Living Allowance
    • you're a care leaver under the age of 22
  • aged 25 to 34, living in self-contained accommodation and:
    • you've spent at least three months in a homeless hostel, or hostels specialising in rehabilitation and resettling in the community. To benefit from this exemption, you need to have been offered and accepted support services to support your rehabilitation/resettlement in the community).
    • you're managed under the Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA).

If your circumstances change, you must let us know straight away. If you don't, and we pay you too much benefit, you'll have to pay it back and your claim may be cancelled. Read more about changes we need to know about.

How much you can get

The welfare benefit cap limits the amount of benefit that most people aged 16 to 64 can get. If you’re affected, your LHA benefit payment will go down to make sure that the total amount of benefit you get isn’t more than the cap level.

The rates below will help you work out the maximum amount of rent that we can use to calculate your LHA benefit. The amount is also affected by your income and any capital you have over £6,000.

You'll have to pay any shortfall on your rent that's not covered by your benefit payment.

Some properties in Barnsley come under the areas of Sheffield, Kirklees or Doncaster, so we've included their rates in the table. Please ask us if you're not sure which area your property's in.

Rates for the period 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2018

Number of bedrooms Barnsley  Sheffield  Kirklees  Doncaster 
Shared accommodation rate £58.08 £64.41 £55.00 £55.12
1 bedroom £72.72 £94.80 £80.55 £78.08
2 bedrooms £87.41 £107.11 £96.91 £93.23
3 bedrooms £99.79 £116.53 £113.92 £103.56
4 bedrooms and above £136.93 £156.00 £149.59 £143.84

We review all claims on 1 April every year when the rates for LHA change.

How your LHA is paid

  • It will be paid directly into your bank or building society account, if you have one, or your credit union account.

  • It's then your responsibility to pay rent to your landlord; if you don't pay your rent, you may be taken to court and evicted from the property.

  • We may decide to pay your allowance directly to your landlord if:
    • you have a history of rent arrears
    • you don't use your LHA to pay your rent
    • you have rent arrears of more than eight weeks
    • you have difficulties managing your finances
    • your landlord is helping you to keep your tenancy by reducing your rent

If you'd like us to pay your LHA directly to your landlord, use our online form below.