Local Housing Allowance

What is Local Housing Allowance (LHA)?

Local Housing Allowance makes up part of the government's welfare reforms, it was introduced across the country on 7th April 2008 and operates alongside the current Housing Benefit scheme. Local Housing Allowance will be phased in and will only affect 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
There are no changes to the entitlement rules, Local Housing Allowance will still be calculated on a person's income and savings. However, Local Housing Allowance is a flat rate allowance based on the size of the household living in a property and the number of rooms required by that household.
One bedroom is allowed for each of the following:
  • a single claimant or for an adult couple
  • any two children aged under 10
  • any two children of the same sex aged 15 or under
  • any other adult aged 16 or over
  • any other child
  • a non resident carer*

*From April 2011 a bedroom is also allowed for a carer who stays overnight on a regular basis to look after you or your partner, provided there is a spare bedroom available for them to use.

If a single person is under the age of 35 living alone and not responsible for children, their entitlement to benefit will be calculated using a shared accommodation LHA rate irrespective of the type of accommodation. This rule was extended from 1st January 2012 to cover single people living alone up to the age of 35. Click here for more details on this change to the rules.
If a single person (of any age), living alone without responsibility for children and is living in shared accommodation of any sort, their entitlement to benefit will be calculated using a shared accommodation LHA rate.
A Help with rent leaflet is available which gives more detailed information about Local Housing Allowance.

How much will I receive?

The amount of Local Housing Allowance you are entitled to will depend on the size of property you need and the monthly Local Housing Allowance rate set by the Rent Service.

  • Shared Accommodation
  • 1 bedroom – self contained
  • 2 bedrooms
  • 3 bedrooms
  • 4 bedrooms

The Rent Service gathers details of tenancies offered for rent in an area known as a Broad Rental Market Area (BRMA). There are 2 Broad Rental Market Areas within the Sefton area. The Rent Service will compile figures based on information from the rental market and produce new Local Housing Allowance figures every month*. There are no appeal rights against the rates set for Local Housing Allowance by the Rent Service.

  • www.sefton.gov.uk/media/956399/reference-guide-to-benefits-and-tax-credits.pdf

Broad Rental Market Area (BRMA)

The Broad Rental Market Areas within Sefton encompass the following localities
Southport BRMA – includes properties in the following areas: -
  • Southport, (all PR8 and PR9 postcodes)
  • Formby
  • Little Altcar,
  • Hightown
  • Ince Blundell
Greater Liverpool BRMA - includes all properties in the following areas
  • Bootle (including Netherton)
  • Crosby (including Seaforth, Waterloo and Blundellsands)
  • Litherland
  • Maghull
  • Lydiate
  • Aintree
  • Melling
  • Thornton
  • Parish of Sefton

How will Local Housing Allowance be paid?

Local Housing Allowance is usually paid directly in to your bank account; you are then responsible for paying your rent to your landlord. However, there are certain circumstances that they are able to pay the landlord directly, this is known as a "safeguard".
They could pay your landlord if you are:
  • More than 8 weeks in arrears
  • Learning difficulties.
  • Fleeing domestic violence.
  • Alcohol/drug/gambling addictions
  • Have a history of rent arrears.
This list is not exhaustive and if you wish to apply for payments of Local Housing Allowance to be paid directly to the landlord, for whatever reason, you should complete a safeguard application form, detailing the full reasons for the application.

What if I do not have a bank account?

If you do not have a bank account you will need to open a Basic Bank Account. From this a standing order can be set up to pay your rent directly to your landlord.


Justlets (Southport), 7 Altham Road, Southport, Merseyside, PR8 6XL.

www.Justletssouthport.co.uk 653E-5AE5-XK89-7KKW-WX5S