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Local housing allowance

The local housing allowance (LHA) provides housing benefit for private tenants.

How we calculate the local housing allowance

The amount of weekly local housing allowance (LHA) that you get depends on your income and savings. If you receive income support or jobseekers allowance (income based), your benefit will be based on the maximum LHA.

We may make a deduction from your benefit for any other grown up people you have living with you.

Housing benefit awards for tenants of private sector landlords are based on local housing allowance (LHA). The LHA will be the maximum figure eligible for an award and is based on:

  • the area you live in

  • the number of bedrooms you and your family needs

  • your income and savings.

There are three steps to follow to work out your maximum local housing allowance (LHA).

1. What area do you live in?

Find your postcode in one of the boxes below and this will tell you what rental market area you live in.

Inner Lewisham

  • SE3, SE4, SE6 (except those listed in Outer), SE8, SE10, SE13, SE14, SE15, SE16, SE23
  • BR1 5RU, BR1 5SF, BR1 5SG, BR1 5SJ, BR1 5SQ, SE12 0RG, SE12 8AA to SE12 8TQ, SE26

Outer Lewisham

  • SE9, BR3, BR1 (except for those listed in Inner)

  • SE12 (except for those listed in Inner)

  • SE6 2RS, SE6 2RX, SE6 3AB, SE6 3AE, SE6 3AF, SE6 3AG, SE6 3AH, SE6 3AJ, SE6 3AQ, SE6 3ND to SE6 3RW

If your postcode is SE6 1TP, SE6 2RP, SE12 0RL, SE26 5AQ, SE26 5BA, SE26 5BE, SE26 5HR, SE26 5HU, SE26 5LF or SE26 5JF, please contact us to find out the rental area you fall under.

2. How many rooms do you need?

One bedroom for every single adult and every adult couple.

  • single claimants under the age of 35 are usually only entitled to the shared accommodation rate
  • the maximum rate payable for new claims is for the four bedroom rate.

Plus one additional bedroom for:

  • any other adult aged 16 or over
  • any two children under the age of 10
  • any two children of the same sex under the age of 16
  • any other child.

3. Find the local housing allowance (LHA) for your area and the number of rooms you need

Check the current local housing allowance rates (LHA). This figure is not the amount of award you will receive, but is the maximum figure we will use to work our your award.

Exemptions from the scheme

Some claims will not be part of the local housing allowance (LHA) trial and these are listed below:

  • registered social landlord tenancies (these currently only have to be referred to the rent officer in certain circumstances)

  • protected cases, such as supported housing provided by certain local authorities, social landlords, charities and voluntary organisations

  • tenancies which are excluded from current rent restrictions (such as pre-1989 tenancies)

  • exceptional cases such as caravans, houseboats and hostels

  • cases where the rent officer judges that a substantial part of the rent is attributable to board and attendance (for example, hotel accommodation).

Exempt cases will have their housing benefit calculated under the different housing benefit rules.


Housing benefit

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