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The Government introduced a new scheme called Local Housing Allowance (LHA) on 7th April 2008. This is a new way of deciding rent payments for people receiving Housing Benefit. It does not replace Housing Benefit. It uses a flat rate allowance based on the size of the tenant's household and the area in which they rent property to decide the maximum amount of benefit they will receive. This amount is not directly related to the rent that the tenant is charged, so the benefit received may be higher or lower than the contractual rent. The rate of LHA that a customer may receive will be reviewed on an annual basis.
You are now able to identify the maximum amount of Housing Benefit that you could receive, as it will relate to your household composition.
This will only be applicable if you are in private rented accommodation (not a Housing Association or Council Tenant).
Please view the Local Housing Allowance Rates| page to see how many bedrooms your entitlement will be based on and the Local Housing Allowance rates for the current month as advised by the Rent Service.
Local Housing Allowance will normally be paid to the claimant rather than the landlord. In recognition of the risk that some tenants may struggle with the responsibility of budgeting for and paying for their rent, safeguards will be put in place. In some circumstances the local authority can use its discretion to make payment to a landlord. Information on these circumstances and how to apply for payments to be made to landlord can be found in the safeguard policy below, with application forms.
The following document is our Safeguard Policy including application forms:
An application form for requesting payments to be paid direct to your landlord can be found below:
If you are concerned your tenant is not paying the rent and they are nearly 8 weeks in arrears, you may ask for payments to be paid to you. An application form to request payments are paid directly to you can be found below:
Several landlord forums have been held and the questions which arose are attached here:
Local Housing Allowance - Question and Answer|
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