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Local Housing Allowance (LHA)

If you're renting from a private landlord we will work out your Housing Benefit using the Local Housing Allowance (LHA)

What is LHA?

LHA sets the maximum amount of Housing Benefit you can get, based on the number of bedrooms you and your family need.

This means that even if you're on benefits and a low income we won't be able to pay all of your rent if it exceeds the LHA.

Calculating the number of bedrooms you need

You're allowed 1 bedroom for:

  • each adult couple
  • every single adult aged 16 or over
  • any 2 children of the same sex
  • any 2 children aged 10 or under
  • any other child
  • a non-resident overnight carer (1 per household)

The maximum allowance for any household is 4 bedrooms.

You can calculate how many bedrooms your household would qualify for by using the LHA bedroom calculator.

What if you share a home?

The shared accommodation rate will apply to you if you have exclusive use of 1 bedroom and share other rooms, such as the living room, bathroom or kitchen with at least 1 other tenant.

Couples living with no-one else

You can get the rate for a 1-bedroom, self-contained property if you're a couple with no children living with you. If you choose to live in a property where you share other rooms, you can only get the shared LHA rate.

If you're under 35 and live alone

You can usually only get the shared LHA rate, unless you:

  • have 1 or more dependent children living with you
  • live in certain types of supported accommodation
  • are under 22 and have been subject to a care order at some time since being 16
  • have a severe disability premium in your benefit assessment
  • need an extra bedroom for a carer who provides you with overnight care, but doesn't normally live with you
  • are aged between 25 and 34 and are being supported by a number of agencies (known as MAPPA)
  • are aged between 25 and 34 and are being helped by support services to be resettled having spent 3 months or more in a hostel

Who isn't eligible for LHA

LHA doesn't apply if you:

  • are a council or social housing tenant
  • have a registered fair rent
  • live in supported accommodation
  • live in a hostel, caravan, or houseboat
  • have meals included in your rent

If you've been getting Housing Benefit since before 7 April 2008 LHA will only apply if you:

  • move
  • have a break in your claim

LHA rates

You can find out how much the allowance is in your area by using the LHA search tool or by checking the tables below.

The table below shows the LHA rates applicable to the majority of private tenants making a claim in the period 1 April 2016 to 31 March 2017

  • These are the maximum amounts for each Broad Rental Market Area (BRMA) and size criteria
  • The actual amount of Housing Benefit you get will depend on your household, income and savings

We have three BRMAs. The majority of properties in Shepway are within the BRMA for Shepway/Dover. If the property you are enquiring about is located in or around Romney Marsh or near the Shepway District Council border with Ashford or Canterbury please contact Customer Services for advice on which BRMA you should use.

Maximum LHA (£ per week)
Number of bedroomsShepway/DoverAshfordCanterbury
Shared accommodation*£59.09£67.10£74.62
One bedroom£86.30£119.09£123.86
Two bedrooms£115.07£145.43£154.82
Three bedrooms£143.84£168.00£180.45
Four bedrooms and above£168.00£223.63£280.60

Maximum LHA (£ per month)
Number of bedroomsShepway/DoverAshfordCanterbury
Shared accommodation*£256.76£291.57£324.24
One bedroom£374.99£517.47£538.20
Two bedrooms£500.01£631.93£672.73
Three bedrooms£625.02£730.00£784.10
Four bedrooms and above£730.00£971.73£1219.27

Maximum LHA (£ Four Weekly)
Number of bedroomsShepway/DoverAshfordCanterbury
Shared accommodation*£236.36£268.40£298.48
One bedroom£345.20£476.36£495.44
Two bedrooms £460.28£581.72£619.28
Three bedrooms £575.36£672.00£721.80
Four bedrooms and above£672.00£894.52£1122.44

* Shared accommodation rates apply to single occupiers under 35 years of age.