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What is Local Housing Allowance?

Local housing allowance is a new way of working out housing benefit for claimants who live in private rental accommodation. It was introduced on 7th April 2008. Local housing allowance has a number of advantages over the old housing benefit systems and is designed to make renting private rental property easier for those on housing benefit or DSS.

Local Housing Allowance gives claimants more choice in where they live by making it fairer.

This is because:

  • With Local Housing Allowance you will get the same amount of benefit as people with the same circumstance as you. Previously, with Housing Benefit people living in smaller or less attractive properties used to get less benefit than people living in larger or more attractive properties.
  • If the monthly rent of your property is less than the Local Housing Allowance you are able to claim to you can keep the difference up to a maximum of £15 per week. That means if the Local Housing Allowance you receive is £125.00 per week and your rent is £110.00 per week, you can keep the £15.00 over payment and spend it on anything you wish.
  • You can find out how much Local Housing Allowance you can get before you rent a property. With the old Housing Benefit system you would have to wait several weeks to find out home much you would get.
  • If you get Local Housing Allowance you will get your benefit paid to you. It is up to you to pay the rent to your landlord in full and on time in the same way as other tenants who do not get benefit.
  • If you are looking for a job you will know how much benefit you are likely to get when you find one. Tenants Tip: Don't forget the amount of Local Housing Allowance can change as your circumstances do, don't forget to keep the benefit office up to date.