If you make a claim for Housing Benefit and you rent from a private landlord, you are likely to be assessed as a Local Housing Allowance claimant.

Under Local Housing Allowance scheme the maximum we can pay towards your rent is set by the Rent Officer Service and is based on the number of rooms your household needs not the number of rooms in the property or the amount of rent charged. However, if your rent is less than the Local Housing Allowance rate set by the Rent Officer Service then we cannot pay above the rental amount.

Once we have determined your Local Housing Allowance rate we will then calculate your Housing Benefit entitlement using the income and capital of each member of your household.

How many rooms do I need?

The number of bedrooms needed is based on the number, age and sex of people who live in your household. The bedroom requirement is calculated as follows:

  • one bedroom for the claimant and partner (over 16 - including same sex couples)
  • one bedroom for other person aged 16 or over
  • one bedroom for any two children of the same sex aged under 16
  • one bedroom for any two children regardless of sex who are less than ten years old
  • one bedroom for any other child
  • A non-resident overnight carer
  • If the claimant is single and aged under 35, the category of property considered appropriate is a bedroom in shared accommodation. This means a property in which the claimant has the exclusive use of one bedroom, but shares one or more of a kitchen, a bathroom, a toilet or a room suitable for living in.

From the 1st April 2013 you will also be entitled to one extra room for the following:

  • foster carers will be allowed one additional room, so long as they have fostered a child or become an approved foster carer within the last 52 weeks.
  • parents with adult children in the armed forces (or reservists) who normally live with them will be able to retain the bedroom for that adult child when they are deployed on operations.
  • an extra room can be allowed where the Benefits Service is satisfied that a child is unable to share a bedroom because of a disability or medical condition.
  • Students (Non-Dependents) away from home but return during holidays

Local Housing Allowance rates from April 2017

The maximum LHA rate covers a four bedroom property, even if you require 5 or more bedrooms for your household unfortunately we cannot pay above the 4 bedroom rate.

The table below shows the weekly LHA amounts for Rhondda Cynon Taf

Weekly Local Housing Allowances in RCT
Number of BedroomsCategoryMerthyr CynonTaff Rhondda
Shared Room Rate A £48.00 £48.00
1 Bedroom B £67.76 £67.50
2 Bedrooms C £80.55 £86.30
3 Bedrooms D £87.75 £91.81
4 Bedrooms E £114.68 £126.58

If you wish to see the Local Housing Allowance rates for previous years, please visit: https://lha-direct.voa.gov.uk/search.aspx

How will I get my benefit if Local Housing Allowance applies to me?

Usually you will have your benefit paid directly to you. It will be paid directly into your bank or building society account, if you have one, or by cheque.

If you do not already have a bank or building society account, you may want to set one up. That way you can arrange to pay the rent to your landlord automatically, using a standing order.

You can get advice about opening and running a bank account from any bank or building society. You can also get advice from a welfare organisation such as Citizens Advice.

It is up to you to pay the rent to your landlord. If you don't pay your rent, you may be taken to court and evicted from the property.

Can I have my benefit paid direct to my landlord?

Your benefit is paid to you unless you are likely to have difficulty paying your rent, or it must be paid to your landlord.

If you are worried about managing your money, ask us if we can help. In some cases we may be able to pay your rent to your landlord.

What will happen if I use my benefit for something else?

Your benefit is for you to pay your rent with. If you do not use your benefit to pay your rent, your landlord may take you to court or try to evict you and you may lose your home.

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