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Local Housing Allowance (LHA)

LHA is a housing benefit for people on a low income who rent accommodation from a private landlord.

For more details please read our Guide on Local Housing Allowance (PDF, 164kb).

Can I get LHA?

If you're on a low income and need help paying your private rent, you may be eligible to receive LHA.

If you've been getting Housing Benefit since before 7 April 2008, you'll only receive the current level of LHA if you:

  • change your address
  • have a break in your claim for Housing Benefit

LHA does not affect:

  • Housing Associations
  • tenancies where the landlord is a not-for-profit organisation and provides the tenants with care, support and supervision
  • tenancies started before 2 January 1989
  • residents of houseboats, caravans, mobile homes or hostels
  • tenancies where the Rent Officer has decided a substantial part of the rent is for meals

How much will my allowance be?

LHA is a flat rate allowance based on how many people are in your household. Under LHA, each of the following categories would count as 1 bedroom:

  • every adult couple (married or unmarried)
  • any other adult aged 16 or over
  • any 2 children of the same sex under 16
  • any 2 children regardless of sex under 10
  • any other child

Additional bedrooms

One, or more additional bedroom can be allowed for a foster parent, an overnight carer and disabled people unable to share.

Use the calculator to work out your entitlement.

North Ayrshire Local Housing Allowance is:

2017/18
Number of rooms (as indicated in the LHA calculator) Weekly amount
1 room (with shared room) £62.69
1 bedroom £80.55
2 bedrooms £97.81
3 bedrooms  £115.07
4 bedrooms £158.90

The 4 bedroom rate is the maximum rate that can be paid. LHA rates are set every April by the Consumer Price Index.

Remember: if the amount of allowance you're entitled to isn't enough to pay your rent, we could offer you a Discretionary Housing Payments.

How to apply

You'll need evidence to support your claim (PDF, 130kb)

For any other help or information, you can contact us.

Remember:

  • if you're married, in a civil partnership or living with a partner, you can only make one claim for both of you
  • if you live with other people who you share the cost of your rent with, you can still claim benefit but this will only be calculated on your share of the rent

Apply for Housing Benefit

We'll work out your Housing Benefit entitlement by looking at:

  • all the money you and your partner have coming in, eg earnings, benefits, tax credits, pensions
  • any savings (PDF, 17kb) you and your partner have
  • your circumstances

How is LHA set?

The Rent Registration Service is responsible for setting LHA. LHA rates are determined by the area you live in. These areas are called Broad Rental Market Area (BRMA). Ayrshire makes up one BRMA so people living in similar sized properties right across Ayrshire receive the same amount of LHA.

How is LHA paid?

Direct to you

Local Housing Allowance is paid directly to you, not your landlord, preferably by a direct transfer into your bank account. Payment of LHA can be made by cheque. It's up to you to make sure your rent is paid to your landlord on time.

Advice on opening a bank account (PDF, 65kb).

Special circumstances

LHA is only paid to landlords directly in special circumstances, as outlined in our Safeguard Policy (PDF, 46kb), where the tenant is considered to be particularly vulnerable and has genuine difficulty managing their affairs, or it's improbable that they'll pay their rent.

Single people under 35

In January 2012 the rules that apply to single people aged 25 to 35 living in self-contained accommodation claiming LHA changed. These tenants are now entitled to the shared accommodation rate of allowance rather than the 1 bedroom rate.

The following people are exempt from this change and will still receive the 1 bedroom self-contained rate:

  • households with children
  • households with non-dependents
  • young people leaving care under 22 years old
  • a person who qualifies for the Severe Disability Premium in their Housing Benefit, Income Support or Job Seekers Allowance
  • a person who requires an overnight carer
  • a person who has spent 3 months or more in a homeless hostel, where that person has engaged with rehabilitation and resettlement support services. 

Contact Benefits

Email

benefits@north-ayrshire.gov.uk

Telephone

01294 310000

Address

In writing:

North Ayrshire Council, Benefits Section, Bridgegate House, Irvine, KA12 8LS

In person:

  • Customer Service Centre, Bridgegate House, Irvine, KA12 8BD
  • The Town Hall, Countess Street, Saltcoats, KA21 5HW