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Housing Benefit Information


A Local Housing Allowance was introduced, nationally, from April 7th 2008. It will be phased in, so that it will initially only apply to those who make a new claim for Housing Benefit; who change address and who have a break in their housing benefit of at least one week.

The Local Housing Allowance will impact on all tenancies within the private sector, where prospective/ existing tenants are benefit claimants.

The LHA is designed to simplify the administration and payment of Housing Benefit, with benefits automatically being paid direct to claimants rather than being able to opt for benefit to be paid direct to the landlord. It will be the tenants responsibility to pay their rent to their landlord.

However, it has been recognised that some tenants may struggle to pay their rent so safeguards will be put in place. If a tenant is deemed “vulnerable” or if there is evidence that a tenant is unlikely to pay their rent, a landlord can request to be paid the LHA directly. This will be at the discretion of the Local Authority.

Where tenants have at least 8 weeks arrears, landlords can make ask that rent is paid directly to them.

Further information can be obtained direct from your local Housing Benefit Offices (details below).


The new system is designed to be simpler, removing the need to wait for Rent Officer decisions and for Pre-tenancy determinations.

LHA is a flat rate benefit based on the number of people in the accommodation and the number of bedrooms required.

There will be a separate LHA figure provided for each of the following property categories:
- single room with shared facilities
- 1 bedroom – self contained
- 2 bedrooms
- 3 bedrooms
- 4 bedrooms
- 5 bedrooms.

The amount of bedrooms a tenant requires is determined by the following criteria:
- 1 bedroom for a single claimant or for an adult couple
- 1 bedroom for any 2 children aged under 10
- 1 bedroom for any 2 children of the same sex aged 15 or under
- 1 bedroom for any other adult aged 16 or over
- 1 bedroom for any other child.

To find out what the local Housing Allowance is for each category go to;


Download information on housing allowance:

Working Out Local Housing AllowanceAcrobat document  177Kb

This flat rate determined for “locality”. Number and shape of localities is currently been reviewed and some areas will merge and in doing so, will affect the flat rate for that area.

The LHA figures are determined by the Rent Service which is an agency of the Inland Revenue and completely independent of the Council.

The LHA will eliminate the need for Pre-tenancy determinations and rent officer decisions, through the fixing of a flat benefit payment, set for each locality.

Local rates have yet to be announced

Housing Benefit will retain the ability to make some discretionary additional payments. This HB pot will remain as a possible way of alleviating shortfall between rent and HB receivable. As money available is limited, all applications need to be backed up with clear evidence of outgoings and need.

Customer could opt for cheaper or more expensive accommodation, but will still be subject to single rate, based on the no. of bedrooms needed. This is likely to be capped at a maximum of £15 per claim. (soon to be abolished)

Benefit will be paid direct to the tenant, unless customer can show they are “vulnerable”. Exact definition of vulnerable has still to be agreed. HB departments are unlikely to be able to establish a blanket policy re who is vulnerable, but it is likely to include those who have debt, arrears or are likely to struggle in making rent payments to landlords.

High Peak Housing Benefit
Town Hall, Buxton, SK17
Tel: 0845 129 7777
Fax: 01298 28485

Derbyshire Dales Housing Benefit
Matlock Town Hall., DE4
Tel: 01629
Fax: 01629 761148

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This website is for :  people looking for private rented accommodation and landlords with accomodation to offer in the High Peak and Derbyshire Dales.

Last Modified: 5 Aug 2013
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