Local Housing Allowance is a way of working out new claims for Housing Benefit for tenants renting accommodation from a private landlord. It also affects tenants already getting Housing Benefit who move into accommodation rented from a private landlord. Local Housing Allowance is being introduced on 7 April, 2008. If you live in former council accommodation or other social housing, Local Housing Allowance will not affect you.
With Local Housing Allowance, your benefit is not usually based on the property you live in. It is usually based on:
- who lives with you
- which area you live in
- how much money you have coming in
- what savings you have.
In some cases the amount of benefit you are entitled to will be affected by other things. These can include:
- how much your rent is
- whether anyone living with you is expected to contribute to your rent
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.
Changes of circumstance
If you are getting Housing Benefit and you move to a new address or other circumstances change, you should tell us straightaway. You may need to make a new claim for Housing Benefit.
Where to get more information
If you want to know more about the changes and how they affect you:
- Local Housing Allowance (you are here)
- Working out your Local Housing Allowance