Local Housing Allowance was introduced to allow tenants greater responsibility in dealing with their own financial affairs and to give tenants greater choice when deciding where they want to live.
If you live in privately rented accommodation, you'll fall under the Local Housing Allowance scheme if you:
- Make a new claim
- Change your address
- Have a break in your claim
Local Housing Allowance will not apply in the following situations:
- Properties rented from registered social landlords (RSLs)
- Protected cases (eg customers with supported housing)
- Excluded tenancies (pre 1989)
- Exceptional cases (e.g. caravans, houseboats)
- Tenants in hostels
- Tenants with board and lodge
For information on how to make a claim and the supporting evidence you'll need to provide, please refer to the 'how to claim' section on the housing benefit and Council Tax Reduction scheme and ID requirements pages.
Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rate
The Valuation Office sets the LHA rate annually for the period 1 April to 31 March. The LHA rate for the year is determined by:
- The area where you live (tenants in Middlesbrough live in 'Teesside BRMA')
- The number of bedrooms you're entitled to (taking into account how many people are in the household, their age and sex)
You won't always receive the full LHA rate because other factors affect the level of your entitlement, including:
- Who lives with you
- How much rent you're actually liable to pay
- How much money you have coming in
- What savings you have
- Whether you're under 35 years old
Local Housing Allowance rates
|Number of bedrooms||Rate per week|
The allowance is paid directly to you (the tenant) to encourage you to be responsible for your own money. You can't request that your benefit is paid directly to your landlord.
The council recognises that some tenants may struggle with the responsibility of paying their rent themselves. These tenants will be considered as vulnerable. If the council decide it's in the tenant's interest for benefit to be paid to a landlord directly, this will happen for a short period of time until the tenant is able to manage their own finances. Read more about vulnerable tenants, including details of the Safeguard Policy.