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Local Housing Allowance

Local Housing Allowance (LHA) is the name for housing benefit for tenants in privately rented accommodation. You can't usually receive Local Housing Allowance if:

  • You have savings of over £16,000, unless you have reached the qualifying age for State Pension Credit and are getting the ‘guarantee credit’ of pension credit
  • You live in the home of a close relative
  • You’re a full time student (unless you are disabled or have children)
  • You’re an asylum seeker or are sponsored to be in the UK
  • You are in receipt of Universal Credit.

You can get an estimate of the Housing Benefit/Local Housing Allowance and Council Tax Support you could get by using our online calculator. This will also estimate your entitlement to other benefits and tax credits. 

Benefit Calculator

If you would like to make a claim for Housing Benefit, please complete the benefit calculator first to estimate you qualify. Please record your benefit calculation reference number as you will need to record this on your application form. 

If you do qualify please complete the  Housing Benefit Application Form and  return with your  supporting evidence by email or by post to Benefits Team, South Norfolk Council, South Norfolk House, Cygnet Court, Long Stratton, Norwich, NR15 2XE.

You should contact us straight away to make a claim, as this will normally determine the date your benefits will start. Benefit claims may be backdated if there is good reason, find out more about backdating benefit.

The amount of benefit you may receive depends on:

  • Who lives with you
  • Where you live
  • How much money you have coming in
  • The savings you have
  • How much rent you pay
  • Your age.

The number of people who live with you is used to work out how many bedrooms you're entitled to, which is then used to calculate which Local Housing Allowance rate applies.

We don't count other rooms such as a living room, kitchen or bathroom.

You're entitled to one bedroom for:

  • Every adult couple (married or unmarried)
  • Any other adult aged 16 or over
  • Any two children of the same sex aged under 16 years old
  • Any two children under ten years old
  • Any other child.

You’re entitled to a Shared Accommodation Rate if you are a single person under 35.

For further information use the Valuation Office Agency bedroom calculator

The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) provide us with Local Housing Association rates in April each year. The rates range from a shared one room rate to a maximum of four rooms.

The rate you are entitled to will depend on who lives with you and which area you live in, known as the Broad Rental Market Areas (BRMAs). There are two BRMAs covering South Norfolk which are generally based upon postcodes:

  • Central Norfolk and Norwich
  • Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth.

Check your Local Housing Allowance rates

If the rent is higher than the Local Housing Allowance, the tenant will normally have to pay the extra cost, although in exceptional circumstances there may be extra help available such as Discretionary payments

Your income, capital, members of the household and rent liability will be taken into account to determine your level of benefit.

Local Housing Allowance is paid straight into your bank account every four weeks in arrears.

We have to pay your landlord if you are more than eight weeks in arrears with your rent.