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If you're of working age and think you may be eligible for help with your rent, you must apply for Universal Credit instead of Housing Benefit. Please note that the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is responsible for Universal Credit.

Claim Housing Benefit when you rent privately

New Housing Benefit claims can only be made by state pension age households or working age people who live in supported accommodation.

If you rent your house privately your Housing Benefit will be worked out using Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rules.

Who LHA applies to

LHA applies to most people who rent from a private landlord or letting agent and have made a new Housing Benefit claim since April 2008.

How LHA works

LHA rates set the maximum amount of Housing Benefit you can receive. These are set by the Valuation Office Agency rather than the council. The rates determine the maximum amount of Housing Benefit that can be paid based on the number of bedrooms your household needs and where you live. They are reviewed  in April each year. They can go down as well as up. 

What rate you will get

Search for current LHA rates by postcode. Use the Local Housing Allowance: bedroom calculator to work out the bedroom entitlement for your household. 

How you apply for Housing Benefit when you rent privately

You make a claim in the normal way.

How LHA is paid

Find out how your housing benefit is paid under LHA rules.