The local housing allowance (LHA) is the maximum rent amount to calculate housing benefit.

The amount depends on the number of bedrooms in each household.

This is valid until the claimant has a change of circumstance that affects the bedroom requirements.

Broad rental market areas

The rent officer service has divided the country into broad rental market areas (BRMAs).

These figures are reviewed on 1 April each year.

Current amounts for Newport are: 

Category Cost per week
Shared accommodation £77.65
1 bedroom £101.26
2 bedrooms £138.08
3 bedrooms  £149.59
4 bedrooms £202.52

The size criteria

The government introduced some changes for private and social rented properties:

  • an additional room will be allowed for a foster child
  • parents of armed forces personnel on operations can be included when applying the size criteria
  • extra bedrooms can be allowed for children unable to share because of their severe disabilities

One bedroom is allowed for:

  • couples
  • someone aged 16 or over
  • two children of the same sex (under 16)
  • two children (under 10)
  • any other child (whose main home is elsewhere)

Who is counted?

  • each person is counted once in the first group
  • the tenant, their partner, and any children they're responsible for
  • other adults that live in the property
  • joint tenants are not counted

Shared accommodation

The LHA for shared accommodation applies to people that live in non-self-contained accommodation (shared use of a kitchen, living room or bathroom). 

This rate will apply to:

  • single claimants under 35
  • childless couples
  • joint tenants

This rate will not apply to:

  • care leavers under 22
  • care leaver under 22 living with their partner, with no dependent children
  • single claimants or couples who have no dependent children and have the Severe Disability Premium included in their benefit