Local Housing Allowance

Use our bedroom calculator to find out how much you're entitled to [external link]

Local housing allowance is the way we work out claims for housing benefit for tenants renting accommodation from a private landlord. If you live in Council accommodation or other social housing, local housing allowance does not affect you.

Local housing allowance rates are based upon the number of bedrooms you or your family need - these come from the Valuation Office every April.

To work out your benefit we look at the number of people normally living with you in your household and all your circumstances, and decide which rate applies to you.

Local housing allowance is paid directly into your bank or building society account. If you do not already have a bank or building society account, you may need to set one up. That way you can arrange to pay the rent to your landlord automatically, using a standing order. 

Information about bank accounts on the money advice service website [external link]

We can pay Local housing allowance direct to your landlord if we decide you are vulnerable (this means you have difficulties managing your own affairs) or unlikely to pay your rent. Evidence to support your request will need to be supplied to us, usually in writing. 

Safeguard policy [pdf document]

If you do not use your local housing allowance to pay your rent, your landlord may take you to court, or try to evict you and you may lose your home.

LHA rates from April 2016 - March 2017 for Darlington

Broad rental market area [pdf document]

Number of bedroomsWeeklyMonthly
Shared rate and under 35 year olds £59.28 £257.59
1 bedroom rate £75.00 £325.89
2 bedroom rate £90.90 £394.98
3 bedroom rate £107.11 £465.42
4 bedroom rate £149.17 £648.18

The number of bedrooms you need for the people who live with you will be used to work out what LHA applies to you. This may be different from the number of bedrooms you have in your property. We do not count other rooms such as living rooms, kitchens or bathrooms.

You are allowed 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
  • any two children under age 10
  • any child who is unable to share because of their disability
  • any other child.

The shared rate of local housing allowance will apply when:

  • You live alone or as a couple with no dependants and have a bedroom but shared facilities such as a living room, kitchen or bathroom.
  • You are aged under 35 and have no dependants.

Examples

  • Reena and Suki are a couple who have a child, Ben, who is nine years old. They are entitled to one bedroom for themselves and one for Ben. This means any benefit they are entitled to will be based on the local housing allowance rate for two bedrooms. 
  • Susan is a single mother who has three children, Tom, who is 14, Judy, who is 11 and Raymond, who is six. Susan is entitled to one bedroom for herself, one bedroom for Judy and one bedroom for Tom and Raymond to share. This means any benefit they are entitled to will be based on the local housing allowance rate for three bedrooms. 
  • Amy is 20, living by herself and expecting her first baby in three months. Amy is entitled to the shared rate, as she is under 35. However, when the new baby arrives Amy will be entitled to the two bedroom rate.