Local Housing Allowance (LHA)

If you pay rent to a private landlord we will work out your Housing Benefit using a maximum rent set by the Local Housing Allowance. This means that we do not always use the actual weekly rent you pay to work out your Housing Benefit. If your actual rent is higher than the LHA rate we will only use this rate to work out your benefit. So it is important that you find out the LHA rate that will apply to you before deciding whether to rent a property.

How are LHA rates set?

LHA rates were set by the Valuation Office Agency in April 2012 and are normally increased each April by a percentage set by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). However, in 2016 the Government has decided that LHA rates will not be increased. This means the April 2015 rates will continue to apply from April 2016.

LHA rates from April 2017

The LHA rate that applies to you will depend on:

  • the size of the property you need; and
  • the area where you live.

To find out what size property you need under the LHA rules or the area where you live based on your postcode please visit the Valuation Office Agency website.

The London Borough of Richmond upon Thames is split into three areas for LHA purposes.

Rates for the Outer West region
Property size Weekly rate Rate per calendar month
Shared accommodation £82.41 £357
1 bedroom £175.74 £761
2 bedrooms £229.65 £995
3 bedrooms £272.50 £1,180
4 bedrooms £318 £1,378

This covers the Whitton area.

Rates for the Outer South West region
Property size Weekly rate Rate per calendar month
Shared accommodation £87.46 £379
1 bedroom £209.77 £909
2 bedrooms £280.60 £1,216
3 bedrooms £336.96 £1,460
4 bedrooms £417.02 £1,807

This covers the Richmond, Kew, Ham, Twickenham, St. Margarets, Hampton, Hampton Court, Hampton Wick and Hampton Hill areas.

Rates for the Inner South West region
Property size Weekly rate Rate per calendar month
Shared accommodation £94.38 £409
1 bedroom £253.82 £1,100
2 bedrooms £302.33 £1,310
3 bedrooms £354.46 £1,536
4 bedrooms £417.02 £1,807

This covers the Barnes, East Sheen and Mortlake areas.

What happens if my rent increases or decreases?

If your rent increases after 1 April 2017 but is still at or below the April 2017 LHA rate, we will increase the maximum rent up to the new rent charged. However, we cannot pay you more if your increased rent is higher than the LHA rate.

If your rent decreases after 1 April 2017 and is below the April 2017 LHA rate, we will reduce the maximum rent used to the new reduced rent charged.

Can Housing Benefit (LHA) be paid to my landlord?

Housing Benefit worked out using LHA rates is usually paid to the tenant so that they can take responsibility for paying their rent to the landlord. But if you think you will have problems managing the rent payments you can ask us to pay your Housing Benefit direct to the landlord. More details and an application form are available in how we pay benefits.

We will also consider paying your Housing Benefit direct to the landlord if it will help you to get a new tenancy or keep an existing tenancy. We will only consider this if the rent is within the LHA rates or we are satisfied that you can afford to pay the difference.

If you are a landlord of a tenant who is claiming Housing Benefit, you can ask us to pay it direct to you if your tenant is having problems paying the rent on time. You do not have to wait until the tenant has rent arrears of 8 weeks. Contact us as soon as you know your tenant is having problems paying the rent.

Contact us

Online: Make an enquiry
Telephone: 020 8891 1411
Fax: 020 8891 7934

Email: benefits@richmond.gov.uk

Revenues and Benefits,
Civic Centre,
44 York Street,
Twickenham,
TW1 3BZ

For Council Tax and Benefits enquiries we operate a ticket queuing system from 9am to 4.30pm, Monday to Friday.

 

Updated: 22 June 2017