Local Housing Allowance (private rented)

Local housing allowance (LHA) is housing benefit for people who rent a home from a private landlord. LHA helps with your rent and some service charges.

Who can claim LHA

If you’re renting your home from a private landlord, and you need some help to pay your rent, you can claim LHA by filling in a housing benefit claim form

You can’t get LHA if you have savings or £16,000 or more, unless you're a pensioner and receive the guarantee credit part of Pension Credit. 

How LHA is calculated

We work out how much benefit you're entitled to from: 

  • where you live
  • how big your property is
  • how many people live in your home
  • your income – including benefits, pensions and savings (over £6000)
  • your circumstances 

We also look at how many bedrooms are in your property. You're allowed 1 bedroom for: 

  • each adult couple
  • any other person (aged 16 or over)
  • any two children of the same sex (aged under 16)
  • any two children aged under 10
  • any other child 

The number of bedrooms that you're allowed may not be the same as the number of bedrooms you have in your property. You will have to pay any shortfall on your rent that is not covered by your benefit payment.   

You can apply for an additional bedroom for a carer who does not live with you, if you or your partner needs overnight care.   

How much you can get

The welfare benefit cap limits the amount of benefit that most people aged 16 to 64 can get.  If you’re affected your LHA benefit payment will go down to make sure that the total amount of benefit you get isn’t more than the cap level. 

The rates below will help you to work out the maximum amount of rent that we can use to calculate your LHA benefit.  The amount is also affected by the income that you receive and any capital you have over £6000. 

Some properties in Barnsley come under the areas of Sheffield, Kirklees or Doncaster, so we have included their rates in the table. Please ask us if you are not sure which area your property is in. 

Rates for the period 1 April 2015 to 31 March 2016

Number of Bedrooms

Barnsley (£)

Sheffield (£)

Kirklees (£)

Doncaster (£)

Shared accommodation rate





1 bedroom





2 bedrooms





3 bedrooms





4 bedrooms and above





We review all claims on 1st April every year when the rates of LHA change.   

If you're under 35 or live in shared accommodation

If you are under 35 and live alone we use the shared accommodation rate to work out your LHA.

There are some exemptions to the shared accommodation rate if you are: 

Under 35, living in shared or self-contained accommodation and:

  • Get the Severe Disability Premium in your benefit because you are entitled to the middle or higher rate care component of Disability Living Allowance.
  • You are a care leaver under the age of 22.

Aged 25 to 34, living in self-contained accommodation and:

  • You have spent at least three months in a homeless hostel or hostels specialising in rehabilitation and resettling within the community (to benefit from this exemption you need to have been offered and accepted support services to enable you to be rehabilitated or resettled in the community).
  • You are managed under the Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA).

How your LHA is paid

We will pay your benefit into your bank account, a building society account or credit union account.  

We can decide to pay it straight to your landlord if:

  • ·         You have a history of rent arrears
  • ·         You do not use your LHA to pay your rent
  • ·         You have rent arrears of more than 8 weeks
  • ·         You have difficulties managing your finances
  • ·         Your landlord is helping you to keep your tenancy by reducing your rent 

Apply for a direct LHA payment to a landlord 

Changes to your circumstances

You will need to tell us if there has been any change in your circumstances  since your LHA was calculated. 

Read more about the changes that we need to know about


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