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Local Housing Allowance

If you rent your home from a private landlord, in most cases you will be paid Local Housing Allowance (LHA). LHA is the new way of paying housing benefit and gives tenants more choice in where they wish to live.

Local Housing Allowance will usually be paid to you, the tenant, and it will be your responsibility to pay your rent on time to your landlord. 

You cannot get Local Housing Allowance if:  

  • you are a tenant of a housing association or registered charity
  • you live in most types of supported housing
  • your tenancy started before 15 January 1989
  • you live in a caravan, houseboat or a hostel
  • tenancies where the rent officer decides that a substantial part of the rent is for board and attendance, such as a hotel accommodation. 

LHA makes it easier for private tenants to find out in advance how much rent may be covered by it. 

If you think you may be entitled to Local Housing Allowance, you can find out how much you can get before you rent a property. How much you will get depends on:  

  • who lives with you
  • which area you want to live in
  • how much money you have coming in
  • what savings you have
  • the amount of rent you have to pay 

The LHA rate you are allowed is based on the number of bedrooms you, and your family (if you have one), are allowed, and not on the number of bedrooms you are actually renting. In addition, different LHA rates apply for different areas of St Helens; these are known as Broad Rental Market Areas.

From 1 April 2023 to 31 March 2024

All figures shown are weekly amounts

Broad Rental Market AreaSt HelensNorth CheshireWigan
1 Bedroom Shared Rate

1 bedroom where kitchen, bathroom, toilet or living room are shared with other tenants
£65.00£66.50£61.33
1 Bedroom Rate

1 bedroom with exclusive use of a kitchen, bathroom, toilet and living room
£86.30£97.81£80.55
2 Bedroom Rate£101.26£115.07£103.56
3 Bedroom Rate£126.58£136.93£114.84
4 Bedroom Rate£171.45£201.37£155.34

 

From 1 April 2024 to 31 March 2025

All figures shown are weekly amounts

Broad Rental Market AreaSt HelensNorth CheshireWigan
1 Bedroom Shared Rate

1 bedroom where kitchen, bathroom, toilet or living room are shared with other tenants
£74.74£78.59£78.21
1 Bedroom Rate

1 bedroom with exclusive use of a kitchen, bathroom, toilet and living room
£97.81£109.32£92.05
2 Bedroom Rate£120.82£135.78£115.07
3 Bedroom Rate£143.84£159.95£136.93
4 Bedroom Rate£184.11£230.14£178.36

 

If you have a large family and need five bedrooms or more, you will only be able to receive the maximum four-bedroom rate.

All Local Housing Allowances claimed by people living in St Helens will be based on these rates during the period 1 April 2023 to 31 March 2024.

Local Housing Allowance is a way of paying Housing Benefit for tenants renting accommodation from a private landlord. It also affects tenants already getting Housing Benefit who move address into accommodation rented from a private landlord. However if you are not currently receiving housing benefit and you are making a new claim, you cannot get a Local Housing Allowance from the Council. You will need to claim help with your housing costs from Universal Credit. Please go to: www.gov.uk/apply-universal-credit.

If you are eligible for Local Housing Allowance, to work out how much help you might get, you need to:

1. Work out your Local Housing Allowance rate based on the number of bedrooms, you and your family (if you have on) need. This is explained below.

2. Check the Local Housing Allowance rate that applies to you, for the Broad Rental Market Area (BRMA) you want to live in (see below. Your BRMA is based on the postcode of the property you are renting.

Local Housing Allowance is means tested, the amount you get will depend on the income you, your partner (if you have one) and any other members of your family have coming into the household.

Broad Rental Market AreaSt HelensNorth CheshireWigan

Postcode

WA9
(Except WA9 4ST) 

WA10

WA11 (Except WA11 8RL, 8RP, 8RW)

WN4

WN5 (Except WN5 7DW, 7JA, 7JH)

L34

L35 (Except L35 6PG)

WA2

WA3
(Except WA3 3PQ, 3QS, 3QW)

WA8

WA9 4ST

WA12 (Except WA12 0DS, 0HN, 0HQ, 0HY, 0JA, 0JF, 0NZ)

L35 6PG

WA3 3PQ, WA3 3QS

WA3 3QW, WA11 8RL

WA11 8RP, WA11 8RW

WA12 0DS, WA12 0HN

WA12 0HQ, WA12 0HY

WA12 0JA, WA12 0JF

WA12 0NZ, WN5 7DW

WN5 7JA, WN5 7JH, WN8 9QL


The amount of Local Housing Allowance you can get may be affected by:

  • who lives with you
  • which area you want to live in
  • how much money you have coming in
  • what savings you have
  • the amount of rent you have to pay

How many bedrooms am I entitled to?

The number of people who live with you is used to work out how many bedrooms you are entitled to. We do not count other rooms such as a living room, kitchen or bathroom. The number of bedrooms added together is used to work out the LHA rate which applies to you.

The LHA rate you are allowed is based on the number of bedrooms you, and your family (if you have one), need, and not on the number of bedrooms you are actually renting.

You are entitled to 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 aged under 10
  • any other child
  • a carer who does not normally live with you

If you are aged under 35 or share your accommodation with others, you may only get the Shared LHA rate.

If you have a large family and need five bedrooms or more, you will only be able to get the maximum four-bedroom rate of LHA.

What if my rent is different than my Local Housing Allowance rate?

The amount of Local Housing Allowance you receive will be based on either your weekly LHA bedroom rate you and your family (if you have one) need, or your weekly rent, whichever is the lower.

Example 1: If your weekly rent is £100 and your weekly LHA is £90, the maximum amount of benefit we could pay you would be £90. This is because your LHA rate is less than your rent.

Example 2: If your weekly rent is £60 and the weekly LHA is £100, the maximum amount of benefit we could pay you would be £60. This is because your rent is less than your LHA rate.