What is Local Housing Allowance?

Local Housing Allowance (LHA) is the name given to the way Housing Benefit is calculated for people who rent from a private landlord. Some exceptions apply.

The figure used for rent in your Housing Benefit calculation depends on:

  • The area in which you live
  • The LHA rate for that area
  • The number of occupiers in your property
  • The actual rent that you pay

An LHA rate is a standard rate, set by rent officers who are independent of the council, from a range of rents for properties of a given size in an area known as the Broad Rental Market Area (BRMA).

LHA rates are issued for each BRMA for:

  • One-bedroom shared accommodation
  • One-bedroom self-contained accommodation
  • Two-bedroom self-contained accommodation
  • Three-bedroom self-contained accommodation
  • Four-bedroom self-contained accommodation

LHA rates

The rates are set annually at the lower of either:

  • The previous LHA rate uprated by the previous September's CPI or
  • The 30th percentile of local market rents in the previous September
Wandsworth is covered by two BRMAs, Inner South West London and Outer South West London.

Use the post code search facility on the LHA Direct pages of the Valuation Office Agency website to find out which BRMA your property is in.