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Local Housing Allowance

Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rates for Aberdeen City

LHA Rates for 1 April 2014 (until April 2015)

Number of Bedrooms Weekly Rate Calendar Monthly Equivalent*
Shared room rate 72.72 315.12
1 Bedroom 122.36 530.22
2 Bedrooms 156.00 675.99
3 Bedrooms 177.83 770.59
4 Bedrooms 226.89 983.18

*To calculate the Calendar Monthly Equivalent, multiply the weekly rate by 4.3333.

LHA Rates for April 2013

Number of Bedrooms Weekly Rate Calendar Monthly Equivalent*
Shared room rate 69.92 302.99
1 Bedroom 121.15 524.98
2 Bedrooms 150.00 650.00
3 Bedrooms 170.99 740.95
4 Bedrooms 218.16 945.99

LHA changes from April 2013

LHA Anniversary Dates abolished

All claims will be reviewed annually on 1 April each year when the new LHA rates are set. This review will take effect from the 1st Monday in April for claimants paying rent weekly or the 1st of April for claimants paying any other rental frequency. There will be no LHA reviews during any other month of the year.

What remains the same:

Where there has been a change in rental charge, increase or decrease, since the annual LHA review in April, the benefit award may be reviewed:

  • Where the rent increases but is already above the LHA rate, no new award of a maximum rent (LHA) will be made
  • Where the rent increases or decreases but remains below the LHA rate, a new determination can be made.

Maximum bedrooms allowed

From April 2011 LHA has been restricted to a maximum of the 4 bedroom rate.

Direct Payment Safeguard

Discretion is given to pay Housing Benefit direct to landlords if it will assist in securing or retaining a tenancy. This is a temporary provision which will remain in place until further decisions are made regarding direct payments of benefit.

Department for Work and Pensions guidance states this should only be considered where the claimants rent has been set at, or reduced to "an affordable" level. This will normally be the LHA rate applicable to the claimant. Consideration will however, be given where the claimant has other means of making up the shortfall in rent.

Evidence of a rent reduction will need to be provided before applying the safeguard i.e. tenancy agreement.

If the rent increases above an affordable level, or the claimant has a change in circumstances entitling them to a lower level of LHA direct payment can be withdrawn.

Provision for non resident carers

The size criteria in private rented accommodation will be adjusted to provide an additional bedroom for a non resident carer. This will apply where the tenant, their partner or both need an overnight carer. It will not apply to other members of the household including children.

LHA - shared room rate

The LHA shared room rate (and single room rent in the old scheme) which applies to most single people under 35.

This means that single claimants under the age of 35 are entitled to the shared room rate rather than the one-bedroom rate. This restriction does not apply to single people who have a disability and qualify for a severe disability premium in the assessment of their Housing Benefit, Income Support or Jobseekers Allowance (Income Based).

To qualify for a severe disability premium the recipient must receive one of the following benefits:

  • The middle or highest rate of the care component of Disability Living Allowance;
  • Attendance Allowance at any rate;
  • A benefit which is treated as Attendance Allowance.

A further two exemptions apply for those who are aged 25 and over but under 35.

  • The first is for those who have spent at least three months in a hostel or hostels for the rehabilitation or resettlement of homeless people.
  • The second is for ex-offenders who are being managed under active multi-agency management, within the Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA), to be rehabilitated back into the community.

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