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Private tenant housing benefit
What is Local Housing Allowance (LHA)?
Medway Council and other local authorities use LHA rates to work
out Housing Benefit for tenants who rent privately. How much you
get is usually based on:
- Who lives with you
- The size of your property
- What area you live in
- What money you have coming in
- What savings you have
LHA does not depend on how much rent you pay, but on the LHA
rates for the area you live in.
To find out how much you can get visit our LHA rates page or Directgov's
LHA bedroom calculator.
Who can apply for LHA?
LHA is for people on a low income who are living in private
rented property and claiming housing benefit for the first
You can't get LHA if you:
- Are a council or housing association tenant
- Have a tenancy that started before 1989
- Live in a caravan, mobile home or houseboat
- Live in supported housing provided by social landlords,
charities or voluntary organisations who also provide care, support
- Are a MHS homes tenant and your tenancy started before
Housing benefit will continue to be paid under the previous
scheme for these tenants.
How is payment made?
LHA will, on most occasions, be paid directly to the tenant and
it will no longer be possible to have payments made straight to the
landlord. The payments will be made into the tenant's bank account
or by cheque.
This will mean that that the responsibility to make sure that
rent is paid will now lie with the tenant. One of the safest and
most reliable ways of doing this is to set up a standing order
straight from a bank account.
If you do not have a bank account and require further
information, you can find advice at the Financial Services