Shared Accommodation rate - Private sector tenant
Under Local Housing Allowance rules, single people aged under 35 with no children, who are living in private rented accommodation, are normally assumed to be living in shared accommodation.
This means the maximum amount of rent that can be used in their Housing Benefit or Universal Credit calculation is based on the cost of renting a room in a shared house or flat in their area even if they live in a self-contained property.
Living in Shared Accommodation
If you live in shared accommodation, sharing some or all of the facilities in the property you rent with someone other than your partner, the Local Housing Allowance shared accommodation rate will always apply.
Shared Accommodation rate - Social sector tenant
If you are single and under 35 with no children, and you rent from a local authority or housing association you are currently not affected by the shared accomodation rate as Local Housing Allowance rules do not apply in social housing.
People signing tenancies since 1 April 2016 may be affected if they are claiming Housing Benefit when the shared accommodation rate is brought in for social housing tenants from 1 April 2019.
If you are claiming Universal Credit when the shared accommodation rate is brought in for social housing tenants you will be affected regardless of when you signed your tenancy.
Who is not affected by the shared accommodation rate?
Even if you are single and under 35 with no children, your Local Housing Allowance will not be restricted to the shared accommodation rate, if you:
live with an adult non-dependent
are a foster carer
get the severe disability premium in your benefit
receive the middle or higher rate care component of the Disability Living Allowance or the daily living component of Personal Independence Payment or Armed Forces Independence Payment
need an extra bedroom for a carer who provides you with the overnight care you need but who doesn’t normally live with you
are aged under 22 and have been in care
live in supported housing provided by a housing association, registered charity, voluntary organisation or a county council (in England).
are 25 or over and have spent at least three months in a homeless hostel or; hostel specialising in rehabilitating 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.
are 25 or over and are managed under active multi-agency management under the Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements.