Date of your tenancy and Local Housing Allowance
Local Housing Allowance applies to most people renting from a private landlord who made a new claim for Housing Benefit after April 7 2008, or who moved address or had a break in their Housing Benefit entitlement after April 7 2008.
There are a number of groups who are exempt or protected from Local Housing Allowance
People not affected by Local Housing Allowance
If you were a private tenant and in receipt of Housing Benefit on 7 April 2008 you are not affected by Local Housing Allowance unless there is a break in your Housing Benefit entitlement or you move and enter into a new private tenancy agreement.
Local Housing Allowance does not apply to:
- Local Authority tenants (or in Northern Ireland, a tenancy with the Housing Executive)
- Tenants of registered social housing providers
- Tenants who have a registered or 'fair' rent
- Tenants whose tenancies commenced after January 1989 and have been in continuous receipt of Housing Benefit since 7 April 2008 or before (your eligible rent for Housing Benefit may be decided by rules on Rent Officer Decisions instead)
- Protected tenants, such as those in supported housing provided by social landlords, charities or voluntary organisations or those who receive board or attendance (your eligible rent for Housing Benefit will be decided by rules on Rent Officer Decisions instead)
- Tenants with tenancies of caravans, mobile homes, houseboats or hostels (your eligible rent for Housing Benefit will be decided by rules on Rent Officer Decisions instead)
People temporarily protected from Local Housing Allowance
If you are claiming Housing Benefit there are two protected groups, where your full rent will be met for a period even if it is higher than your LHA. At the end of the protection period, you will receive the appropriate LHA rate. These temporary protections from LHA do not apply to the Universal Credit housing element, claims for this will be affected by LHA immediately.
- Protected group 1. If you did not receive Housing Benefit in the year leading up to making a claim then your full rent (rather than your Local Housing Allowance amount) will be used for the first 13 weeks of your current claim, though your local authority can still restrict the rent if they believe that you could not afford it when you first moved in or that it is 'unreasonable'.
- Protected group 2. If a member of your household has died then your full rent (rather than your Local Housing Allowance amount) will be used for the next year. If you were already claiming prior to the death then your Local Housing Allowance will not be recalculated for the next year. For these purposes household includes relatives you live with not just immediate family.