Shared room rate
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, renting one room in shared property and sharing some or all of the facilities in the property with someone other than your partner, the Local Housing Allowance shared accommodation rate will always apply in Housing Benefit even if you are not under 35 year's old. This isn't the case in Universal Credit, if you are 35 or older you will get the 1 bed rate of LHA even if you live in shared accommodation.
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 not affected by the shared accomodation rate as Local Housing Allowance rules do not apply in social housing.
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 25 and have been in care (this was aged under 22 before 31 May 2021)
- 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 (this applied only to those aged under 25 before 31 May 2021).
- are 25 or over and are managed under active multi-agency management under the Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements.
- are a victim of domestic abuse or modern slavery