Local Housing Allowance rules are changing as part of the government's welfare reforms. Details of the main changes are below. Dates given for the changes are for new claimants - people who are already getting Housing Benefit will be allowed more time (see bottom of page).
From April 2011 all new Housing Benefit claims by private sector tenants will be calculated under the new rules.
If you are already getting Housing Benefit you will not normally be affected by change 1 until the anniversary date of your claim (the date you first made your current claim). In the case of changes 2, 3 and 4 you will not normally be affected until nine months after the anniversary date of your claim. For instance, if your Housing Benefit claim started on 1 May 2009 then your claim will be re-calculated from 1 February 2012 (your anniversary date is 1 May but a further nine months is allowed before the rule change affects you). However, if after 1 April 2011 someone stops living with you, or if you move house, then the new rules will take effect immediately. If there is an increase in your bedroom entitlement after 1 April 2011, for instance because someone comes to live with you, then, if your Local Housing Allowance under the old rules is higher than the new amount, your entitlement will be calculated under the old rules for the first nine months after which the new rules will take effect.