The Government is Restricting the Amount of Housing Benefit that a Household can Claim.

This could affect you if you claim benefits that help with your rent payment and your tenancy starts on or after 1st April 2016.

The maximum amount of Housing Benefit/Housing Element that someone is able to claim is limited to what is known as the ‘Local Housing Allowance’ (LHA) rate. This could be a problem if your rent is higher than the LHA rate.

  • The LHA is paid at the rate which matches the size of your household, for example:
    A couple living in a 2 bedroomed property would be entitled to the amount for a 1 bedroomed property
  • A single person will be entitled to the rate for a 1 bedroomed property BUT if that single person is under 35 years of age, they are only entitled to the ‘Shared Accommodation Rate’ (SAR)

WHEN DOES THIS START?

If your tenancy started on or after 1st April 2016 and you claim benefits to help pay your rent, you will be affected by this change. However, it will not be implemented until April 2018. Whilst this is some time off, it is important that you are aware that you will see a cut in your future housing benefit entitlement and your property may become unaffordable.

The table below details the weekly LHA amounts that can be claimed in Oldham.  These amounts would vary if you paid your rents over 48 weeks instead of 52.

Number of RoomsRate
Shared Room or Bedsit£55.90
1 Bedroom£83.91
2 Bedrooms£97.81
3 Bedrooms£113.92
4+ Bedrooms£149.59

An Example

A property costs £100 a week to rent in Oldham.

A couple would get £83.91 in LHA and a single person under 35 would get £55.90 towards the cost.

This means they would then have to find the difference between the rent and the LHA rate.